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National Call for Scripts Winners Announced

We are pleased to announce the selected scripts for the INNER VOICES Social Issues Theatre National Call for Scripts 2018 addressing the theme Environmental Justice as Social Justice. We had an incredible showing of entries this year and the scripts were exceptional! We want to thank all of those who submitted scripts, our wonderful panelists who worked so hard in the selection process and we especially want to thank the Student Sustainability Committee at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for their efforts in making this call possible and all of the work they do towards environmental justice. Congratulations to all. 

10-Minute Play Award:

  • Don't Drink the Jet Fuel, Jonathan Joy
  • The Cost of Water and Tea, Beverly Aarons
  • The Gas Man Cometh, Patrick Williams
  • The Good Fight, J. Joseph Cox
  • The Pit, Isaac Rathbone
  • The Valley, Mark Sherstinsky

40-Minute Play Award:

  • Caroline Carolina, Kassia Lisinski
  • Oasis, True Emeka
  • Stop That, Susan Parenti

This call is funded by Student Sustainability Committee at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. INNER VOICES Social Issues Theatre is sponsored by the Counseling Center and the Department of Theatre at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

2018 National Call for Scripts Now Open!

INNER VOICES Social Issues Theatre at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (“University”) is now accepting submissions for its Spring 2018 National Call for Scripts. INNER VOICES Social Issues Theatre addresses complex, timely and often difficult social issues that connect deeply to the university communities and beyond, through performances followed by post-performance audience dialogues. Recognizing the event of live theatre as a rare and non-trivial dynamic juncture in a social space occupied not only by people but also by possibility, INNER VOICES Social Issues Theatre commits itself to the cultivation of this social space for rich civic dialogue vital to the wellness of community. With an eye on civic engagement and social justice, INNER VOICES concerns itself with where and how change might be made. INNER VOICES Social Issues Theatre is sponsored by the Counseling Center and co-sponsored by Illinois Theatre at the University of Illinois. The 2018 Call for Script will explicitly focus on the theme of Social Justice as Environmental Justice. The possible topics might include such things as food deserts, environmental hazards, recycling, sustainable architecture, water and energy issues, and the impact of these on mental health and well being, etc. (hereafter, “Theme”) Please visit the call for scripts page for more information.

Far From Utopia...And We're Running Out of Breath Dates and Times


We are so pleased to announce two new staff working with the INNER VOICES Social Issues Theatre Program. Dr. Nicole Brown will be teaching Leading Post Performance Dialogue (Theatre/Gender and Women's Studies 417). She is a research affiliate with the National Center for Supercomputing Applications. She has extensive experience in academic and student affairs and her research connects Digital Sociology with computation and performative storytelling. Last year, Dr. Brown participated in the INNER VOICES production of “Tell It! A Contemporary Choral for Black Youth’s Voices,” a performance piece written by Durell Callier. Dr. Mark Enslin will be teaching Introduction to Social Issues Theatre (Theatre/Gender and Woman's Studues 218). He is a founding member of the Performers' Workshop Ensemble, an interdisciplinary group of performers and composers of music and theater, and of the School for Designing a Society, a 25-year educational experiment in connecting the arts and desires for social change. His doctorate is in music composition. His theater practice includes script writing, puppetry, street protest, humanitarian clowning, and house theater. Most recently, he was co-director of Pester Power, a performance project to engage youth in action on climate change and racial climate. 

There are still a few openings in both Dr. Brown and Dr. Enslin's courses! See below for additional information.

Fall 2017 Courses

Intro to Social Issues Theatre
Theatre 218/Gender and Women’s Studies 218
3 credit hours

An introductory exploration/survey of the rich histories, theories and practices of community-based and social issues theatre. Lively connection of social issues in today’s world through discussion, participation, lecture and performance!
Monday and Wednesday, 1:00 to 2:50 p.m.
Allen Hall/South Recreation Room

Devising Social Issues Theatre
Theatre 418/Gender and Women’s Studies 418
3 credit hours undergrad/1 unit grad

Focus on writing and devising theatre explicitly concerned with social issues in the context of community. Works created in this course may go on to be performed in the ensemble!
Monday and Wednesday, 11:30 a.m. to 12:50 p.m.
Armory Free Theatre (160 Armory).

Leading Post-Performance Dialog
Theatre 417/Gender and Women’s Studies 417
4 credit hours undergrad/1 unit grad

Arts engagement exploration and the dramaturge in social issues theatre. Includes hands on experience of animateur (facilitation) work with the INNER VOICES Social Issues Theatre ensemble. Great class for those who want to utilize theatre in their work such as social workers, educators, other arts and community focused practitioners.
Tuesday and Thursday, 4 to 4:50 p.m. with additional times scheduled for fieldwork with audiences.

INNER VOICES Social Issues Theatre Ensemble
Theatre 400m
2 credit hours

The focus of the ensemble is on public performances. The ensemble performs 15 times per semester on average. Open to all students and while past experience is useful, it is not necessary. Students may choose to receive credit for their participation in the ensemble.
Rehearsals meet Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 5 to 7 p.m.
Armory Free Theatre (160 Armory).