About the Institute for Theatre and Social Change:
The USC/SDA Institute for Theatre and Social Change (ITSC) focuses on expressive and interactive arts relative to education, therapy, and social justice. To meet the needs of a more complex culture, the practice of theatre and social change must expand to include new platforms of artistic expression which interrupt dominant power structures to create the conditions for liberation, transformation, and democratic engagement. A deep investigation of how expressive art can interrogate cultural narratives of racism and racial oppression is a primary focus of the institute. Equity, diversity, and inclusion are more than institutional buzz words, they are being widely targeted and threatened in the current socio-political climate. The ITSC provides a research and development forum for best practices of interactive dramatic art that disrupts this oppression and engages communities in meaningful dialogue for social change. The interdisciplinary collaboration of dramatic arts, fine arts, and media offers a more powerful creative weapon for such critical times.
ITSC at the School of Dramatic Arts hosts ongoing collaborations with other arts schools and disciplines devoted to social change to invite a more prominent vigorous interdisciplinary and intersectional conversation on campus. ITSC hosts annual conferences with international practitioners and scholars in the field, produce critical papers exploring the efficacy and trends of this work, and provide training and networking opportunities for local, national, and international organizations dedicated to the expressive arts and social change.
In the words of poet Toni Cade Bambara, “The role of art is to make the revolution irresistible.” ITSC is an ongoing critical cultural dialogue between artists, academics, healers, activists, and community organizers from a wide range of practices and perspectives to understand how theatre, as a tool for social change, can better attain this irresistible goal.
The Institute for Theatre and Social Change seeks to meet the needs of a more complex culture by rigorously exploring how the practice of community-based theatre is expanding to include new platforms of artistic expression which interrupt dominant power structures to create challenging social and civic dialogues through the medium of expressive art.