Collective Encounters is a professional arts organisation specialising in theatre for social change through collaborative practice. We use theatre to engage those on the margins of society, telling untold stories and tackling the local, national and international concerns of our time.

Established in 2004 Collective Encounters delivers participatory theatre programmes with geographical communities and communities of interest across the Liverpool City Region and in 2019 we launched a Centre for Excellence in Participatory Theatre to provide training, advocacy and networking for the national and international participatory arts movement.

The company’s Manifesto was co-written with the Collective Encounters community in 2018.


Our Manifesto [text version]

We are Collective Encounters and we make Theatre for Social Change.

We are artists and activists, thinkers and doers.

We are informed by diverse experience and common cause.

We are rooted in communities and guided by our ethics.

We are kind and welcome all.

We strive for excellence and the continual development of our work.

We believe that too many people in our world are left behind while a few race far ahead; the odds stacked.

We believe that the time for change is now. It doesn’t have to be like this. That there are different choices; better, fairer ways.

We believe that theatre is a powerful tool to challenge the system and redress the inequalities of our times.

We use theatre to entertain, engage, excite and delight.

To expose realities, challenge the status quo, champion human rights.

To tell stories that are often ignored.

To bring people together to share ideas, explore difference and find connections.

To spark debate, facilitate conversations.

To imagine alternatives, rehearse change and play out new possibilities.

We use theatre to provoke action.

We are cooperative and collaborative.

We work within and across disciplines, sectors, cultures and countries,

To share our practice, learn from our peers and foster new thinking;

To extend our reach, deepen our impact and enhance our art;

To find solidarity.

We are Collective Encounters and we dream of a brighter future.