Professor O’Connor is the Director of the Centre for Arts and Social Transformation and researches the possibilities for the arts to create more socially just and equitable worlds. Internationally recognised in applied theatre and drama education, Peter has made theatre in prisons, psychiatric hospitals, earthquake zones such as Christchurch and Mexico city, and with the homeless. Peter's most recent research includes multi and interdisciplinary studies on the creative pedagogies and the arts, the nature of embodied learning, and the pedagogy of surprise. He has received many awards for his lifelong contributions to drama education and social justice, including the Arts Access Creative New Zealand Community Arts Award and the President's Award by Drama New Zealand in 2020.
Passions and Projects
Peter recently led the development of Te Rito Toi, an online resource used around the world to support the return to schools during COVID 19 by using an arts and well-being approach. Beyond his passions for creative pedagogies and the arts, Peter enjoys surfing, researching genealogy, and tai chi.