CTH6100EN - Community Based Theater

Course description

Builds upon the concept of the collective unconscious and integrates theories, practices, and approaches to community-based theater as a tool for social change and therapeutic change with individuals, groups, and communities. Examines various playback forms, and other forms of transformative drama such as Theater of the Oppressed. Special emphasis on sociodramatic principles. Students will learn various tools for working with groups, including the principles of sociometry and the use of locograms and spectrograms.

How this course benefits students

An introductory survey course that acquaints the student with various forms of community based theatre as well as a basic understanding of theatre for social change. The course builds upon principles learned in Cinematherapy, as Community Theatre is a collective experience. Students evaluate various approaches to community based theatre and implement some of them in their current ministry. The course may fulfill requirements to become a Registered Drama Therapist with the North American Drama Therapy Association.

Why this course is important

This course will explore in greater depth the use of drama therapy to bring about social change. Students who are working with groups or peoples in conflict will learn common approaches to utilizing theatre to heal social rifts. This course may be used as an elective to pursue the Registered Drama Therapist credential with the North American Drama Therapy Association.

Credit hours
3 hours
Subject area
Creative Therapy
Educational level
Learning type
Upcoming terms
* Schedule subject to change. Please contact the Registrar's office with schedule questions.

How this course relates to missional core values

Biblically based

This course will rest on the “one anothers” of scripture (i.e. love one another, forgive one another, encourage one another, pray for one another, etc.) and the idea that human beings were created by God to be social creatures. Where sin issues are present, communities can experience conflict. This course will discuss the principles of community-based theatre as a means of healing broken communities and restoring harmony to groups in conflict.

Missionally driven

The course can be missional in an evangelistic sense but is largely missional in that it it focuses on caretaking. Community-based theatre is an approach that cares about people and communities, thus fulfilling our mission as peacemakers in a conflicted and broken world. (Matthew 5:9, Proverbs 12:20).

Contextually informed

Because community based theatre is a social effort, this course will consider social problems in the context of a collective experience which was initially introduced in Cinematherapy, a prerequisite to this course.

Interculturally focused

By its very nature, drama therapy is interpersonal and therefore, intercultural. One of the primary functions of community based theatre is to heal broken communities and to establish understanding between people of different origins, cultures, and backgrounds.

Practically minded

Community based theatre is a non-clinical approach that can be used in settings such as schools, hospitals, community centers, and churches. Students will be able to bring these skills into these settings to bring about evangelistic results. Unlike clinical therapy, certain drama therapy techniques to not require confidentiality from the participants. This makes it a very easy and practical approach even for the unlicensed practitioner.

Experientially transformed

Theatre arts, by nature and definition, is an experiential medium. Students will be equipped to take the lessons learned from the course and apply them directly in their church or missional assignments.