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Why interactive Theatre?

"The students were rapt with attention throughout the play. They watched and listened closely as the various witnesses for the prosecution and defense gave their opposing accounts of what they had seen and heard on the night of March 5, 1770. They were eager to participate in the ensuing discussions with the actors. Every time there was a pause, a dozen hands shot into the air to ask another question. It was clear from the students' questions and comments that they understood not only the historical events and the mechanics of the trial, but the strengths and weaknesses in the case presented by each side and the roles of the prosecution and defense attorneys in trying to get at the truth."

"Another Kind of Continuing Legal Education,"

A.W. "Chip" Phinney, Boston Bar Journal

Over the past few decades there has been a significant decline in our population’s knowledge of history and level of civic engagement. It is difficult for students to develop and articulate informed opinions about current events without a basic knowledge of history and the American justice system. But for many students, traditional lessons in history and civics fail to engage them. Theatre Espresso is committed to the idea that interactive theatre provides an ideal medium for promoting civic engagement. Our plays offer students a powerful forum for discussion about issues of racism, injustice, parity, and the law in a safe environment. During our plays students make critical judgments based on the information presented in our unique dramatic format. They question the actors, sift through conflicting testimony, and arrive at their own conclusions.


Interactive theatre helps students comprehend the complexities of historical events that resonate with problems we face today. Their active participation is the key to intellectual engagement not only with history, but also with concepts of social justice and human rights. Our plays are based on primary source documents and personal narratives that affect students in profound ways. By interacting with professional actors, who remain in character throughout, students confront difficult dilemmas from a variety of perspectives. The depth and immediacy of this process engages them in a vital, humanistic experience. Interactive theatre is uniquely suited to lifting history’s ideas and figures out of their textbook remoteness and thrusting them into the present, making them vibrant, complex, and passionate for our audiences.

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