2018/19 Ada Slaight Drama in Education Award
Recipient: Abigail Shabtay
Abigail’s research, teaching, and community work focus heavily on the use of drama-based methods for examining young people’s experiences and promoting children’s rights. Abigail has taught undergraduate and graduate students at McGill University, Ryerson University, and the University of Toronto (OISE) in a variety of subject areas, including drama education, creative arts for early childhood, research methods and applications, arts in educational contexts, and children’s rights. She has been involved in several research projects and artistic endeavours involving children and youth, and, in addition to the Ada Slaight Drama-in-Education Research Award, has been awarded the McGill Dean’s Award, the Jackie Kirk Fieldwork Support Fellowship, and several grants for community and cultural projects.
Abigail’s Doctoral research examines the use of participatory play-building in examining connections between social justice issues, and young people’s academic experiences. Abigail’s research interests include: children’s rights, youth-led initiatives, and drama-based participatory action research. Abigail’s research has been published in several academic journals, including Canadian Art Teacher (2017), NJ: Drama Australia (2017), The Qualitative Report (2018), Journal of LGBT Youth (in press), and Qualitative Research Journal (in press). She enjoys serving the academic and artistic communities as an organizer of a wide range of conferences and initiatives, including the Children Youth and Performance conference (2018) as conference chair, Provoking Curriculum (2017) as an organizing committee member, and Artful Inquiry Symposium (2016) as Program Chair.
In addition to her academic work, she has worked as the Managing Director of Artucate Canada, a local non-profit organization that empowers young people through arts-based initiatives and participatory action research, and the Program Director of Kids Love Tech, where she advocates for cross-disciplinary learning between the arts and sciences.