The internationally acclaimed Geese Theatre Company will perform at next week’s Creative Innovations in Corrections conference, hosted by Griffith University.

Renowned for its work in prisons, the British company will conduct a demonstration and workshop and will perform Stay, a vivid depiction of domestic abuse that follows the disintegration of a couple’s relationship through the man’s controlling behaviour, emotional abuse and physical violence.

Chair of Applied Theatre in Griffith’s School of Education and Professional Studies, Professor Michael Balfour, said the participation of the company was a coup for the inaugural conference to run from February 10-11 at the Queensland Conservatorium in Brisbane.

“Geese Theatre Company is renowned for creating theatre and drama projects in prisons and over the past 25 years has developed a wide range of programs addressing issues such as drug addiction, domestic violence and offending behaviour,” he said.

According to the company, active engagement in sessions ensures participants challenge their own thinking by identifying with other perspectives and points of view. Scene work and role play serve as problem-solving tools, a means of finding new solutions and strategies to replace old behaviours and practise new skills.

Among other guests at the conference will be:

Maud Clark AM, Artistic Director and CEO of Somebody’s Daughter Theatre Company, Australia’s longest running prison theatre company with more than 30 years of experience working with incarcerated women. The Victorian company has won numerous government and arts awards;

Dr Rob Pensalfini, Artistic Director of the Queensland Shakespeare Ensemble;

Simon Faulkner, founder of the DRUMBEAT early intervention program;

Jacqui Moyes, New Zealand-based prison arts advisor;

Kate Holman, from Queensland Corrective Services;

Andy Beck, Director of Operations for Serco Asia Pacific, which maintains a strong operating presence in justice, detention and corrections.

Discussion topics include: Captive Audiences (researching the performing arts in Australian prisons); Shakespeare in Prisons (an international overview); creative innovations in working with male prisoners; and the importance of the Arts for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners.

“With representatives from Australia, New Zealand and the UK, we are thrilled at the mix of correctional and program/educational staff, experienced arts workers and researchers, and policy makers who have signed up for the conference,” Professor Balfour said.

The conference is part of an Australian Research Council Linkage Project, Captive Audiences: The Impact of Performing Arts Programs in Australian Prisons, with key industry partner SERCO.

WHAT: Creative Innovations in Corrections: Using the Performing Arts in Service Delivery.

WHERE: Griffith University Queensland Conservatorium, South Bank, Brisbane

WHEN: February 10-11, 2014