The UBC Research-based Theatre Collaborative consists of over 70 committed members, including UBC Vancouver and Okanagan faculty, student trainees, professional theatre artists, local community members, and national and international partners. The UBC-based Steering Committee represents the interdisciplinary spirit of the Collaborative, and an External Advisory of leading international RbT scholars provides guidance on Collaborative objectives and initiatives. 

Steering Committee

  1. Photo of George Belliveau

    Dr. George Belliveau

    Cluster Lead

    Theatre Education


    Professor Belliveau specializes in Theatre Education where he integrates theatre as a form of research and artistic expression across multiple disciplines. He is an international leader in research-based theatre, and has shared his performative approach to research in numerous countries around the world.

  2. Christina Cook

    Christina Cook

    Cluster Coordinator

    Counselling Psychology

    Christina (she/they) is a therapist and theatre creator, and she is passionate about using theatre as a therapeutic, learning, and research tool. Christina has facilitated and developed theatre projects on diverse topics, working with various communities from residents in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside to youth who identify as LGBT2SQIA+.

  3. Photo of Susan Cox

    Dr. Susan Cox

    Associate Professor

    School of Population and Public Health

    Susan Cox is an interdisciplinary health researcher with expertise in medical sociology, qualitative methodology and ethics.

  4. Tal Jarus wears a white t-shirt and red coat. They have salt-and-pepper hair and square glasses.

    Dr. Tal Jarus


    Occupational Science and Therapy

    Tal believes everyone has the right to be an occupational human being. “The personal is political” – whether she is playing basketball, biking, cooking with her children, reading, watching a movie with her partner, talking to her mother, working on a research project, or marking an assignment – she is always occupied.

  5. photo of Simangele Mabena

    Simangele Mabena

    PhD Student

    Department of Language and Literacy Education

    Simangele Mabena first encountered Research-Based Theatre (RBT) while studying her Masters in Dramatic Arts in Johannesburg, South Africa.

  6. photo of Madjid Mohseni

    Dr. Madjid Mohseni


    Chemical and Biological Engineering

    Research in my laboratory focuses on water quality and the application of advanced water treatment processes to improve the quality of drinking water. In particular, I work on the development, evaluation, and implementation of advanced oxidation processes (AOPs), particularly UV-based AOPs, ion exchange, and electrochemical processes.

  7. photo of Rena Sharon

    Rena Sharon


    School of Music

    Born in Montreal, Canada, Rena Sharon began her life in chamber music at the age of eight. Her early studies were with Professor Dorothy Morton, and she continued her training at the Eastman School and Indiana University. Principal teachers were Menahem Pressler and Gyorgy Sebok, Janos Starker, and Joseph Gingold.

  8. photo of Tetsuro Shigematsu

    Tetsuro Shigematsu


    UBC Research-based Theatre Collaborative

    A former writer for CBC Television’s This Hour Has 22 Minutes, Tetsuro Shigematsu, became the first person-of-colour to host a daily national radio program in Canada when he took over The Roundup on CBC Radio.

External Advisory

  1. photo of Mindy Carter

    Dr. Mindy Carter

    Associate Professor

    McGill University

    Dr. Mindy R. Carter is an Associate Professor in the Department of Integrated Studies in Education (DISE). She conducts research in curriculum studies, drama and theatre education primarily with in-service and pre-service teachers with a focus on questions of social justice, art processes, and the relations of schooling.

  2. Graham Lea

    Dr. Graham Lea

    Assistant Professor

    University of Manitoba

    Dr. Graham Lea joined the Faculty of Education at the University of Manitoba as assistant professor of drama education and language and literacy in August 2016.  Previously he served as an assistant professor at the National Institute of Education/Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.  He completed a SSHRC Post-doctoral fellowship at th

  3. Nisha Sajnani wears an orange collared shirt, has black curly hair and square glasses

    Dr. Nisha Sajnani

    Associate Professor

    NYU Steinhardt

    Dr. Nisha Sajnani, RDT-BCT, is the Director of the Program in Drama Therapy at NYU Steinhardt and on the faculty of the Rehabilitation Sciences Ph.D. and Educational Theatre Ed.D/Ph.D. programs. She is the Director of the Theatre & Health Lab which includes the As Performance therapeutic theatre series. Dr.

  4. photo of Prue Wales

    Dr. Prue Wales

    University of Melbourne

    I am educator, researcher and theatre maker who has primarily worked in tertiary institutions in Australia, Singapore and Hong Kong over much of the past two decades. As a researcher and playwright, I am particularly drawn to researched performance as a means of presenting and reporting data.

  5. photo of Estella Wong

    Estella Wong

    Associate Dean

    The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts

    Estella Wong is currently the Associate Dean of the School of Drama and the Head of Academic studies/ Applied Theatre of the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, School of Drama.

UBC Cluster Members

  1. Image of Patricia M. Barkaskas

    Patricia M. Barkaskas

    Associate Professor of Teaching

    Peter A. Allard School of Law

    Patricia M. Barkaskas is Métis from Alberta. Her research focuses on the intersection of justice and law, including access to justice, clinical legal education, and decolonizing and Indigenizing law.

  2. photo of Laura Yvonne Bulk

    Laura Bulk

    PhD Student

    Occupational Science and Therapy

    Laura Yvonne Bulk (@LYBOT) is a friend, learner, woman, teacher, disabled person, occupational therapist, Christian, artist, scholar, advocate, and activist. Her work focuses on enhancing diversity and understanding, and promoting human dignity and flourishing.

  3. photo of Grant Charles

    Dr. Grant Charles

    Associate Professor

    Social Work

    Dr. Grant Charles is Associate Professor in the School of Social Work and an affiliated faculty with the Division of Adolescent Health and Medicine in the Department of Pediatrics with the Faculty of Medicine. He holds an adjunct appointment with the School of Child and Youth Care at the University of Victoria.

  4. Image of Derek Gladwin

    Dr. Derek Gladwin

    Assistant Professor

    Department of Language and Literacy Education

    Derek Gladwin is an Assistant Professor of Language and Literacy Education and a Sustainability Fellow with the Centre for Interactive Research on Sustainability at the University of British Columbia. He has also held research fellowships at University of Amsterdam, University of Edinburgh, and Trinity College Dublin.

  5. photo of Laen Hershler

    Laen Hershler

    PhD Student

    Department of Language and Literacy Education

    Laen Hershler is a performing artist, expert facilitator of creative processes and an investigator in the field of Research Based Theatre (RBT). He has vast experience working with artists, business people, teachers and students of all ages and backgrounds. His facilitation style is engaging, entertaining and highly interactive.

  6. Image of Kedrick James

    Dr. Kedrick James

    Associate Professor of Teaching

    Department of Language and Literacy Education

    Kedrick James is an Associate Professor of Teaching and Deputy Head of the Department of Language and Literacy Education at the University of British Columbia.

  7. photo of Michelle LeBaron

    Dr. Michelle LeBaron


    Peter A. Allard School of Law

    Professor Michelle LeBaron is an internationally recognized interdisciplinary scholar on conflict transformation, arts and resilience. Upon joining the Peter A. Allard School of Law, she directed the UBC Program on Dispute Resolution from 2003-2012.

  8. photo of Michael Lee

    Michael Lee

    Associate Professor of Teaching

    Occupational Science and Therapy

    Growing up in a culture with strong work ethics and values, Michael never doubts the values of occupation and work. Having practiced as an occupational therapist in the field of Mental Health Rehabilitation for over 35 years, he developed a passion for enabling people with psychosocial needs to participate in the occupations of their choice.

  9. photo of Virginie Magnat

    Dr. Virginie Magnat

    Associate Professor

    Research and Teaching Interests: Performance Studies, Cultural Anthropology, Experimental Ethnography, Indigenous Epistemologies and Methodologies, Ritual Performance, Embodied Research, Physically-Based Performance Training, Body-Voice Integration, Traditional Singing, World Performance Traditions, Experimental and Intercultura

  10. Image of Minelle Mahtani

    Dr. Minelle Mahtani

    Associate Professor

    Institute for Social Justice

    Minelle Mahtani is Associate Professor at the Institute for Social Justice at UBC. She is also the Senior Advisor to the Provost on Racialized Faculty where she supports the recruitment and retention of racialized faculty.

  11. photo of Yael Mayer

    Dr. Yael Mayer

    Postdoctoral Fellow

    Occupational Science and Therapy

    Dr. Yael Mayer is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Department of Occupational Therapy and Occupational Science at the University of British Columbia. Yael has a doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology from Tel-Aviv University; she is a registered clinical psychologist in Israel and a registered clinical counselor in Canada.

  12. photo of Amir Michalovich

    Amir Michalovich

    PhD Student

    Department of Language and Literacy Education

    Amir Michalovich is a PhD student in the Language and Literacy Education Department. His area of specialization is multimodality in education, particularly the ways in which multimodal meaning-making can facilitate immigrant and refugee students’ engagement and integration in school learning.

  13. photo of Anne Murphy

    Dr. Anne Murphy

    Associate Professor

    Department of Asian Studies

    Anne Murphy is Associate Professor in the Department of Asian Studies at the University of British Columbia and co-Director of the Centre for India and South Asia Research in the Institute of Asian Research. She is also Interim Associate Dean for Faculty and Program Development with the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies for 2018-9.

  14. photo of Jennica Nichols

    Jennica Nichols

    PhD Student

    Department of Language and Literacy Education, School of Population Health and Centre for Applied Ethics

    Hi! I am an inspiring implementation scientist and Ph.D. candidate in Interdisciplinary Studies. I have an undergraduate degree in molecular biology and biotechnology (BSc, University of Waterloo, 2008) and a master’s degree in epidemiology and global health (MPH, University of Toronto, 2012).

  15. Image of Bonny Norton

    Dr. Bonny Norton

    Distinguished University Scholar

    Department of Language and Literacy Education

    Born and raised in Johannesburg, South Africa, in the turbulent apartheid years, Dr. Bonny Norton learnt at an early age the complex relationship between language, power, and identity.

  16. photo of John Oliffe

    Dr. John Oliffe

    Associate Director

    School of Nursing

    Dr. John Oliffe is a Professor and Associate Director Research at the School of Nursing, University of British Columbia.

  17. Image of Raymond Pai

    Raymond Pai


    Department of Language and Literacy Education

    Raymond Pai is a Lecturer and the Director of the Cantonese Language Program at the University of British Columbia. He is also a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada-funded PhD student in the UBC Department of Language and Literacy Education.

  18. photo of Geraldine Pratt

    Dr. Geraldine Pratt



    My research focuses on transnational migration, labour precarity and performance. I am currently completing a book on the travels of Caleb Johnston’s and my testimonial play, performed in Vancouver (2009), Berlin HAU1 (2009), Manila (PETA, 2013; in collaboration with Migrante International, 2014), and Whitehorse (2015).

  19. photo of Marvin J. Westwood

    Dr. Marvin Westwood


    Counselling Psychology

    Marvin “Marv” Westwood is Professor Emeritus of Counselling Psychology, in Educational & Counselling Psychology, and Special Education at the University of British Columbia.

National & International Cluster Members

  1. Photo of Scott Button

    Scott Button


    UBC Research-based Theatre Collaborative

    Scott is a playwright, screenwriter and actor, active in theatre, film & television. Produced plays of Scott's include Viva (Theatre BC Playwriting Award - Best One Act), The Hunger Room and Desire(e), the latter of which was recently published in Speakeasy Theatre’s Pull Festival anthology.

  2. Photo of Xia-bing Chi

    Dr. Xia-bing Chi


    Ningbo University

    Xia-Bing Chi is a Lecturer exploring Educational Drama in China in the College of Teacher Education, Ningbo University. She is also a practitioner and working with students in secondary schools in the People’s Republic of China.

  3. photo of Hila Graf

    Hila Graf is the Arts Club Theatre Company's Education & Outreach Associate. As a theatre director, educator and administrator - she is passionate about utilizing the language of theatre in order to ignite dialogue about unspoken matters in our society.

  4. photo of Marilys Guillemin

    Dr. Marilys Guillemin


    University of Melbourne

    Marilys Guillemin is a sociologist of health and illness, and Professor in the Centre for Health Equity, School of Population and Global Health at the University of Melbourne, Australia. Marilys is also the Associate Dean Learning and Teaching in the Faculty of Medicine Dentistry and Health Sciences (MDHS) and is leading the Science in Australia

  5. photo of Rzgar Hama

    Rzgar Hama


    Sky Theatre Group

    Originally from South Kurdistan, Vancouver-based playwright, theatre director, actor, acting coach and writer, Rzgar Hama currently serves as an artistic director for Sky Theatre Group. He started his theatre journey in 1984.

  6. photo fo Scott Mealey

    Dr. Scott Mealey

    PhD Student

    University of Toronto

    Scott has spent nearly two and a half decades exploring the convergence of performance, persuasion, and social affect.

  7. photo of Monica Prendergast

    Dr. Monica Prendergast


    University of Victoria

    Dr. Monica Prendergast, is Professor of Drama/Theatre Education, Department of Curriculum & Instruction, University of Victoria. Her research interests are varied and include drama-based curriculum and pedagogy, drama/theatre in community contexts, and arts-based qualitative research methods. Dr.

  8. photo of Kirsten Sadeghi-Yekta

    Dr. Kirsten Sadeghi-Yekta

    University of Victoria

    Dr. Sadeghi-Yekta received her BA (Honours) and MA in Theatre Studies from Utrecht University, The Netherlands, and her Ph.D. in Drama, Applied Theatre from The University of Manchester, United Kingdom. She has taught at Simon Fraser University.

  9. Image of Joe Salvatore

    Joe Salvatore

    NYU Steinhardt

    Joe Salvatore is a Clinical Associate Professor of Educational Theatre and director of the Verbatim Performance Lab at NYU Steinhardt.

  10. photo of David Savill

    David Savill


    Age Exchange

    David Savill is the Artistic Director of the Reminiscence Arts charity Age Exchange based in the UK.  Age Exchange specialises in working with older people and intergenerational groups to produce visual and performance arts devised and created from reminiscence.

  11. photo of Lauren Spring

    Dr. Lauren Spring

    University of Toronto

    Lauren Spring is a PhD Candidate in the Adult Education and Community Development program at the University of Toronto. She holds an MA in International Development and a BFA in Theatre and Development and also studied at physical theatre conservatory L'ecole Jacques Le Coq in Paris, France.

  12. photo of Amanda Wager

    Dr. Amanda Wager

    Vancouver Island University

    Amanda Claudia Wager, PhD is a Tier II Canada Research Chair in Community Research in Art, Culture & Education at Vancouver Island University in British Columbia, Canada. As an interdisciplinary scholar, Dr.

  13. photo of Linden Wilkinson

    I became interested in performance as a methodology, when I discovered the existence of documentary theatre and particularly verbatim theatre. Having been aware of the revelatory nature of the spoken word forever as a performer, I combined that with a fascination for how community stories are told and how individual truths are understood.

Additional Cluster Members

Jan Hare, UBC Faculty (Indigenous Education)
Luke Bokenfohr, UBC Graduate Student
Phillip Lopresti, UBC Graduate Student
Janice Valdez, UBC Graduate Student
Avril Foster, UBC Graduate Student
Michelle Turner, UBC Graduate Student
Lara Aysal, UBC Graduate Student
Dacotah Splichalova, UBC Graduate Student
Daniel Ji, UBC Graduate Student
Brynn Williams, UBC Graduate Student
Sarah Calvert, UBC Graduate Student
Hailey Matheson, UBC Graduate Student
Hali McLennan, UBC Graduate Student
Jessi Knutson, UBC Graduate Student
Martina Shovar, UBC Graduate Student
Jada Benko, UBC Graduate Student
Tim Garthside, UVIC Graduate Student
Hoi Fai Wu, Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts
Mingshuai Yan, Sichuan Normal University
Julia Henderson, Concordia University
David Geary, Capilano University
Kyle Stooshnov, University of Alberta
Alisha Ali, New York University
Yanlin Xu, South China Agricultural University
James McKinnon, Quest University
Pamela Baer, University of Toronto
Foster Eastman, Community Artist
Tracy Averill, Community Artist
Bahareh Shigematsu, Community Artist
Ingrid Bousillion, Community Artist
Mark Zuberbuhler, Community Partner
Keyvan Maleki, Community Partner
Candace Cook, Community Partner
Yuval Jarus, Community Artist
Tim Laidler, Community Partner
Stephen Heatley, UBC Faculty (Theatre)
Lynn Bosetti, UBC-O Faculty (Higher Education)
Lawrence Berg, UBC-O Faculty (Georgraphy)
Eva Ziltener, University of Zurich
Erika Piazzoli, Trinity College Dublin
Phillip Naud, Independent artist, Paris
Diane Conrad, University of Alberta
Joelle Aden, University de Paris VII
Annie Cheung, Hong Kong Baptist University
Kathryn Dawson, University of Texas (Austin)
Stephani Woodson, Arizona State University
Mette Lyngstad, Western Norway University
Montserrat Paerera, Institut de Theatre, Spain
Esther Uria, University de Basque, Spain
Richard Sallis, University of Melbourne
Dan Harris, RMIT, Melbourne, Australia
Tara Goldstein, University of Toronto
Selena Busby, Central School of Drama, University of London

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