This paper presents the findings of a thorough examination of an Issue-Oriented Theater (IOT) organization called Acting Out (AO). The purpose of this research is to explore how issue-oriented theater empowers adolescents and how facilitators use their competencies for the purpose of youth empowerment. The methods of this study included participatory observation in the AO program, in-depth interviews, questionnaires, and a literature review. Acting Out staff that facilitate the process of IOT, adolescent participants of the program and IOT practitioners from another organization participated in the research. Clifford and Herrmann's Theater of Empowerment was used as a framework. The research examined how facilitators helped to encourage youth to actively engage in dialogue and decision-making processes, to find and raise their voices, to support and respect each other, and to develop the knowledge and skills that help them to take charge of their own lives. Seeing young participants become more active, responsible, and thoughtful individuals was a powerful experience, and I am convinced that the value of IOT is an excellent tool for this purpose. The research allowed me to identify the competencies necessary for facilitators, to examine how these competencies were used, and to explore how facilitators evaluate progress that the participants in the program experience. Moreover, the research increased my desire to use IOT to help young people to grow and empower themselves, their peers, their communities and society.
Yagi, Shinobu, "Key competencies of youth empowerment through issue-oriented theater (IOT)" (2003). Capstone Collection. 167.