Acting Outside the Box

Acting Outside the Box

acting outside the box

Primary Investigator

Ian Thompson | Department of Education


Harry Daniels | Department of Education

Alice Tawell | Department of Education

Partner Organisations:

Mandala Theatre

Acting Outside the Box  is a two-way Knowledge Exchange partnership between the multi-disciplinary and multi-institution ‘Excluded Lives Research Group’ co-led by Professor Harry Daniels and Dr Ian Thompson at the University of Oxford and Mandala Theatre Company, led by Yasmin Sidhwa, around exclusion from school, bringing together academic research and the performing arts.


The aims of the collaboration are to:

  1. Inform the development of the theatre piece 'Pipeline' (working title) co-created with young people and written by Avaes Mohammad, by integrating research findings into the script.
  2. Run Drama workshops with Young People's Research Advisory Groups (YPRAGs), exploring the potential use of drama as a research methodology, as well as a method of dissemination. Performances of ‘Pipeline’ and panel discussions for teachers and students will take place in Edinburgh, Belfast, Cardiff and Oxford in May and June 2021, enabling focused discussion and analysis of the political economies of school exclusion and the dissemination of the findings from the ‘Excluded Lives’ Research Group to academic and non-academic audiences.

Culminate in a Knowledge Exchange Conference in June 2021 for the public in Oxford (as part of the Humanities Cultural Programme) made up of the performance and a panel debate involving young people and multidisciplinary research experts. An example of how Oxford University research is feeding the humanities and the arts and the reciprocal use of a local and national theatre company’s work being a stimulus for deepening and enhancing research both for the general public and the university itself.



Ian Thompson




Part of the Humanities Cultural Programme, one of the founding stones for the

future Stephen A. Schwarzman Centre for the Humanities.