Elvira Crois

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Elvira Crois is Assistant Professor and postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Educational Sciences at Vrije Universiteit Brussel. Their research focuses on worldmaking within and via participatory arts and playful education for social change. In 2023, Elvira started a research project on aesthetic learning strategies for climate change education. They examine aesthetic strategies used in participatory performance on climate change to support education geared towards transforming the cultural dimension of climate change, i.e. people’s attitudes and behaviour towards a sustainable future for Earth.

In 2022, Elvira completed a joint PhD in Theatre and Intermedia (University of Antwerp) and Adult Educational Sciences (Vrije Universiteit Brussel) with the doctoral thesis ‘Holding [ a Conversation with ] the Situation. The Performer’s Tactical Ability and the Aesthetic Affect of Audience Participation’. The research examined performer training in participatory performing arts to better understand how the abilities of the performer affect the aesthetics of audience participation. Through an accompanying approach (i.e. a participatory research method) and the theoretical framework of theatre genetics (i.e. the study of the creative process-) the project investigated participatory performing arts, including the work of Katrien Oosterlinck (BE) (www.spatie.info), Seppe Baeyens (BE) (leon.dance) and Sarah John (AU/DK) (art-of-listening.org).

In 2022-2023, Elvira coordinates together with Marieke Breyne the community of practice 'Worldmaking: Crafting Cultures With and For Young People', funded by Erasmus+ Youth in Action (JINT vzw). This interdisciplinary project gathers practitioners from participatory arts, arts educators, and social justice to explore the interplay between rules and values in the process of worldmaking. Project partners: Destelheide (BE), De Veerman (BE), spatie/Katrien Oosterlinck (BE), Coney/The Young Coneys (UK), Art of Listening (DK), Keur Eskemm (FR).

From 2015-2017 they worked as a socio-cultural worker at Gemeenschapscentrum De Kriekelaar in Schaarbeek, Brussels. Since 2017 Elvira has taken up the role as assessor of Erasmus+ youth projects for the national agency JINT. Elvira is part of Apaya Network, a European network of young researchers who explore the poetics of sensorial theatre. Furthermore they are an organising member of the interuniversity doctoral course “What does it mean to be a researcher in 21st century Academia?” and from 2018-2020 co-president of the informal body of doctoral students of the department of literature.


  • Crois, E. & De Backer, Free (2022) ‘Unravelling Tacit Participation Strategies of Arts Education via Game Mechanics’, Presented at iJADE Conference 2022, 11-13 November '22
  • Crois, E. & De Backer, Free (2022) ‘Tacit Knowledges of Tactical Ability’, Presented at TaPRA Performer Training Working Group ‘Passing it On: Genealogies and Legacies of Training’, University of Essex, 12-14 September '22
  • Crois, E. (2021) 'Holding [a Conversation with] the Situation: The Performer’s Tactical Ability in Participatory Performance' Presented at International Conference: The Makings of the Actor: Embodiment in Acting Practice, CISPA, 23 October-24 October '21.
  • Crois, E. (2021) 'A Macrogenetic Approach to Study Participatory Performance' Presented at IFTR 2022, National University of Ireland, 12-16 July '21.
  • Crois, E. (2021) 'Attending to Dissatunement: a Performer’s Craft in Participatory Performing Arts' Presented at The Makings of the Actor: Rhythm in Acting and Performance Conference, the Michael Cacoyiannis Foundation, the Labanarium, Leeds Conservatoire and Hellinoekdotiki, 26-28 March '21.


  • Crois, Elvira (2022) 'A Queer Curation of Audience Participation' Peripeti 19(35): 83-96
  • Crois, Elvira (2020) 'Responsible combodying: the intelligence of discomfort in guiding interactive performance' Research in Drama Education 25(3): 405-421
  • Crois, Elvira (2019) 'Bearing Collective Learning Processes: An Inquiry into Commoning Knowledge' In B. Custers, L. Marin, J. Masschelein, H. Schildermans, M. Simons, J. Vlieghe & G. H. Kuen Wong (Eds.) Reclaiming Study Practices. Paper presented at Reclaiming Study Practices. Philosophy and Theory of Higher Education Conference, KU leuven, Leuven, 18-20 September 2019 (pp. 69-73).
  • Crois, Elvira (2019) 'In Dissensus, We Trust: Prototyping Social Relationships in Participatory Theatre' In B. Tejerina, C. Miranda de Almeida & I. Perugorría (Eds.) Sharing Society. The Impact of Collaborative Collective Actions in the Transformation of Contemporary Societies. Paper presented at Sharing Society. The Impact of Collaborative Collective Actions in the Transformation of Contemporary Societies, Universidad del País Vasco/Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea, Bilbao, 23-24 May 2019 (pp. 320-331).Servicio Editorial de la Universidad del País Vasco (UPV/EHU)

External positions

PhD Candidate, University of Antwerp

Oct 2017Sep 2022


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