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Project title

It’s Coming Together – PLAYStrong!

Research, Stories, Music, Food, Laughter, Community

Celebrating PLAYStrong – Mental Health and Interactive Prototypes for Self-Learning


Friday, Dec.1, 2023, 6-8pm


Fields Institute for Research in the Mathematical Sciences

222 College Street, Toronto


Hosted by the ArtSci Salon.

Co-produced in collaboration with the Digital Dramaturgy Labsquared (DDL2) and the Interactive Media Lab (IML).

EVENT Organizers and Supporters
Concept: Antje Budde
Lead organizers: Roberta Buiani, Antje Budde, Mark Chignell
Tech collaborators: Don Sinclair, Olivia Shortt, Antje Budde, You Zhi Hu
Event peer support: Nina Czegledy
Event student support: You Zhi Hu and Yifei Zhou

EVENT Program

Space 1
5.50pm Meet and Greet, Food&Beverages
6.00pm Smudging ceremony led by Candy Otsíkh:èta Blair

6.10pm Music/disruption 1 by Olivia Shortt
6.20pm Welcome by Roberta Buiani, Antje Budde and Mark Chignell
6.25pm Short research stories by
- Don Sinclair, Computational artist and collaborator - York U.
- You Zhi Hu, Research assistant, doctoral student - U of T
- Rahul Bhat, Resiliency Lead and Learning Strategist - U of T
- Evan Moritz, Research assistant, doctoral student - U of T
- Tanya Humeniuk, Project intern, MA (now doctoral) student - U of T
- Ohryong Kwon, Research assistant, undergraduate student (now graduated) - U of T - video message
- Thais Holanda, Project intern, undergraduate student (now graduated) - U of T
- Powrnika Kugathasan, Project intern, undergraduate student  - U of T

6.40pm Music/disruption 2 by Olivia Shortt
6.50pm Short research stories by
- Gustavo Sol, Interactive theatre artist and collaborator - Centro Universitario Belas -Artes de Sao Paulo (FEBASP) - Zoom
- Ethan Persyko, Project intern, undergraduate student - U of T
- Candy Otsíkh:èta Blair, Multidisciplinary artist and collaborator
- Yizhou Zhang, Research assistant, doctoral student - U of T
- Renusha Athugala, Game designer and collaborator - RMIT Vietnam - video message

- Danielle Lottridge, Human Factors Engineer - University of Auckland - Zoom
- Sebastian Samur, Post-doctoral fellow 2021-23 - U of T - text message
- Joy Tanner, Actor, labor activist and collaborator

7.15pm Music/disruption 3 by Olivia Shortt
7.30pm Chatting, making connections, relaxing

Space 2
PLAYStrong video projection by Antje Budde
VR installation "Forestbathing" by You Zhi Hu


In the Fall of 2021 the Digital Dramaturgy Labsquared (DDL2) was awarded the interdisciplinary XSEED grant in collaboration with the Interactive Media Lab, U of T. This was followed in 2023 by an inaugural INLIGHT research award through the recently established INLIGHT Student Mental Health Research.


Our PLAYStrong research project investigated opportunities and potentials for creative, performance-based, interactive and participatory learning (inspired by Brechtian concepts of learning plays) in support of everyday student mental health and wellbeing, focussed on prevention, awareness, playful self-discovery and solidarity.

XSEED contributors:

Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering

Faculty of Arts and Science

Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering

Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies

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Interactive Media Lab

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