About ACT Out
Founded in 1995, ACT Out, a program of non-profit Claude McNeal Productions, has helped transform the lives of more than 550,000 people through the unique power of live social issues theatre. We have performed for schools, universities, corporations, hospitals, government agencies and various community organizations nationwide. ACT Out addresses the most pressing and complex issues facing students and adults today and encourages participants to embrace individualized solutions.
What People Think About ACT Out
ACT Out is such a unique program, and we immediately saw the benefits of having ACT Out as part of our training opportunities. It’s live, interactive and a great way to really get the conversation started on best practices for dealing with issues relating to diversity, equity and inclusivity. Your facilitator and team of actors are so passionate about what they do, and as educators, that is so important.
I saw the eager participation and engagement from my students. The smaller group sizes gave many students an avenue to open up and share their thoughts and problem solving in response to the different situations. It was insightful to hear our students break down their thought processes for their solutions and work through obstacles that the actors presented. Overall, I was highly impressed with the quality of the program, and I think the uniqueness of having real life responses incorporated into a lesson helps this type of curriculum to be impactful in a way that many others cannot be.
ROOTS is a day treatment program within IPS. We serve students with mental illness and trauma. This program helped teach our students through various role plays. The actors were professional and interactive with the students. The students were interested in the topics discussed and engaged in the presentation. They enjoyed talking directly with the actors about better choices they could have made during the role play. Our students really enjoyed this program!
ACT Out’s programming was very engaging, and their energy was what our students needed. They helped our students tackle some large social and emotional issues using acting. Teachers and staff need community support in educating our students’ social and emotional brains. We are lucky to have them!
Programs for Schools
The ACT Out ensemble of actors uses scripted scenarios generated
to meet students’ needs and transforms it into improvisational, interactive theater. In the 30- to 45-minute show, the action freezes in the midst of an issue and students are asked to provide suggestions on how to resolve the current conflict before the play resumes. Students gain active participation in identifying issues and triggers and learning skills to deal with conflicts and handling emotions.
In 2021, thanks to generous support from Lilly Endowment, Claude McNeal Productions’ ACT Out social issue theatre program became evidence-based in cyberbullying prevention.
* The study was based on a 19-month evaluation process overseen by a team of external researchers from Prevention Insights at Indiana University School of Public Health Bloomington. The procedure included a pre-registered, published protocol and a rigorous randomized controlled trial, which is the gold standard of intervention evaluation.
Full results from our published article in the Journal of Medical Internet Research-Mental Health can be found HERE, but highlights from the study concluded:
- An approximate 20% reduction rate in cyberbullying incidents for students who participated.
- A fidelity rating of meeting teacher expectations of 97%-100%.
- Positive student feedback.
- A “turn-key” program with minimal teacher preparation time needed.
ACT Out Programs for Organizations
ACT Out programming can be applied in professional settings by
working with companies and community organizations to help
their employees communicate effectively, explore responses to a
variety of situations in a safe environment, foster honest conversations about dealing with conflict, and encourage collaborative problem solving.
We work directly with your organization to tailor the content of
our presentations to your programs and policies.
An example of topics covered:
- Diversity, Equity & Inclusion – creating a positive workplace culture
- Customer service
- Anger management
- Sexual discrimination & harassment in the workplace *ACT Out Corporate Brochure
- Gender Identity & the use of pronouns *ACT Out Corporate Flyer
- Cultural appreciation
- Active shooter situations, workplace safety
- Interview readiness
ACT Out Programs Promote:
- Self-acceptance & confidence
- Reducing prejudice
- Global citizenry
- Collaboration & respect
ACT Out can tailor our presentations to
accommodate your organization.
ACT Out Programs for Public Safety Professionals
- Domestic Violence
- Hazardous Materials
- Blood Borne Pathogens
- Mental Illness
- Human Trafficking