Theater for Social Change
Growing from the belief that the arts offer a unique way to introduce students to aspects of the human condition, Theater for Social Change, an artistic and curricular program, was founded at Miami Country Day School in 2005. It was founded on the premise that theater is particularly well designed to stimulate discussions about important societal issues and foster change at the local, national and global levels.
The Theater for Social Change program is inextricably linked to Miami Country Day School’s belief in the importance of educating the whole child. The School’s mission is focused on the development of the six potentials of each student, and this program addresses the School’s need to give form and life to the three most elusive of the six potentials: the social, the emotional, and the spiritual. The progression from artistic work to social reflection to humanitarian action is tied directly to the significant role that service learning plays in the mission statement and program of the Upper School.
Knowing that one of the most important concepts in education is the need to show students the interconnectedness of all areas of the educational program at a school, this program strives to create multiple opportunities to pursue and highlight different kinds of connections. It creates a focal point around which interdisciplinary programs are developed each year. At the same time, this program responds to the need to build connections within the School itself, and even more importantly, among other independent educational institutions and community organizations.
The goals of the program are to present provocative issues in such a way as to promote important discussion; to deepen students’ understanding of important societal/historic issues; to teach the importance of conflict as a means to social change and that resolution can be an ongoing process leading to further reflection; to raise questions and provide opportunities for students to define and develop moral courage; to involve academic departments in cross-curricular activities and projects related to the theater piece chosen for the program each year; to broaden and deepen the School community’s understanding of volunteer experiences; to involve students in writing original theater pieces that could be part of the Theater for Social Change program; and, to establish a consortium of schools interested in sharing, developing and promoting the Theater for Social Change.