1st Edition

Applied Theatre and Gender Justice Imagination, Play, Movement

Edited By Lisa S. Brenner, Evelyn Diaz Cruz Copyright 2025
    272 Pages 39 Color Illustrations
    by Routledge

    272 Pages 39 Color Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Applied Theatre and Gender Justice is a collection of essays highlighting the value and efficacy of using applied theatre to address gender in a broad range of settings, identifying challenges, and offering concrete best practices.

    This book amplifies and shares lessons from practitioners and scholars who use performance to create models of collective solidarity, building upon communities’ strengths toward advocating for justice and equity. The book is divided into thematic sections, comprising three essays addressing a range of questions about the challenges, learning opportunities, and benefits of applied theatre practices. Further exploring the themes, issues, and ideas, each section ends with a moderated roundtable discussion between the essays' authors.

    Part of the series Applied Theatre in Context, Applied Theatre and Gender Justice is an accessible and valuable resource for theatre practitioners and the growing number of theatre companies with education and community engagement programs. Additionally, it provides essential reading for teachers and students in a myriad of fields: education, theatre, civic engagement, criminal justice, sociology, women and gender studies, environmental studies, disability studies, and ethnicity and race studies.

    Part 1: Igniting Eco-activism 

    1. Decolonizing the Conversation: Sustainable Development Performances in Egypt

    Sarah Fahmy

    2. Patnaik’s Cyco Theatre in India: Grassroots Environmental and Gender Activism

    Pranab Kumar Mandal

    3. Resisting Ecological Colonialism in the Niger Delta: Indigenous Women and the Beni Kamai Festival Theatre

    Stephen Ogheneruro Okpadah

    Roundtable. Discussion with Lisa S. Brenner, Evelyn Diaz Cruz, Sarah Fahmy, Pranab Kumar Mandal, and Stephen Ogheneruro Okpadah

    Part 2: Inspiring Playful Interventions

    4. Picking up the Sequins: Drag Storytime Performances, Applied Theatre, and Queer Joy

    Zachary A. Dorsey

    5. Facilitating Gender Awareness with First Drop Theatre: Applied Theatre in Indian Workplaces

    Radhika Jain

    6. Yassified Shakespeare: The Case for TikTok as Applied Theatre

    Trevor Boffone and Danielle Rosvally

    Roundtable. Discussion with Trevor Boffone, Lisa S. Brenner, Zachary A. Dorsey, Radhika Jain, and Danielle Rosvally

    Part 3: Affecting Responses to Violence

    7. Facilitating Afecto in Resistance to Violence: Patricia Ariza’s Work with Female Victims of Colombia’s Armed Conflict

    Sarah Ashford Hart

    8. Moving Women from the Margins to the Center of History: After/Life and the 1967 Detroit Rebellion

    Kristin Horton with Lisa Biggs

    9. No Seriously, Humor is Important

    Soroya Rowley and Veronica Burgess

    Roundtable. Discussion with Lisa Biggs, Lisa S. Brenner, Veronica Burgess, Sarah Ashford Hart, Kristin Horton, and Soroya Rowley

    Part 4: Reclaiming Bodily Autonomy

    10. The Billboard #TrustBlackWomen: Abortion as Self-Care

    Natalie Y. Moore

    11. Challenging Ableist Views of Motherhood: Mind The Gap’s Daughters of Fortune

    Winter Phong

    12. The Maternal Ground on Which I Stand: Developing A Solo Performance within the Harris Matriarchy

    Aviva Neff

    Roundtable. Discussion with Evelyn Diaz Cruz, Natalie Y. Moore, Aviva Helena Neff, and Winter Phong

    Part 5: Affirming Identity with Youth

    13. Negotiating Gender (in)Justice: The Politics of Visibility in the Performing Justice Project

    Megan Alrutz, Laura Epperson, Jasmine Games, and Faith Hillis

    14. Queering Playback Theatre

    Alejandro Bastien-Olvera

    15. ART Built on Trust and Solidarity: Creating Applied Theatre with Girls and Nonbinary Teens

    Dana Edell, Kailyn Oates, and Kit Bothum

    Roundtable. Discussion with Megan Alrutz, Alejandro Batien-Olvera, Evelyn Diaz Cruz, Dana Edell, Laura Epperson, Jasmine Games, Faith Hillis

    Part 6: Expanding the Definitions

    16. Performing Vulnerability, Voicing Resistance: Women’s Spoken Word Poetry in Trinidad and Tobago

    Alyea Pierce

    17. Tools for Equity and Collaboration

    Nicole Perry

    18. The Art of Genderbending: Fighting Hegemonic Gender Ideology with Chinese Martial Arts

    DeVante Love

    Roundtable. Discussion with Lisa S. Brenner, DeVante Love, Nicole Perry, and Alyea Pierce

    Extending the Conversation: A Supplemental Roundtable. Discussion on workers’ rights, pregnant young people, and Black queer feminism with Quenna Lené Barrett, Jasmin Cardenas, and Alyssa Vera Ramos.


    Lisa S. Brenner is a professor of theatre at Drew University, where she teaches dramaturgy, theatre history, and applied theatre. Her theatre experience includes dramaturgy, devising, directing, and playwriting.

    Evelyn Diaz Cruz is a professor of theatre at the University of San Diego, where she teaches playwriting, acting, theatre of diversity, and theatre and community. Her theatre experience includes playwriting, directing, and acting.