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Meet an Exciting New Resource for Social Justice in Philly, Just Act

Imagine justice in action with the Just Act Ensemble & Friends at the Just Act Launch & Community Party on December 16.

Just Act, an evolution of the theatre company Gas & Electric Arts, is now centered on working directly at the intersection of theatre and social justice. It aims to ignite civic dialogue by creatively partnering with community organizations, individuals, as well as civic and cultural leaders invested in social justice activism and community-driven development.

The organization uses participatory theatre and creatively partners with community organizations, individuals, and civic and cultural leaders invested in social justice activism and community-driven development and problem-solving. Just Act’s theatre-based tools enable people to imagine new and just actions for making meaningful change in their lives and communities. The organization’s partners range from arts and education to civic, social & human services, community development and planning. In the future they’ll be partnering with lawyers and potentially even judges.

Just Act offers a mix of public performance and civic engagement creating space for people to discover, restore and nurture their sense of power and belonging. Executive Director Lisa Jo Epstein has been facilitating Theatre of the Oppressed, the techniques of renowned Brazilian theatre director, activist, and Nobel Peace Prize finalist Augusto Boal which use theatre as means of promoting social and political change, for 25 years.

Just Act also played a central role in the Chester Made cultural asset mapping project. Chester Made was an arts-based, creative place-keeping initiative to recognize and promote arts and culture as a revitalization vehicle in the city of Chester. Just Act designed & led the story and theatre-based engagement activities—from creating and training an ensemble of residents to facilitate community events to the innovative performance-based way in which the Ensemble interpreted participants’ stories.

At the Just Act launch event on December 16, you’ll get to meet the new Just Act ensemble through both story circles and instant forum theatre improvisations led by the ensemble: Bianca Adger, Helen Hale, Jimmy Kirby, Troi Lauren, Stefan Matthews, Brooke Sprunger, and Mika Taliaferro. You’ll also get learn more about what’s next for the organization now focused on being a resource for social justice in Philly.

The launch event takes place Wednesday, December 16, 2015, from 6:30-8 p.m. at Summit Presbyterian Church, 6757 Greene Street (enter on Westview St.), Philadelphia, PA 19119. RSVP via EventBrite and learn more on


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