EDR4430EN - Contemporary Theatre and Social Conscience

Course description

Explore theatre today in cities around the world. Going beyond the idea of theatre just for entertainment, this course looks at how theatre is being used to raise awareness of social issues and increase social conscience. Students are acquainted with examples of “socially-responsible” theatre events as well as scripts and forms of contemporary drama that contribute to working through social issues and ideologies.

How this course benefits students

Students learn how to identify and use types of contemporary theatre for engaging in social issues around them. They learn to think beyond the usual use of theatre to something that has the potential to change minds and hearts through intentional engagement.

Why this course is important

Intentional use of theatre to address social change allows for the sensitization of the audience to matters that have often been left unspoken or unaddressed, and yet cause tremendous pain to those involved. This includes issues such as suicide and other mental health concerns, poverty, racism, and injustice. The power of theatre is such that is allows people to understand societal problems in a tangible, visual way, making the invisible visible and giving space for discussion and practicing change-making.

Credit hours
3 hours
Subject area
Educational level
Learning type
Upcoming terms
* Schedule subject to change. Please contact the Registrar's office with schedule questions.
Dr. Julisa Rowe, Senior Professor of Ethnodramatology

How this course relates to missional core values

Biblically based

Scripture commands us to care for the oppressed and marginalized, to weep with those who weep, and to care for one another. In using theatre for social conscience, the course fulfills these biblical mandates.

Missionally driven

In looking for solutions to problems and encouraging understanding of issues through theatre, students are enabled in their journey of bringing Christ into society and societal ills.

Contextually informed

Appropriate theatre forms and content are driven by the context of the matter to be addressed. It is necessary to understand the culture and its artistic forms and languages in order to effectively contextualize the message of Christ when using drama as the tool of communication, whether it be your own context, or a cross-cultural one.

Interculturally focused

Drama is a wonderful way to explore different perspectives and relationships, and work through how to communicate in different environments and worldviews. Dialogue is encouraged across all the cultures that exist within the local church and communities.

Practically minded

This course gives a practical framework for using theatre to address social issues and bring about understanding and change.

Experientially transformed

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