top of page

Children as agents
in Early Years Theatre practice


Our main goal is to research a set of beliefs connected with agency practice among Early Years Theatre practitioners and secondly, to describe shared beliefs about children’s agency behind artistic practice. In general, the project will be focused on the mentalities (worldviews) of artists and professionals artistically and institutionally involved in the performative, artistic creative process.

The research is a part of Building Collective Resilience Project.

Project description

There are many different concepts of agency. The most common terms in the research literature are: “subjectivity”, “agency”, “identity”, “self-identity” and “self-consciousness”; these terms are sometimes treated synonymously or completely separately. It seems that in relation to children (including the youngest), the most prominent categories are related to “legal subjectivity” (in the context of the 1959 Declaration of the Rights of the Child and the 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child) and to the “identity” in the context of biology and developmental psychology.

Despite the fact that they are reaching a fundamental dimension of agency, the above-mentioned concepts are also reductive and define only a part of the intellectual framework of artistic practice. We believe that there are definitely many more ideas to explore: based on pedagogical, artistic and aesthetic, political or philosophical concepts, and - especially with regard to artistic practice itself - where the child's  agency is not only increasingly emphasized but sometimes also gains an emancipatory dimension.

Research Team


Paweł Gałkowski

Doctor of philosophy, researcher, project coordinator. For almost ten years associated with the theatre for the youngest. Member of the Board of Directors of the Small Size Network. President of the Management Board of the Art Fraction Foundation, Polish non-governmental organization focused in the field of art and culture for the youngest children and socially engaged projects. Over the last decade, he has collaborated with artists, cultural institutions and organizations from Poland and many countries around the world. His research interests are related to the philosophy of culture and the methodology of the humanities. Since 2021  associated with Adam Mickiewicz University (Project Support Centre).

michelle 2021 (1)-modified.jpg

Michelle Guerra Adame

Director, producer and teacher. Master's in Arts at Universidad Autónoma de Baja California with a focus on the Methodology of the theater directing process for children from 0 to 3 years old. Since 2005 founder and director of Colectivo de Teatro en Espiral. Director of the festivals: Semana de Teatro para Niñas y Niños Baja California "Ray Garduño" and Encuentro Internacional de Artes Escénicas para los Primeros Años: Infancia, Territorio de Paz.

Since 2009  Professor of the Degree of Theater at the Faculty of Arts of the Universidad Autónoma de Baja California (UABC). She is a founding member of VINCULAR, the Latin American Network of Stage Creation for the Early Years and a member of the board of directors of Small Size Network  and a member of Red Miradas México. Since 2018 she is a member of the National System of Art Creators in México.


Sara Myrberg

Author, creator and actor in the field of theatre for the youngest audience 0-6 years. Member since the 80s, and Artistic director of Teater Tre Stockholm 2010-2021.

Now an independent artist. Performances Halli hallo (2005) 2-4 years, Blocks (2010) 3-6 years and Good night sleep tight (2013) has toured all over the world.

Two shows are created for babies 6- 18 months, Bubbla (2008) and Bo (2018).

Education: Ballet Academy, Stockholm and programme for Mime acting, Uniarts Stockholm

A Master's in acting at Uniarts, Stockholm with a focus on the actor and the youngest audience will be finished in the spring of 23.

Member of Small Size Network's board and member of Assitej Sweden.


Michał Wendland

Professor at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, working at Philosophical Faculty, Department of the Philosophy of Politics and Communication, member of Polish Association of Social Communication and International Communication Association. Fields of research: philosophy of language and philosophy of Enlightenment. Selected papers: Communication and Constructivism (2011), Anti-psychologism in Wittgenstein’s Philosophy and Theories of Communication (2013), Controversy over the Transmission Communication Model (2013), Philosophical and Methodological Foundations of the History of Communication (2014), The Idea of the History of Communication (2015), What is Reflexive Historicizing of Communication? (2016), Isaiah Berlin’s Paradoxes (2020), Natural Law in the Field of Radical Enlightenment (2020).


Michał Wanke

Michał Wanke is a sociologist based in Poland at the University of Opole. His research focuses on stigmatized and underrepresented groups of people who use drugs and people who migrate. He applies a variety of methods, including mixed and qualitative, also participatory or arts-based. He got his doctoral degree from Jagiellonian University in Krakow and now is a leader of the Diversity and Migration Lab of the European Universities FORTHEM Alliance. Michal works at the Department of Cultural Studies and teaches in English in Public Communication and Master of Liberal Arts. He taught or had invited talks at Academies of Fine Arts in Poland, conducted courses in several universities in America, Asia and Europe.


Piotr Kędziora

Cultural studies scholar (PhD) affiliated in the Institute of Cultural Studies, Adam Mickiewicz University.


His research focuses on the music and issues related to the idea of listening as a cultural practice. The author of articles on cultural studies, media studies, digital culture and anthropology of music, Professional web application developer and graphic designer focused on the concept of the scientific data visualization.

Web Design and Graphic Design Professional Trainer, the author of the scholary course "Web design for the humanists".

Contact: Paweł Gałkowski PhD

ASSITEJ International is the beneficiary of the European Union funding, working alongside the Small Size Network as an affiliated partner.

bottom of page