10 Theatre Organizations That Change Lives

Unfortunately, the bad news of this world often takes over. But the good in the world will always outweigh the bad! The theatre world contains an abundance of wonderful people who are looking for ways to give back. And here are just 10 of the many theatre organizations that change lives. This is living proof that goodness will always prevail!

1. New York Deaf Theatre

Location: New York, NY

New York Deaf Theatre➝ creates quality theatre for both Deaf and hearing audiences. In addition, a majority of their actors and Board of Directors are either Deaf, Deaf-Blind, or hard of hearing. And, the actors perform using American Sign Language.

2. Prison Performing Arts

Location: St. Louis, Missouri

Prison Performing Arts➝ introduces theatre to prisoners, former prisoners, and incarcerated youth. This builds up their teamwork, discipline, communication skills, and sense of self-worth. But most importantly, this provides them with the necessarily skills for successfully re-entering into society.

3. Arts Ignite

Location: New York, NY

Arts Ignite➝ connects visual and performing artists with youth from underserved communities in order to break the cycle of poverty. They also partner with schools and organizations to create summer programming for children who can benefit from it.

4. International Theatre Project

Location: New York, NY

The International Theatre Project➝ uplifts children and youth who struggle with issues such as poverty, violence, and inequality. In addition to this, they offer scholarships, workshops, and teacher training.

5. Tellin’ Tales Theatre

Location: Chicago, Illinois

Tellin’ Tales Theatre➝ is shattering barriers between disabled and able-bodied communities. Through the use of theatre, children and adults are able to share their stories and express themselves, promoting connection and understanding in the process.

6. Act Like You Matter

Location: San Diego, California

Act Like You Matter➝ travels from school to school with the goal of empowering students. This organization offers scripts, books, and anti-bullying workshops for K-12 graders. And they are changing the way that this generation treats each other.

7. Smile Theatre

Location: Toronto, Ontario

Smile Theatre➝ creates meaningful and professional theatre for older adults. One of their projects involves collecting their stories and turning them into cabaret-style performances. They travel from community to community and regularly brighten the days of other older adults across Canada.

8. Good Chance Theatre

Location: London, UK

Good Chance Theatre➝ builds temporary theaters in areas where immigrant and local communities are struggling to integrate. Additionally, this organization allows people to find their own sense of meaning through the power of expression.

9. Eco Drama

Location: Glasgow, Scotland

Eco Drama➝ has a mission to spread knowledge about how to care for our planet. Through their theatre projects, they nurture a sense curiosity when it comes to caring for this natural world. Besides that, Eco Drama focuses primarily on the youth. So basically, the future is in good hands!

10. Theatre for a Change

Location: Malawi, Ghana and Worldwide

Theatre for a Change➝ works with women and girls who are at risk for having poor sexual/reproductive health. Through the use of interactive theatre, these women can share their stories and connect with the audience. This in turn increases their sense of self worth and hope for the future.

Want a weekly list of stagey surprises?!

Sign up for Theatre Thursday.

Know of any other theatre organizations that change lives?

Or are you currently working on a project for social change? By all means, please share in the comments below! The amount of goodness that theatre is capable of has no limits. And surely there are thousands of other projects that are spreading just as much hope, joy, and love!

And by the way, if you are interested in getting involved with the world of applied theatre, make sure to check out our list of applied theatre programs!

Stacy Karyn, author of Theatre Organizations That Change Lives.
Author: Stacy Karyn

Stacy Karyn is the founder of Theatre Trip, author of The Thespian’s Bucket List, and creator of The Cast Album List. She has a TESOL drama certificate, a BA in theatre, and has worked and interned with Broadway and Off-Broadway theaters.


One thought on “10 Theatre Organizations That Change Lives

  • April 21, 2018 at

    Wow, that’s a great list that will take me some time to go through. Thank you so much for the information. It’s really inspiring what people do with theater!

Leave a Reply

Skip to content