Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


Community theater-Sociological aspects, Social change, Social justice, San Francisco Mime Troupe, Sins Invalid (San Francisco, Calif.), Outlook Community Theatre Project, Theatre, Performance


This qualitative, exploratory study was designed to examine social change theater program participants' perspectives on the connection between their participation and their perceived capacity to create systemic social change. The research pursued the following questions: 1) How has participation in social change theatre affected the participants' sense of agency to create collective social change at the macro level; 2) What do participants perceive as their impact on systemic social change in relation to their participation in social change theater? 3) How do participants perceive the interaction of change at the level of the macro with change they may have experienced on the levels of the meso (for example, level of community, shift in group dynamics and mutual support) and the micro (for example, emotional well-being, personal sense of agency, values and beliefs) in relationship to their involvement in social change theater? This research included fourteen semi-structured interviews with individuals who are members of three social change oriented theater/performance programs. The Findings revealed several themes about the perspectives of participants of social change theater projects. The majority of participants reported that they felt transformed by their involvement in their respective projects and that their groups have a transformative impact on other people whose lives are touched by their groups' work. Additionally, the findings suggest that social change theater may play an important role in building the capacity of communities to effect social change at a macro level.




iv, 104 p. Thesis (M.S.W.)-Smith College School for Social Work, Northampton, Mass., 2010. Includes bibliographical references (p. 92-93)