ISTA present...

Theatre for social change (the Americas) with Malina Patel

March 24 - March 28, 2021

The Studio takes place only on specific days and in 2-4 hour blocks during this time period.

The Americas (East Coast) and UK times are listed specifically in the schedule below.

While scheduled, primarily, as a workshop for teachers working in the Americas, theatre teachers globally are invited to attend.

About the workshop

Theatre for social change

Workshop description
This Studio is suitable for all theatre teachers interested in innovative theatre practice which aims to change lives and inspire change in communities from all backgrounds and walks of life.
The Studio combines practical theatre making skills with project design and implementation, understanding of the cultural, social and creative context of political and change making theatre, case studies, exploring the work of professional practitioners and cultural activists along with the ethical and inclusivity questions which arise from this form of theatre.

Learning outcomes and how this Studio benefits teachers in their curriculum delivery
Teachers will explore the following concepts and topics. Essential understandings for participants are listed below each topic focus.

What is theatre for social change?
Challenging perceptions.
Facilitating social and systematic change.
Storytelling the lived experience of complex issues to change narratives.
Making theatre to change lives and inspire change in communities.

Making and performing change: working with schools
Students can promote student voice in young people.
Students can make others aware of their capacity to be change makers.
Students can take responsibility for others’ learning therefore modeling good citizenship.
Education and entertainment go hand in hand in theatre for social change.

Making and performing change: working with communities
We can all learn from engaging with communities both similar and different to ourselves.
Community theatre must be a form of expression to celebrate identity rather than a tool to impose interventions by others.

Theatre and activism
Theatre has the power to facilitate social and systemic change.
Students need to go through a process of understanding systems, concepts and ideas before they are able to create activist art.

Who am I to make a change? (solo performance and social justice)
Every individual can create change.
Social change begins with self change.
Intent and impact are intrinsically linked.
There are a multitude of solo performance artists who create work for social justice who we can take inspiration from.

Designing units
It is possible to craft units for all age groups to create social change.

Target audience
This Studio is designed for all middle school and high school theatre teachers.

About your workshop leader

I was born and raised in Toronto, Canada, but have been lucky to have lived in Uzbekistan, Tanzania, Ukraine and India, working as a drama teacher while exploring new places and fascinating cultures. I completed a BFA in Acting and a B.Ed in Drama and English, and then worked as a professional stage manager for various Canadian theatre companies before my international adventures began.

I have been an IB DP Theatre teacher and examiner for many years but as an artist I see myself as a writer, director, performer, teacher, learner and social justice advocate. Theatre allows me to explore and experiment in all of these roles.

In my work as a theatre professional and an international school teacher, I have often been the only person of colour in the room. These experiences have fueled my passion for using theatre as a way to explore issues of diversity, equity and inclusion. I believe that theatre provides the perfect platform for asking questions and building empathy in young people.


This Studio runs over a period of five days with sessions taking place as follows:

Wednesday – 2 hours evening
Thursday – 2 hours evening
Friday – no workshops
Saturday – morning 4 hours
Sunday – morning 4 hours

Session #1
Wednesday 24th March 2021 (2 hours)
6:00-8:00pm America’s east coast; 11:00pm-1:00am UK time
What is theatre for social change?

Session #2
Thursday 25th March 2021 (2 hours)
6:00-8:00pm America’s east coast; 11:00pm-1:00am UK time
Making and performing change: working with schools

Sessions #3 & #4
Saturday 27th March 2021 (4 hours)
1:00-5:00pm America’s east coast; 6:00-10:00pm UK time
Part 1 (session #3): Making and performing change: working with communities
Part 2 (session #4): Theatre and activism

Session #5 & #6
Sunday 28th March 2021 (4 hours)
1:00-5:00pm America’s east coast; 6:00-10:00pm UK time
Part 1 (session #5): Who am I to make change? (solo performance and social justice)
Part 2 (session #6): Designing units

Total course time – 12 hours

Important information

Event coordinator
Keriann O’Rourke

The workshop will take place using the platform Zoom.

Places are limited to 20 participants per Studio.

We will send out Zoom meeting information shortly before the workshop.


The registration fees for this Studio are:
ISTA members: GBP £200.
Non ISTA members: GBP £225.

What to bring

Any materials shared with you prior to the workshop, such as the workbook. Plus anything requested by the workshop leader which will be shared with you a few days prior to the workshop.

Space requirements
If possible, please try to have a small amount of space near to you for any practical work.

Download & Forms

Please find below the relevant documentation for you to download:


Starts on Wednesday 24 March at 18:00
Finishes on Sunday 28 March at 17:00