Workshop Series: Queering Curation, to Rehearse the World to Come

In the summer of 2021, Freespace begins a new programme platform built around the frame and methodology of “queering” – a practice inspired by theories of queerness and being queer that reexamines and dismantles accepted frameworks of identity, power and privilege. The new platform will be co-curated by Silvia Bottiroli, one of the most important thinkers and curators in contemporary performance practice today, and Low Kee Hong, Head of Theatre at West Kowloon.

This October, to help determine the future shape of the platform – which could manifest as a season, a festival, or series of presentations, discussions, workshops – Silvia Bottiroli leads a four-day collaborative professional workshop/practicum to consider alternative perspectives for performing arts curation and festival making in Hong Kong.

Taking the creation of the new Freespace platform as a working case study, and using the methodology of queering, participants will explore how the platform should be thought through and shaped, how curation and organisation processes can be made more transparent, and how the power dynamics between artists, curators, audiences and institutions can be revealed, unpacked and transformed.

The four-day workshop is preceded by two pre-workshops led by Janice Poon, Senior Lecturer (Playwriting and Dramaturgy) and Academic Project Officer at The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts School of Drama, and Low Kee Hong, that provide participants with working documents and dramaturgical contexts to the sessions with Silvia Bottiroli.

Please click here for more details and reading list.

Date and time:





Moderator / Workshop Leader


12–13 October 2019



The Room, Freespace, Art Park
West Kowloon Cultural District (Updated)

 (Getting to Freespace)

Janice Poon Sze-wan
Low Kee Hong


2:00pm – 5:00pm



28–31 October 2019




Studio Theatre, 1/F,

The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts

(1 Gloucester Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong)


Silvia Bottiroli


2:00pm – 5:00pm

Silvia Bottiroli, Artistic Director of DAS Theatre, the Academy of Theatre and Dance, the Amsterdam University of the Arts

Janice Poon Sze-Wan, Senior Lecturer (Playwriting and Dramaturgy) and Academic Project Officer, School of Drama, The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts
Low Kee Hong, Head of Theatre, Performing Arts, West Kowloon 

: Cantonese and supplemented in English
Workshop: English

Administration Fee:
Applicants who participated in earlier workshops of Dramaturgy and Beyond are eligible for a 10% discount of fees.

Target Participants:
Curators, programmers at cultural institutions and festivals, performing and visual arts professionals, including stage directors, choreographers, playwrights, performing arts critics, interdisciplinary professionals, as well as professionals with a background in culture and humanities, such as anthropologists, sociologists, historians, psychologists and writers with performance-related experience. Students or graduate students of performing arts, performance studies, dramaturgy and other fields of culture and humanities.

Participants will be selected based on their application. Please submit your application before 9 October, 2019.
Successful applicants will be contacted by email with payment instructions on or before 11 October, 2019.


The organiser reserves the right to change the programme content and speaker. All changes will be announced on the website. Overseas participants are responsible for their own travel and accommodation expenses.

Ms Cheng (852) 2200 0804,

Adverse Weather Arrangements:
If a black rainstorm warning, or a typhoon signal no. 8 or above is in force 3 hours before the start of an event, the event will be cancelled.

About the Speaker: 

Silvia Bottiroli
Artistic Director of DAS Theatre, the Academy of Theatre and Dance, the Amsterdam University of the Arts


Silvia Bottiroli is a curator, researcher and organiser in performing arts.

She has curated a number of discursive and educational platforms, collaborating with the School of Visual Theatre in Jerusalem, Homo Novus Festival in Riga, Ghent University in Ghent and research platform “Aleppo” in Brussels.

She was the artistic director of Santarcangelo Festival between 2012 and 2016. In 2018, she curated the artistic and discursive programme “The May Events” in KunstenFestivalDesArts in Brussels and Vooruit in Ghent. Since 2011, she has taught Methodology, Critique and Research in the Arts at Bocconi University in Milan. From September 2018, she has been the Artistic Director of DAS Theatre in Amsterdam.

Silvia obtained her PhD in Visual and Performing Arts at the Pisa University.

About the Moderators: 

Janice Poon Sze-wan
Senior Lecturer (Playwriting and Dramaturgy) and Academic Project Officer, School of Drama, The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts

Janice Poon Sze-wan

Janice Poon Sze-wan is a Senior Lecturer (Playwriting and Dramaturgy) and Academic Project Officer in the School of Drama at The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts. She is also the Artistic Director of Hong Kong Dramatists and a veteran theatre artist and cultural practitioner engaged in cross disciplinary playwriting, directing, dramaturgy, curating and theatre making, focusing on play development and text-based cross-disciplinary and cross-cultural theatre. Her work is heavily loaded with socio-political issues and concerns, and has been recognised with the Asian Cultural Council Lee Hysan Foundation Fellowship and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the British Government’s Chevening Scholarship. Devoted to cultural exchange between Hong Kong and the international theatre scene, Janice has been a resident artist at The Lark Play Development Center in New York and the Odin Teatret in Holstebro, Denmark, and is a frequent speaker and facilitator at international theatre conferences and festivals. Her works have been presented in major cities in Europe, the US, China and other regions in Asia. And Then, I Float (2013) was recognised with four major awards, nominated for the best play award at the Hong Hong Theatre Libre, and invited as part of a cultural exchange project at the Schillertage festival in Mannheim, Germany (2015). Small Waisted (2016) won the Multi-cultural Short Plays Competition organised by the International Theatre Institute of UNESCO.

Low Kee Hong
Head of Theatre, Performing Arts, West Kowloon 

Low Kee Hong

As Head of Theatre, Performing Arts at the West Kowloon, Low Kee Hong is responsible for formulating the district’s artistic direction and strategies for drama and theatre arts. In this role, Low has overseen the launch and co-presentation of a number of projects and programmes that engage in new discussion and discourse around contemporary modes of creation. These include Hong Kong’s first International Workshop Festival of Theatre; a three-year programme on new directions in scenography (“What is Stage”); a three-year programme on dramaturgy (“Dramaturgy and Beyond”); international residency programmes with partners in Scotland, New Zealand and Australia; new commissions with international festivals, such as Samson Young’s One or Two Stories or Both with the Manchester International Festival, Teatro de los Sentidos and Tang Shu Wing’s Our Death Won’t Hurt Anybody – Freely inspired by The Art of War by Sunzi (Part 1) with GREC Festival Barcelona; and West Kowloon’s first original Cantonese musical The Great Pretender featuring Cantonese opera elements.