Science to aid Impact and Dissemination The Cohesion Pilot: Collaborative Hub 4 Engagement across arts and Science to aid Impact and Dissemination

"Don’t Smile” - A collaborative pilot theatre production and debate about oral and dental health.

Discover how theatre practitioners, patients, clinicians, students and scientists can collaborate to disseminate oral health knowledge and research findings.

An exciting new partnership between the School of Dentistry, School of Performance and Cultural Industries and nationally acclaimed Theatre of Debate (formerly known as Y Touring) will be taking place between April and June 2016. After successfully securing funding through the Wellcome Trust ISSF, Research Councils UK Catalyst Seed Fund (CSF) and University of Leeds this innovative collaboration will generate a pilot quality but simplified theatre production to showcase the University’s science research.

Recently described by Lisa Jamieson, Head of Engaging Science, Wellcome Trust as ‘one of the most successful and high-quality projects in the Wellcome Trust’s Engaging Science portfolio’, Theatre of Debate works to bring thought-provoking questions around science and human health to schools across the UK.

Students from the School of Performance and Cultural Industries and the School of Dentistry at the University of Leeds will be working alongside theatre director Nigel Townsend, award-winning playwright Judith Johnson and world leading medical researchers to gain skills in collaborative interdisciplinary research and an insight into the world of professional scriptwriting.

Professor Sue Pavitt, Professor in Translational & Applied Health Research and Director of Dental Translational Research Unit, School of Dentistry said,

“The Cohesion pilot is a trail blazer for how we want to deliver the highest quality dissemination of our research at Leeds - triangulating patient involvement, public engagement and educational outreach into an affordable package that might appeal to NIHR, MRC, Wellcome Trust and other funders. It has enhanced the educational experience of our postgraduate students many of who are now planning to incorporate this into their NIHR Fellowship applications.”

“The Cohesion project will drive innovative routes for dissemination and engagement of the University’s world-leading science to local Yorkshire audiences and beyond. The enthusiasm and appetite is there, we need to build on this momentum.”

Alice O’Grady, Head of School of Performance and Cultural Industries said,

“The Cohesion project provides an innovative opportunity for our students to gain experience of working in an interdisciplinary context to generate high-quality theatre and enhance cross-faculty working across the University. It will lay the blueprint for future collaborations between academic units and external partners.”

Rebecca Collins, Teaching Fellow in Contemporary Performance added,

“This presents an excellent opportunity for our students to work with a professional theatre company and turn medical research into a dynamic and engaging performance.”

Nigel Townsend, Artistic Director Theatre of Debate, said

“I have been totally impressed by the standards of the student actors and commitment of the dental students working in close partnership to shape the content and accuracy of the play material. We're definitely up to do this again – it has been an exciting pilot project and forged a strong collaborative link to the University of Leeds.”

An integral part of the project will involve touring to local schools and aims to illustrate the importance of having a healthy smile alongside other oral health issues.

To date the Theatre of Debate’s unique model has involved over 60 scientists and 200 professionals, collaborating to create performance led engagement reaching over a million people. See theatre of debate for further information about the company’s previous projects.

The “Don’t Smile” Pilot Play will Premier on June 10th tickets available through box office or call 0113 343 8730.