The Transformative and Healing Power of Theatre of Witness


  • Jennifer Blackburn Miller Pennsylvania State University


Social Justice Theatre, Community Arts Program, Theatre and Peacebuilding, Transformative Learning, Artistic Ways of Knowing, Sectarian Conflict, Humanizing the Other Through Theatre, Ethnonationalistic Conflict, Intergroup Realations/Intergroup Conflict, The Troubles- Northern Ireland


This article describes the healing and transformative effects of a social justice theatre program called Theatre of Witness on participants and community members in Derry/Londonderry, Northern Ireland. It begins with a review of relevant literature, including sections about artistic ways of knowing, transformative learning through theatre and storytelling, and theatre for peacebuilding. The research is still in process, however, the findings are similar to other social justice theatre programs used for peacebuilding. The key themes of this program are authentic, vulnerable storytelling through testimonial theatre, and a process of empathy development by humanizing the ‘other’.




How to Cite

Blackburn Miller, J. (2018). The Transformative and Healing Power of Theatre of Witness. Canadian Journal for the Study of Adult Education, 30(2). Retrieved from