Charles Sturt University
Charles Sturt University

Dr Soseh Yekanians

Dr Soseh Yekanians

AdvDipArts(Acting) The Australian Academy of Dramatic Art, GradCert(PA) The Atlantic Theater Company Acting School, New York, BPerf The Australian Academy of Dramatic Art, PhD WAAPA, NZCATT New Zealand Certificate in Adult and Tertiary Teaching Ara Institute of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand

Profile

Soseh is a graduate from the Australian Academy of Dramatic Art in Sydney with an Advanced Diploma in Arts (Acting) and a Bachelor of Performance. In 2005 she was invited to the Atlantic Theater Company Acting School in New York, where she completed the 2-Year Professional Conservatory Acting Program in Practical Aesthetics.

Returning to Australia and fostering her passion for the performing arts, in 2012 she was awarded an Australian Postgraduate Award Scholarship to embark on a Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD) at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) in Perth. Her practice-led research titled, ‘Creatively Pursuing Persona: Finding Identity through Directing’, investigated how theatre directing and the performing arts could provide a culturally displaced individual with a sense of identity and belonging. Her practice-led study, which resulted in an exegesis and two components of an original creative work, specifically provided new insights into how theatre directing allows an individual to (re)discover their identity through leadership in a non-judgmental forum and how the theatre as a space for communal exchanges and conversations can initiate dialogue about cultural differences.

Following her doctorate, a major career highlight has been the publication of Soseh’s children’s literature book, ‘The Special Team Elite’. The story is derived from her own upbringing in Australia and explores her real and fantastical experiences growing up as a culturally displaced individual within a world, which, at times, can be unforgiving of ‘the other’. Recently, Soseh’s revised thesis, ‘ Finding Identity through Directing’ was recognised by world leading academic publisher Routledge and is set for global publication in 2020.

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Teaching

Having started her career in theatre at aged six, over the years whilst following her various creative endeavours, Soseh has primarily developed a strong teaching base working as an acting teacher, director and theatre educator for performing arts institutions and elite talent agencies both in Australia and overseas.

Soseh lectures within the School of Communication and Creative Industries and teaches subjects in Theatre/Media.

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Research

As a researcher-director, Soseh is fascinated with the idea of ‘performing belonging and identity on stage’ and therefore, is interested in how performance as a cultural phenomenon can help break down harmful stereotypes and through the transparency of theatre, offer cross-cultural exchange that develop and empower an individual’s sense of (re)discovery of identity.

During her doctorate, her research focused on understandings of 'Self' and identity formation with specific reference to theatre and directing, with a keen interest in how cultural stereotypes manifested in individuals through the pressures of society and how these stereotypes were/are performed via theatrical representations onstage.

As a Persian-Armenian-Australian who has personally experienced cultural displacement Soseh is fascinated with how theatre and art more generally speaks to this sense of (dis)location. Through the performing arts how might individuals (re)discover their sense of belonging and home? Moreover, looking towards the future, especially through globalization, the speed of information and technology enabling the collapse of national borders/boundaries and the embracing of 'multiculturalism', the potential for breaking down these discrimination margins becomes possible and if so, what role does theatre and performance play?

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Professional Memberships

  • Australasian Association for Theatre, Drama and Performance Studies(ADSA), Sydney, Australia (2015–current)
  • Armenian Dramatic Arts Alliance, New York, United States (2004–-current)
  • Armenian-Australian Theatre Association Network ‘Nor Pem’, Sydney, Australia
  • (2002–current)

Research Contributions and Community Engagement

  • Artstate Bathurst, ‘Education, Arts and Community’ panellist. Bathurst Memorial Entertainment Centre (BMEC), 2018.
  • Artstate Bathurst, ‘In the Regions: Making an Artistic Living’ moderator. Bathurst Memorial Entertainment Centre (BMEC), 2018.
  • Guest international director at the Christchurch International Musical Theatre Summer School (CIMTSS), Christchurch, New Zealand, 2018
  • ‘Acting for Music Theatre’ workshop, Cashmere High School, Christchurch, New Zealand (Outreach), 2017
  • ‘How to Smash an Audition’, NASDA Theatre, Christchurch, New Zealand (Outreach), 2017
  • Music Theatre workshop, Grammar School and Robert Dil, Auckland, New Zealand (Outreach), 2017
  • NSW Justice of the Peace, Registration number 219053, 2017-current
  • Peer reviewed for Social Alternatives Journal special edition on Community, Performance and Intervention. Editors Dr Natalie Lazaroo and Dr Sarah Peters. Australia, March 2017
  • Chairwoman for So Keen Productions, Christchurch, New Zealand, 2017
  • Judge for Ara Institute of Canterbury’s ‘Pitch Your Project’, Research Week, Christchurch, New Zealand, 2017
  • Guest international director at the Christchurch International Musical Theatre Summer School (MiniCIMTSS), Christchurch, New Zealand, 2017
  • Post Graduate Representative Australasian Association for Theatre, Drama and Performance Studies, (ADSA), Australia, 2015-2017
  • Acting Workshop, St Andrews College, Christchurch, New Zealand (Outreach), 2016
  • Keynote speaker at the Yerevan Institute of Theatre and Cinematography, ‘Finding Identity through performance’, Yerevan, Armenia, 2015
  • Australian Affiliate for the Armenian Dramatic Arts Alliance, New York, United States, 2005-current
  • Executive Board Member of the Armenian-Australian Theatre Association Network ‘Nor Pem’, 2013-current

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Publications

Orcid ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3286-1468

Conference Contributions

AusAct: The Australian Actor Training Conference,‘When You Cry You Really Cry: Playing with Actors Emotions’, Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga, 2018.

AusAct: The Australian Actor Training Conference, ‘The Alba Technique: Playing with the Effector Patterns of Emoting’. Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga, 2018.

Australasian Association for Theatre, Drama and Performance Studies (ADSA), ‘Playing with Emotions: The Changing Responsibilities and Realities of Actor training in Australia’, Victorian College of Arts, Melbourne, 2018.

Australasian Association for Theatre, Drama and Performance Studies (ADSA), ‘The Special Team Elite: A (Re)Presentation of Displacement and Belonging in the Context of Diaspora through Creative Narrative, Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand, 2017.

Australasian Association for Theatre, Drama and Performance Studies (ADSA), ‘Changing the Face of Racism in Australia: An Intracultural Approach to the Exchanges that Occur in the Theatre’, Sydney University, Sydney, 2015.

CREATEC Symposium, ‘Creatively Pursuing Persona: Finding Identity through Directing’, Edith Cowan University, Perth, 2013.

Three Minute Thesis (3MT) Competition Finalist, Edith Cowan University, Perth, Australia, 2013.

CREATEC Symposium, ‘Crossing the Atlantic: Practical Aesthetics for the Director’, Edith Cowan University, Perth, 2012. Three Minute Thesis (3MT) Competition Finalist, Edith Cowan University, Perth, Australia, 2012.

Three Minute Thesis (3MT) Competition Finalist, Edith Cowan University, Perth, Australia, 2012.

Discussion Papers

Yekanians, S. (2016). ‘The Sound of Musicals in Christchurch: Innovation and risk-taking in traditional theatre spaces’. Christchurch, New Zealand.

Book Publications

Yekanians, S. (2017). The Special Team Elite. Austin Macaulay Publishers Ltd. London, United Kingdom.

Featured Articles

Yekanians, S (2018). ‘Why it’s time to end the culture of bullying on reality TV’. The Conversation, Australia. 18 September 2018.

Creative Publications

‘The F Word’ (2018). Greenwich Community Centre, Sydney, Australia. 21 July 2018.

‘Songs for a New World’ (2017). So Keen Productions and Christchurch City Council. The Great Hall. 12-16 July 2017. Accepted for Office of Research, Ara Institute of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand.

‘Mad Forest’ (2016). National Academy of Singing and Dramatic Art (NASDA). NASDA Theatre. 24-30 June 2016. Accepted for Office of Research, Ara Institute of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand.

Ragtime’ (2016).National Academy of Singing and Dramatic Art (NASDA). Christchurch Arts Centre, The Gym Theatre. 1-4 September 2016. Accepted for Office of Research, Ara Institute of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand.

‘‘The Special Team Elite’ (2015).The Spectrum Project Space, Edith Cowan University, Perth. Accepted for Office of Research and Innovation, Edith Cowan University, Perth, Australia.

‘Uncle Jack’ (2014). Enright Theatre. 22 April- 10 May 2014, WAAPA, Perth. Accepted for Office of Research and Innovation, Edith Cowan University, Perth, Australia.

‘No Worries’ (2013).Enright Theatre, WAAPA, Perth. 4-9 May 2013. Accepted for Office of Research and Innovation, Edith Cowan University, Perth, Australia.  ‘Lifted!’ (2013). The Kitchen Sink Collective, Perth Fringe Festival. 13-17 February 2013. Accepted for Office of Research and Innovation, Edith Cowan University, Perth, Australia.

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