Evan Hastings

Areas of Interest & Expertise

  • Drama Therapy
  • Shadow Puppetry/​Shadow Theatre
  • Teacher Training
  • Violence Prevention
  • Arts in Health
  • Art Installations


Evan Hastings works in arts for education, health and community engagement. Evan’s work has garnered global recognition for inviting dialogue on themes of trauma, healing, and social justice. 

Evan holds an MA in Counseling Psychology with a concentration in Drama Therapy from California Institute of Integral Studies and a BA in Performance Education from Evergreen State College. He is also a registered Drama Therapist and Creative Arts Therapist.

Evan developed the Shadow Liberation method, integrating Drama Therapy and Theatre of the Oppressed with Shadow Theatre to facilitate transformative dialogues on violence and oppression.

As the former director of the Theatre in Health Education Trust (THETA) in Aotearoa New Zealand, Evan spearheaded the Sexwise programme, promoting healthy relationships and sexuality education through theatre at high schools nationwide. 

In academia, Evan’s expertise in drama therapy and arts education has led him to teaching roles at Harvard University Graduate School of Education, Lesley University, University of Otago, Evergreen State College, Antioch University Seattle, Srishti Manipal Institute of Art, Design and Technology, St. Xavier’s College (Mumbai), Ahmedabad University and Azim Premji University.

As a consultant, Evan provides training and strategic guidance to organisations globally. Evan serves as an executive committee member of Drama Therapy India, a Governing Council member for The MIECAT Institute (Australia), a senior advisor to Therapeutic Tapestries, a mental health start-up, and an advisor to Durga India and Jana Sanskriti.

Through his ThresHOLD series, he co-creates public large-scale immersive shadow installations. The 7 commissioned installations in this series have engaged communities in India, China and Austria.



Chapters in Edited Books

Journal Articles

Conference Proceeding

Hastings, E. (2013) Theatre of the Oppressed in the Shadows of Gender Violence. In the proceedings from Creative Resistance for Women’s Rights: Central/​South Asia’s 1st Theatre of the Oppressed Conference. AHRDO.


Hastings, E. & Schneider, C. (2009). Facing responsibility. The Alliance for Arts Learning Leadership of the Alameda County Office of Education.


  • Between the Shadows: Light. (2022, September-May 2023). https://​tdu​-wien​.at & https://​affab​u​lazione​.net
  • Sexwise (August 2019-August 2021). Healthy relationships and sexuality applied theatre program. Touring nationally in Aotearoa New Zealand with a Health Equity focus prioritizing Māori and Pacific Island youth. Funded by the Ministry of Health. The Theatre in Health Education Trust, Ōtepoti Dunedin, Aotearoa New Zealand. http://​www​.sex​wise​.nz
  • Shadows of Justice (Co-Director, June-November 2018). Hybrid Shadow and Forum Theatre piece exploring the social stigma against victims and perpetrators of crime. Targeting stereotypes and asking fundamental questions about crime and justice, this devised show is created and performed by an ensemble of people who have directly been impacted by criminal justice system. Funded by the Flemish Government. U Move 4 Peace, Pax Christi, Antwerp, Belgium.http://​www​.um4p​.be & http://​shad​owlib​er​a​tion​.com
  • Bhalo Manoosh (Co-Director, November-December 2016). A site-specific and culturally relevant adaptation of Bertolt Brecht’s The Good Person of Szechwan including a bamboo crafted panoramic shadow scenography and philosophical Bengali language dialogues devised collaboratively with Jana Sanskriti ensemble members from rural villages in West Bengal. Jana Sanskriti Centre for Theatre of the Oppressed, Kolkata, India. http://​www​.janasan​skri​ti​.org & http://​shad​owlib​er​a​tion​.com
  • Ramayana Remix (Director, July 2012-April 2016). A project of Shadow Liberation. In collaboration with Yours Truly Theatre and Ramachandra Pulavar. (See Shadow Liberation, Fall 2011-Present).
  • Bird Song (Director, February 2015). Two-week intensive Shadow & Forum Theatre devising workshop with Theatre Practitioners from across Nepal, culminating in a performance/​dialogue series. Sponsored by GMZ. Mandala Theatre,Kathmandu, Nepal.
  • Marketplace of Destiny: Theatre for Dialogue (Director, February 2014). Intensive Shadow & Forum Theatre devising workshop about the political crisis in Ukraine, culminating in a performance/​dialogue. Lviv, Ukraine.
  • One Billion Rising: Bangalore, India (Performance Manager, February 2013). Managed the performances for this large-scale event: planning, logistics, & stage management. One Billion Rising For Justice, International Movement to Stop Violence Against Women. http://​www​.onebil​lion​ris​ing​.org
  • Sahabhaga: Festival of Participatory Performance (Founder/​Director, November 2012). Produced 3‑day & 4‑night Festival: planning, budgeting, logistics, and stage management. Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology, Bengaluru, India. http://​sahab​ha​ga​.blogspot​.com
  • Shadows of Hope (Co-Director, August-September 2012). Three-week intensive Shadow & Forum Theatre creation project about Gender Violence. Culminated in a national touring production. Story Encounter & Garden of Hope Foundation, Taipei, Taiwan. http://​sto​ryen​counter​.word​press​.com & http://​www​.goh​.org​.tw/​e​n​glish
  • Open Stage (Director/​Producer, September 2011 – 2013). Web-platform for social media enhanced and Skype-enabled Forum Theatre. Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology, Bangalore, India. 

Additional Performances

  • Tia Jennings’ Self-Revelatory Performance (Director, December 2009). San Francisco, CA, USA (at CounterPULSE).
  • heArtwrench (Solo Performer, November 2008-April 2009). Various locations in USA (San Francisco, CA; Seattle, WA; Olympia, WA; Berkeley, CA).
  • Consent (Director, February-April 2006). Olympia, WAUSA.
  • War Torn (Performer, October 2006). Oakland, CA, USA (at Weekend Wake-up).
  • Artists Against Rape (Solo Performer, June 2006). San Francisco, CA, USA (at Brava Theater).
  • Celebrate Resistance (Solo Performer, May 2006). Oakland, CA, USA (at Parkway Theatre).
  • Inside Our Skin (Director, January-June 2005). Olympia, WA, USA (Sponsored by K Records & Traditions Café).
  • Teen Fest: Olympia Youth/​Teen New Media Fest (Solo Performer, May 2004). Olympia, WA, USA (at Olympia Film Society, Capital Theater).
  • Outside Our Shells (Director, October 2003-February 2004). Olympia, WA, USA (at Waves Studio).

Ongoing Projects

  • Shadow Liberation | Founder/​Director (2011-Now)

    Creatively crafted visual stories to captivate the imagination and invite audiences to interrupt the injustice of gender violence. In the tradition of Augusto Boal’s Forum Theatre, audience members are invited on stage to offer improvisational interventions into scenes depicting oppression. This artistic dialogue offers no quick-fix solutions but places faith in the emerging ethics of the communities to creatively address their challenges.

  • Making Health Contagious | Founder/​Director (2021- Now)

    How do we gamify health promotion to advance collective well-being and make health contagious? This ongoing series of projects about the role of games and facilitated experiences in advancing health promotion objectives. The aim is to leverage the power of a transformative experience to motivate health-advancing behaviour. Projects have included two game design courses culminating in books, and one public art installation.

  • ThresHOLD | Lead Artist and Collaborator (2015- Now)

    Pop-up, public, and participatory. Using the shadow as an invitation, we create interactive shadow play spaces, liberating people from everyday routines in public spaces. Because each site is different, each iteration of ThresHOLD is unique in its layout and form, integrating natural elements of the site and optimising the flow of foot traffic to leverage engagement. The 7 commissioned installations in this series have engaged communities in India, China and Austria.

Public Art Installations

  • The Future of Community Well-being: Immersive Shadow Installation (2022, March). SMI 25, Srishti Manipal Institute of Art, Design and Technology campus construction site, Bengaluru, India.
  • ThresHOLD: Interactive Shadow Theatre Installation (2017, December). Festival of Stories 8, Art in Transit, Cubbon Park Metro Station, Bengaluru, India.
  • Aquatic Shadows: Interactive Shadow Theatre Installation (2017, June). Phoenix Flower Community Arts Festival, OCT Ecology Square, Shenzhen, China.
  • Imagine Shadows: Interactive Shadow Theatre Installation (2016, December). Community Arts Festival, Times Museum, Guangzhou, China.
  • ThresHOLD: Interactive Shadow Theatre Installation (2016, October). Festival of Stories 1, Art in Transit, Cubbon Park, Bengaluru, India.
  • Immersive Octagon: Interactive Shadow Theatre Installation (2015, October). Tightrope: City as Circus, Maraa Media & Arts Collective, Bengaluru, India.

Public Collection

Hastings, E., & Woodford, A. (2020, November 7). Metaphors of Migration [Exhibition]. Scattered Seeds Archive. Dunedin Public Libraries. https://​dunedin​.rec​ol​lect​.co​.nz/​n​o​d​e​s​/​v​i​e​w​/​2​13659