Photo above is of Grade 12 Applied Theatre students at Los Angeles High School of the Arts (LAHSA)

We start with ourselves–identity, reflection, values. Then we expand to our group–ensemble, trust, shared experiences. Next, we move to the larger community–what stories need to be told? Finally, we use the tools of theatre to begin a dialogue for making change. 

The 12th grade acting class at Los Angeles High School of the Arts begins a dialogue with their community about economic struggles they face by performing 'The American Dream?' which is a play they developed after interviewing members of their community.


“I appreciate you [teachers and classmates] for giving me the chance to speak out about my community while having fun at the same time–having loads of fun, to be honest.” -–Luis, LAHSA grade 12 student, during Circle of Appreciations (ending class ritual)

"When we do the different activities during class, I find myself asking questions that I would have never asked myself. I do no let myself give surface answers. I make sure to try and get deeper than I normally do. I would like to get a better understanding of myself. So far [in class], I have." –Grade 12 student, in journal response about a class activity

“In this mirror [of theatre] we see the present, but can invent the future of our dreams; the act of transforming is in itself transformatory. In the act of changing our image, we are changing ourselves, and by changing ourselves in turn we change the world.”
— Augusto Boal, Aesthetics of the Oppressed, 62