Theatre for Change is a project of the CIIS Drama Therapy Program. The aim of the project is to educate and raise consciousness about diversity at CIIS (and beyond); to give voice and representation to people of color and LGBTQ people; to invite dialogue at CIIS about oppression, privilege, equality, and alliance; and to encourage our audiences to fight injustice on personal, institutional, and societal levels. 

In Fall 2018 a new troupe presented Consent, Dissent, Reinvent. This performance confronts sexual harassment and assault, and the power structures that have perpetuated the oppression of women. The piece explores how the MeToo movement impacts people across the non-binary gender spectrum as well as those who are racially marginalized, and how the movement prompts a revisiting of past experiences of being violated or of acting in complicity. With humor and creativity, the piece also examines consent, communication, and sexuality, and playfully tackles the commercialization of political correctness. Ultimately the piece insists on deep listening to stories of survivors, on compassion, accountability, and standing up against injustice.

Seven performers on stage looking forward

Theatre for ChangeTheatre for Change performance pieces grow out of improvisation; methods of drama therapy, self-revelatory performance, educational theatre, and Theatre of the Oppressed; listening to stories within the group and in the Institute; and a lot of dialogue. Each original theatre piece is collectively developed by the troupe and director/s.

Theatre for Change 2

Theatre for Change 2012: "In Transit: Braking at the Intersections" from CIIS Drama Therapy on Vimeo.

Titles of TfC performances include: Scene/Unseen; Acts of Resilience; In Transit: Braking at the Intersections; Speaking Up - Standing OUT; and Don't Rock the Boat. In addition to performances at CIIS, a number of productions were performed at the North American Drama Therapy Association conference (NADTA) including Scene/Unseen, Acts of Resilience, and Don't Rock the Boat. Edited DVDs of these Theatre for Change shows are available for purchase.

In 2012, the NADTA honored Theatre for Change with the Raymond Jacobs Memorial Diversity Award in recognition of outstanding dedication to diversity in the field of drama therapy.

Audience Responses (taken from feedback forms)

"Seemingly ‘unplayable' topics (race, cultural responsibility, historical trauma) played out through beautiful personal narratives."

"Engaging, disturbing, compelling... A further reminder to look beyond, take the time, and challenge assumptions."

"Wonderful, evocative, honest, challenging. It brought us into a more open, vulnerable, and honest dialogue."

"It restored my faith in humanity."

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