Creative Tools for Critical Times
Master Classes with Devised Theatre Innovators
On this page, you will find information about the presenters and their Master Classes. At the end, you’ll find links to apply for the individual sessions and/or for the Certificate in Devising Theatre for Social Justice.
OVERVIEW: In this series of monthly, online Master Classes, participants will have an opportunity to learn a variety of ways to create community-based theatre for social justice. They will practice skills in political humor, storytelling, indigenous methodologies, collaborative playwriting & dramaturgy, best practices in partnering with stakeholders, and more. The topics explored will include impactful political activism; community-building; racial, disability and environmental justice; as well as LGBTQ+, women’s, immigration and voting rights; and more! All of the sessions will be highly interactive.
All of the Master Classes will take place from 1pm to 4pm (Pacific) on the dates listed below. These workshops are designed primarily for undergraduate and graduate students as well as for recent graduates and early career artists and activists. All of the sessions are free. Prior registration is required.
You can join us for a bunch of sessions or just one. If you’d like to earn a Certificate in Devising Theatre for Social Justice from Fringe Benefits and you think you can join us for 9 or more Master Classes, please fill out the super-easy application form (in the link below). The application deadline is December 21, 2023!
Please Contact Us if you would like to receive updates &/or sign up for a Master Class!
“In the Break | Like Jazz”
January 28, 2024
“In the Break | Like Jazz” uses elements of Theatrical Jazz, including vulnerability, improvisation, innovation, virtuosity and collaboration. Participants work with writing prompts, embodied practices, telling their stories, and in-depth conversations around identities, histories, body truths, cultures, traditions, workplace ethos, communities and life mission.
Doris Duke Performing Artist & United States Artists Fellow
Author of Theatrical Jazz: Performance, Ase, and the Power of the Present Moment
February 17, 2024
Auburn University’s Mosaic Theatre Company devises group performances about issues of social justice. In this workshop, we will learn consensus-building tools that the group practices to choose topics and work through the initial processes of narrowing a topic, choosing the best form, and finding the key questions that will help us shape the work.
Associate Professor of Theatre, Auburn University
Co-Artistic Director, Mosaic Theatre Company
March 9, 2024
Participants will be guided through the process of collective devising, listening to the body and centering play. The Master Class uses the Náhuatl concept of Nepantla, meaning in-between, to explore and create theatrical, narrative and performative structures. The class is physical and invites students to embrace the notion of writing on their feet.
Assistant Professor of Voice and Acting
Department of Theatre & New Dance @ California State Polytechnic University, Pomona.
April 21, 2024
Too often non-disabled people in theater aren’t imaginative (or experienced) enough to regard disability as a performance option rather than a directorial obstacle. This workshop will be an intense and informed brainstorming session in which participants will explore creative ways disability has been and can be integrated into productions to invigorate tired old tropes of theater.
Donna Marie Nudd
Professor, School of Communication, Florida State University and Executive Director, Mickee Faust Club
Solo Performance Artist. Co-founder / Head Cheese / Artistic Director, Mickee Faust Club
MAY 19, 2024
Cairo-based artivist, Dalia will share tales of theatre-making during times of extreme political changes in Egypt. She’ll introduce some techniques to free the imagination and create theatre even during intense circumstances.
Writer, Director, Educator, Translator and Eco-farmer
“Speaking Their Language”
June 15 or 22, 2024
In this workshop, we will explore strategies and practice for identifying a community’s metalanguage and implementing it to accurately represent them. We will focus on Playwriting in Community-Based Theatre.
Lecturer for Cal Poly Pomona’s Department of Theatre and New Dance
Independent Community Based Theatre Artist, Actor, Playwright and Director.
“Tools for Political Humor Writing”
July 7, 2024
A workshop for participants who are new to writing comedy or curious about strategies for incorporating humor into writing about seemingly unfunny subjects. Participants will be presented with my personal rubric of strategies and some exercises to hone the “eye” for funny.
Pulitzer Prize Finalist, performance artist, comedian, writer, elected representative, & food bank influencer
“From One to Many: Deep Listening and Collaborative Storytelling”
August 4, 2024
Active listening is a deep and difficult skill to learn for social justice-oriented theatre making. This workshop will focus on the practice of deep listening and engage the ethically challenging process of embodying another’s story.
Associate Professor of Theatre, Miami University
“Just Act, Go Vote: A Zoom ‘Power Bar'”
September 15, 2024
In this workshop, you will learn several techniques to create Forum theatre about why teens don’t vote. You’ll walk away with cool, simple tools for gathering and homing in on your group’s social injustice topic, as well as facilitating and unpacking Forum improvisations.
Founding Executive and Artistic Director, JustAct
October 13, 2024
Based on his experience participating in and leading international community-based theatre projects in Zimbabwe and Colombia, Professor Solano will share case studies, devising exercises and tips for securing project funding.
Chair, Department of Theatre & New Dance @ California State Polytechnic University, Pomona
November 2, 2024
In this interactive and improvisational workshop, Daniel will share practices that DNAWORKS has used in 38 states and 17 countries to bring people closer together and create a greater sense of connection and belonging.
Co-Founder & Co-Curator, DNAWORKS
“TeAda Methodology Workshop Intensive”
December 14, 2024
Participants will be introduced TeAda’ devising methodology which is based on decolonization practices that encourage participants to share their personal experiences and knowledge. These include social justice-based movement and theater games used by ensembles of color such as Urban Bush Women, Carpetbag Theater, Teatro Campesino, Cornerstone Theater and Boal’s Theater of the Oppressed.
Founding Artistic Director, TeAda Productions
“Climate Change and Storytelling: Beginning with the Self”
DATE TBD, 2024
Participants will learn how to effectively use relevant facts and information and their personal background to create solo and/or group pieces that theatrically and persuasively address Climate Change.
Producing Artistic Director, That Uppity Theatre Company, Director, Climate Change Theatre Action St. Louis
MISSOURI / NEW YORK