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What is IDEA's response to Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak?

As advised via email the IDEA Elected Officers have developed a strategy to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak and its impact on planning and preparation for IDEA2020 Congress scheduled for Beijing, July 5-9, 2020.

There are five parts to this strategy:

  1.  Continue to build inclusive support for Drama Education in China showing solidarity and support for IDEC and drama educators
  2.  Transform IDEA through building a stronger on-line presence
  3.  Use technology to create and sustain three on-line/webinar events in 2020 as part of that transformational strategy
  4.  Strengthen regional events and partner with already planned events, linking them to on-line identity and branding
  5. Advance the planning for an IDEA Congress in July 2022 in Reykjavík hosted by FLISS, IDEA’s member from Iceland.

In practical terms, this means that the IDEA Congress planned for July 2020 will not go ahead. Even if the outbreak is brought under control, many people will not or will not be able to travel. Our focus therefore is on a response using technology such as webinars and strengthening regional links.

We will also focus on IDEA2022 Congress in Iceland. 

Check the IDEA web site and also the IDEA FaceBook Page for updates

Planning for IDEA using webinar technology
Use technology to create and sustain three on-line/webinar events in 2020 as part of that transformational strategy

At the heart of this strategy is developing IDEA communications and technology such as a webinar tool to provide ongoing IDEA activity during 2020 and 2021. The shape of this on-line activity is preliminary and some emerging ideas include:

  • hosting at least  three online/webinar events: notionally in April/May, July/August and September/October (specific dates and focus topics to be shared when planning is further progressed.
  • these on-line events will include some elements from the planning of a congress but will not be a full congress program. We anticipate that there will be keynotes and academic papers. Unless we can resolve issues, we do not anticipate that there will be workshops of practice or performance unless a creative problem solving approach using technology can be found. Special Interest Groups may be organised.
  • We will work with IDEC to invite some of those who made expressions of interest for IDEA2020 to participate in the July/August event.
  • This strategy will maintain the IDEA spirit and provide opportunities for people from China to participate in the wider drama/theatre education community.
  • The webinar system allows people to register and pay for attendance and to access recordings after an event. 

Overview: IDEA proposes three events in 2020



An initial short one-day event – test drive the technology and appetite for on-line webinar based events.


10 years since the Seoul Agenda



A longer - multi-day event. Aligned with the original dates of the IDEA2020 Congress


Developing Drama Education in the Asia region



A short one-day event.


Drama education and the brain Understanding brain science research on drama education.

Webinar Technology

There is technology for running webinars of scale from the same company that IDEA uses for ZOOM Meetings.

What is a Webinar?

Webinars (web seminars) are video presentations and workshops hosted online and accessed remotely from computers/phones/etc. by audiences and members. There is capacity for on-line registration and payment. While usually “live” at time of presentation they can also be recorded and reviewed on demand to those who register.

A Webinar is scheduled In much the same way that a ZOOM Meeting is scheduled. What is different is that in a ZOOM Meeting everyone can talk and see and share documents. In a webinar, the flow of information is between interactive participants and the host and this is streamed to the attendee audience who can interact by asking questions via text and participating in polls. 

There are issues with Webinars in managing time zones (as we know from our ZOOM meetings). But you can also time shift presentations through recordings. 

The advantages of using this system (which is one of many) is that the system is relatively stable and widely available to anyone with a device – laptop, tablet, phone, computer with Internet access. We are familiar with using it. It is easy to manage participants (attendee/audience) and have them pay to participate. There is security and privacy. Afterwards it is possible to review information about who participated and how they did so.

Strengthen regional events and partner with already planned events, linking them to on-line identity and branding

IDEA is calling for expressions of interest from IDEA members who wish to give a regional perspective to their scheduled or planned events.

Please contact the IDEA Secretary if you can support this initiative

Solidarity and support for IDEC and drama educators

IDEA is committed to supporting IDEC and the growth of drama education in China. 

IDEA Congress July 3-8 2022 in Reykjavík hosted by FLISS, IDEA’s member from Iceland

Watch for news of the planning for this event.

General Meeting of Council

As required by the IDEA Constitution, a General Council Meeting was scheduled for the IDEA2020 Congress in Beijing. 

This now will need to happen at another time and in another place during 2020 or early in 2021.

IDEA invites expressions of interest about hosting this event.

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