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Course Content

This Summer School will develop participants’ ability to use theatre to contribute to radical social and political change in the 21st Century. It will be taught through presentations from tutors, peer-action-learning and practical exercises.

Over the course of the two days participants will develop their practice in specific Theatre for Social Change techniques including:

  • Verbatim and Documentary Theatre
  • Living Newspapers
  • Legislative and Forum Theatre.

They will explore:

  • the ethical considerations of making Theatre for Social Change
  • ways and means of achieving social and political impact with the work
  • the challenges of making radical theatre within the current neo-liberal political climate.

They will be supported to situate themselves and their work within current practice and on a rich historical trajectory of radical Theatre for Change, and begin to build a network of peer support.

Who is it aimed at?

Rediscovering the Radical is aimed at artists working in community contexts, political artists and creative activists, theatre makers and social change campaigners looking to develop new practice or to expand and refresh existing practice.


10th July 2019: 11.30am – 7pm

11th July 2019: 9.30am – 3.30pm

Refreshments and a light lunch will be provided on each day.

Participants will need to arrange their own accommodation if required. If you need help with this please contact 0151 345 6266 or admin@collective-encounters.org.uk.

Course Leaders

Sarah Thornton is founding Artistic Director of Collective Encounters. She established the company in 2004 to make exciting, collaborative theatre and explore its potential to contribute to social change. Her work with the company has drawn on her varied background which over the past 20 years has included applied work in diverse community contexts, devising and directing professional theatre, university lecturing and practice-as-research.

Matthew Elliott is a facilitator and director based in Liverpool. After training at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts, Matthew has worked collaboratively on a national and international basis with a range of companies including Collective Encounters, Colectivo Sustento (Chile) and Lagnet (Kenya). Specialising in theatre for social change practice, he has worked extensively with young people and adults in a range of settings including the criminal justice system and educational institutions. Matthew is a Winston Churchill Fellow and recipient of the Koestler award for work undertaken at HMP Altcourse. He Is currently completing a practice as research PhD; Embodying Critical Engagement: Experiments with politics, theatre and young people in the UK and Chile.

For more information, or if you have difficulty with the fees please call us on 0151 345 6266

Participants on the Summer School in 2018 said:

“Your workshops and presentations have allowed me to consider the approach and methods of my practice, particularly in reference to the information that you discussed on ethics.” Workshop Participant

“Really inspiring. I look forward to putting some of the learning into action.” Jonathan Humphreys, Artistic Director, Attic Theatre Company, Workshop attendee

“I consider myself quite experienced in this area but I learnt so much and also feel inspired and re-energised in relation to my own creative practice and my HE teaching” Workshop Participant


£135 – Individual Freelance Practitioners
£175 – Representatives from private sector organisations, Arts Council National Portfolio Organisations, HE, FE and Local Authorities