BAC and Columbia Law School announce the return of the “Theater of Change” course

The Broadway Advocacy Coalition (BAC) and Columbia Law School will continue their four-year of partnership with the announcement of participation in person course titled The Theater for Change: Reimagining Justice Through Abolition. This year, the collaboration will extend to students at Columbia University School of the Arts, Brooklyn Law School, and NYU Law School.

ApplicationsClasses are now open to participants from any artistic discipline wishing to learn how to use their own skills and expertise for social change. The course will run from January 24 to April 25, 2022. In keeping with the Broadway Advocacy Coalition’s working principle of paying collaborators for their work, participants will be paid for their participation in this course.

The course blends art, law, politics and community engagement to produce powerful artistic projects with the potential to change the broken criminal justice system and imagine new avenues to follow. In social change work, the arts provide a critical space for imagining alternatives and promoting these visions as achievable realities. The semester will focus on issues of abolition, reinventing justice and strengthening communities. It will draw on the expertise of community leaders with extensive experience in both struggling and feeling the effects of these systems.

Artists will join forces with law students and community advocates to create performance pieces that envision a path to abolition and strategize how and where these performances can take place to achieve lasting impact. The course will also strengthen the artistic ability to merge high quality, high impact and rigorous art with community narratives, policy analysis and effective policy advocacy. The goals of this course are not only to facilitate an exchange of ideas between disciplines, but to form lasting partnerships that can continue to generate game-changing work in the future.

To apply, go to

Applications will be processed from December 3, 2021 and participants will be selected and informed by the end of December 2020.

Information sessions will be held on November 22 and 23. Participation is encouraged but not compulsory for artists interested in the course. RSVP for the briefing via this form.

The Change Theater was originally created by Britton Smith (Be More Chill, Shuffle Along), Ben Wexler (2019 Jonathan Larson Scholarship Recipient), Zhailon Levingston (Tina: The Tina Turner Musical) and professor at Columbia Law School and director of the Center for Institutional and Social Change Susan Sturm. The IBC’s Associate Curriculum Director, Leia Squillace, is among the instructors for this year’s course.

Nancy I. Romero