Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon Portland Community College

Spring 2021 Performance Schedule is Here!

The PCC Illumination Project has been hard at work creating plays and supporting educational materials for the PCC community. We are excited to bring you a live remote performance season for Spring Term!

The performance topics for Spring Term are racism and xenophobia. The plays are written by, and based on, the lived experiences of the Student Educators involved in the Illumination Project. After we present the play the audience members will interact with the characters to create community dialogue and problem solving around racism and xenophobia.

Visit our performance schedule.

Now Recruiting for our 2021-2022 Student Educator Cohort!


Become a Student Educator with PCC’s interactive social justice theater program.

What is the Illumination Project?

The Illumination Project (IP) is Portland Community College’s innovative, nationally lauded student leadership and social justice theater program. The IP is designed to address issues of equity and inclusion and to foster a climate of belonging, compassion, and respect for all people in the PCC community.

The Illumination Project’s interactive community performances are devised so that large sections of the campus participate in problem-solving around issues that traditionally have made education more difficult for students of color, women students, poor/working class students, immigrant and LGBTQ+ students.

The plays produced by the IP are generated from situations the Student Educators have experienced in their own lives. Interactive theater, with its capacity to engage diverse learning styles and members of a community, is an ideal way to develop competencies in the principles of intercultural communication, systemic racism and social oppression and support culturally responsive practices.

Interactive theater

The Illumination Project uses a style of theater known as Theater of the Oppressed. Developed by Brazilian theater activist, Augusto Boal, Theater of the Oppressed is used to promote community-centered problem solving. The plays are performed once without interruption, then performed again, allowing audience members to participate and change the scene to have a different outcome. (Note: while performing remotely the audience interaction will be more limited but still an integral part of our production)

The Play’s the Thing

Each year the Student Educators write six distinct plays addressing issues such as racism, immigration, classism, domestic and sexual violence, heterosexism, and religious oppression. The play topics focus on how these issues impact students’ educational experiences and brainstorm solutions for taking action against social oppression. The Illumination Project focuses on two topics each year-one topic for winter term performances and a different topic for spring term performances. (Note: For our 2020 – 2021 season we will only be performing spring term and the topic will be racism and xenophobia)

The Illumination Project is a program of the Sylvania Women’s Resource Center and finds additional support from the Sylvania Multicultural Center, Queer Resource Center, Sociology Department, and Theater Department.

What students are saying

"I have grown so much in the Illumination Project. It has given me an emotionally safe place to learn more about oppression – and be creative – while I am learning to educate others about oppression in order to create positive change.

In this class learning is hands-on with a variety of learning experiences. It is an excellent introduction into college for many. This class has given me actual tools I can take out into the world."

– April Burris, Student Educator