Document Type


Publication Date


Journal / Book Title

Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly


Community theaters proliferate in every state in the nation, yet they are rarely considered in civil society research. Participation in civil society is capable of producing individual (psychological empowerment) and community-level outcomes, yet less is known about how community theaters might be capable of producing the same. Guided by the empirically tested dimensions of intra-organizational empowerment, this qualitative study interrogates four internal processes of voluntary membership in a community theater (shared beliefs, opportunity role structure, social support, and leadership). Directed content analysis of 14 in-depth interviews support and extend our understanding of existing theory for this less examined population. Implications for policy, practice, and future research are discussed.



Published Citation

Forenza, B. (2017). Sustained community theater participation as civil society involvement. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, 46(3), 549-566.

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Social Work Commons