Community Theatre as a Means of Empowerment in Social Work: A Case Study of Women’s Community Theatre

Amnon Boehm, Esther Boehm

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


• Summary: The article explores the potential of combining community theatre and social work as a means of empowerment. It describes a case study of a group of six women guided by a social worker and director, who set up and participated in community theatre in Israel. The development of the group and the play, the actors’ involvement, the group’s relationship with the audience and other groups in the community, and the roles of the social worker and director are described and discussed. • Findings: The findings show that the individual, group and community processes that evolved during the course of the community theatre project contributed considerably to the participants’ empowerment, especially in terms of self-esteem, mastery, critical awareness, expression of inner voice, propensity to act, and collective empowerment. • Application: The discussion focuses on the characteristics of community theatre that contribute to empowerment, as well as on its limitations. It suggests guidelines for the use of community theatre as a tool in social work practice and may inform the development of community theatre in other settings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)283-300
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Social Work
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 2003


  • collective empowerment
  • community theatre
  • personal empowerment
  • social worker

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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