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Center for Applied Theatre

The Center for Applied Theatre uses techniques based on those developed by Nobel Peace Prize nominee, theatre director, and activist Augusto Boal, to assist groups to examine attitudes and habits, invite open dialogue, develop creativity, identify problems and actively test solutions for real life implementation. Our programs and workshops release potential in individuals while building group cohesion and promoting positive cultural change.

This month started with a bang – our last day of our Milwaukee Public School residencies was June 1st. The school year finished with Forum Theatre performances about the experiences of recent immigrants and refugees, and the “publication” of 3 graphic storybooks about school issues. We learned so much from the 4th-8th grade students with whom we worked about how to contextualize and modify TO techniques to make them accessible and useful to young people. We were able to share some of what we learned at the PTO conference in Indiana, PA June 7-10 during our workshop “Paving the Way – Using Non-TO Activities with TO to Provide a Context for Youth Engagement and Exploration of Community and Identity.”

Less than a week later Mark was hard at work with Optimist Theatre designing our Shakespeare Inspires summer workshop series, which uses a 5 minute adaptation of King Lear’s response to his daughters and the Fools’ response to him (mixing language styles and even a rap version of a country song) to introduce issues of sibling rivalry, self-advocacy, knee-jerk responses, lying, etc. to young people for exploration through our One-Line Play techniques. We just got a grant with Optimist to expand the summer pilot program during the school year – so we’re already rolling towards September.

We are always looking for new opportunities to serve educational institutions, NGOs, and activist groups as they develop progressive programs to transform themselves and their communities. As a 501c3 organization, we are happy to participate in grant writing to fund new projects! Feel free to contact us if you have any suggestions or would like us to offer some workshops at your location.

Applied Theatre Programs…

CLARIFY OBJECTIVES, BUILD SKILLS AND REHEARSE PRACTICAL ACTION by engaging participants in interactive theatre techniques and exercises to examine issues, plan actions, and practice strategies to become active participants in transformation.

DEVELOP COMMUNITY, INVITE OPEN DIALOGUE, AND FOSTER EXCHANGE OF IDEAS in a stimulating and supportive environment. Working together, participants recognize old habits, develop new responses, and envision positive change.

DEVELOP CREATIVITY while having fun doing whole-brain, whole-body activities which are designed to encourage individual initiative, self-awareness, personal accountability, and flexibility in thought and action.

EMPOWER GROUPS TO SOLVE PROBLEMS by actively exploring issues of concern. Participants imagine and practice ways to improve the communities and institutions in which they live and work.

CENTER for APPLIED THEATRE PROGRAMS transform ideas into action in ways that are challenging and supportive, entertaining and effective. CAT has worked with students, educators, administrators, worker organizations, youth groups, service associations, community centers, social justice activists, NGOs, and others to explore ways in which people can voice their concerns and become peaceful agents of meaningful change.

Let the Center for Applied Theatre design a program that fits your needs. Contact us today!