Legislative Theater

Legislative Theater is a Brazilian technique from ​Theater of the Oppressed​ in which theater performance and public debate are used to research and develop legislative strategies to address problems identified by community participants. Offered for the past two years at BJN Juvenile Hall, and now proposed for the CCTRP women’ facility in Santa Fe Springs, university students and incarcerated students work together using their experiences of injustice and the arts to examine a range of issues including, but not limited to: incarceration, the school-to-prison pipeline, the rights of youth and immigrants affected by the justice system, the impact of imprisonment on families, and the arts as a form of justice. In this innovative course, students learn to evaluate how their experiences can inform public policy and develop proposals for legislation.  Furthermore, the course expands beyond just theory:  in the spring of 2019, ten UCLA students and two faculty members took legislative proposals created with incarcerated youth to Sacramento, where they met with elected officials and the Governor’s senior advisor, to advocate for the implementation of restorative and transformative approaches developed throughout the course. 

For more information, please contact Armando Tellez: armandotellez@pep.ucla.edu