Online play to tackle challenges, opportunities of arts education during pandemic

A virtual play by Brock University researchers aims to reimagine life, equitable education and research during and after the pandemic.

Playbuilding Kaleidoscopes will be featured during an event held Wednesday, Oct. 19 from 4 to 6 p.m. in Plaza 600F. The Kaleidoscopes Showcase will feature a brief live performance and a screening of the recorded play followed by a discussion period.

The play, along with a behind-the-scenes documentary, was developed as part of a research project led by Kari-Lynn Winters, Professor in the Faculty of Education; Snežana Obradović-Ratković, the Faculty of Education’s research officer; and Catherine Hands, Associate Professor and Associate Dean, Research and Graduate Studies, in the Faculty of Education.

“Our team was intrigued by the challenge to turn this exploration of arts education, using playbuilding as a tool, into an online play that reflected the challenges of learning and teaching in equitable ways, and of promoting resilience and well-being during the pandemic,” says Hands.

The two-year-long project brought together researchers, educators, administrators, students and parents from across Canada. The group brainstormed, co-wrote and filmed their virtual play, an experiment in artful practice, democratic decision-making and equitable education.

As well as reflecting experiences of the pandemic and lessons learned responding to it, the research team also hopes viewers will take away new ideas about playbuilding and the arts.

“We hope attendees will reimagine and implement playbuilding and the arts in their online and face-to-face educational environments and programs of research,” said Obradović-Ratković.

The research project was funded by the Faculty of Education Research and Development Fund, Graduate Research Assistant Development Fund and Discretionary Strategic Initiative Fund.

The event is free to attend and open to the public. To RSVP, visit the ExperienceBU event listing. For more information about the event, contact

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