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This book explores the practice of theatre in communities, social institutions and with marginalised groups. It shifts between context and country to examine different ways that theatre has been applied to a wide range of social issues. Theatre projects in Brazil, Burkina Faso, Sri Lanka and the UK are analysed to argue for a complex and questioning view of the practice. Initiatives in prisons, development contexts, war situations and participatory research projects become the sites to interrogate the claims that applied theatre can be a theatre for social change. Many practitioners and researchers, who have witnessed powerful applied theatre projects, nonetheless struggle to articulate the reasons why the projects were successful. This book uses the questions inspired by that perplexity to create a case for applied theatre as a major area of contemporary theatre practice.