Jodi Kanter

theatre artist , scholar, educator

Theatre can help us build our future, rather than just waiting for it - Augusto Boal


Theatre for Social Change

For the past ten years, I have been involved in using theatre to strengthen struggling communities. Often, my students are a part of the work. In 2005, I was trained as a facilitator of Theatre of the Oppressed (TO). TO is a system of developing theatre for social change created by Brazilian director Augusto Boal and now widely used both in the U.S. and around the world. The projects I have developed include:

Americans Who Tell the Truth
CommunityWorks NYC / Harlem Arts Alliance, 2005
Directed solo performances of “Americans Who Tell the Truth” for New York opening of portrait show. Audiences included middle and high school students from several Harlem public schools.

The Prison Project
U.S. Medical Center for Federal Prisoners, 2002-2005
Trained advanced theatre students to lead improvisational workshops for inmates with a diagnosis of “Axis II” or Borderline Personality Disorder. The theatre workshops are part of a rehabilitation program, and participants report increased motivation and an enhanced ability to regulate their own moods and behavior.

The Social Work Project
MSU Theatre and MSU Graduate School of Social Work, 2001-2005
Direct theatre students in preparing for and performing extended improvisations of client families for student social workers. Issues addressed include substance abuse, ethnic and sexual diversity, and a range of mental health issues. Both student groups report improved learning in their discipline.

Not Quite Through
SMSU and Community Hospices of the Ozarks, 2002
Guided a company of advanced student writer-directors in the development of a new, one hour play about end of life issues. The performance toured caregiving organizations. At the request of numerous local and regional health care professionals, we are currently adapting the performance for public television.

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