Getting Uncomfortable With Participation

Elvira Crois & Marieke Breyne - Apaya Network

Discomfort is commonly associated with reluctant audiences or performances that require overt participation. Yet, if we do our jobs well as facilitators of participatory events, should we ourselves not also feel discomfort at times? In this guided conversational workshop, performer-researcher Marieke Breyne and arts education scholar Elvira Crois share some of their experiences with leading projects and sessions in the field of performing arts and education. Since they met through a Creative Europe project, Marieke and Elvira have been captivated by the mystery of participatory and playful practices for over a decade. In their roles as performers, play makers, and academic scholars they aim to better understand the processes of participation: What is participation? Where is it present? What are its limits? How to invoke, nurture, or disrupt it? Currently, they are intrigued by the pitfalls of participation and the role of the facilitator in navigating such pitfalls. More specifically, they interrogate the feeling of discomfort in facilitators as it can function as a warning signal that the inclusive goals of participation are not being met. After sharing some stories and inviting you into a playful activity, Marieke and Elvira will guide you through different conversational formats in which you yourself reflect on getting uncomfortable with participation.

This event is not available to watch live online. Please return to this page any time from 24 hours after the event has concluded to watch the video recording.

  • Antwerp and Lundø, Belgium and Denmark, Europe
  • Programme Type: On Ground Festival
  • Duration (minutes): 135
  • Ages: 16+ (Professional Content,Aimed Towards Adults)
  • Release Date: May 18, 2022
  • Language: English
  • Translation: If needed, the facilitators can support non-English speakers for the following languages: Dutch, French, & Danish
  • Tags: care, facilitation, participatory, play, social change

You will only see a 30 second trailer of this content until the Release Date and Time listed above. At the designated time, the full content will become available for viewing at any time until the online event closes.


Elvira CROIS, Facilitator
Marieke BREYNE, Facilitator


Elvira CROIS is a Belgian PhD candidate in theatre studies at the University of Antwerp and in educational sciences at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. Their research focuses on participatory dramaturgies, arts education, and performer training. They are currently affiliated with the practices of Katrien Oosterlinck (BE), Sarah John (AU/DK), and Seppe Baeyens (BE). Before entering academia, Elvira worked as a socio-cultural worker in Brussels. Since 2012 Elvira has facilitated several international theatre exchanges (Apaya Network), workshops (GC De Kriekelaar, Erasmus+ projects), and doctoral courses (What does it mean to be a researcher in 21st century academia?).

Marieke BREYNE is a Belgian artist living in Denmark. She is active as a performer, researcher, facilitator, and project maker. She collaborates with diverse international companies such as Sisters Hope (DK), Carte Blanche (DK), and Theatre de l’Instant (FR), where she performs in physical and sensorial stage works that are often site-specific and long in duration. As a researcher, she is particularly interested in the body of a performer as a performative object (with a transformative power) and its affectional relation to a site, and a passerby. Marieke is an experienced group facilitator in which she deploys performative strategies.