Improvising Change


Improvising Change is a Sydney based company 

focused on theatre for social development

Artistic Director and Founder
Joy Roberts
Joy's first theatre production was in 1992, when she produced and directed a play at her local community centre. Since, she has continued to gain experience and skill in directing, facilitating, writing and producing theatre.

In 2008, Joy completed with distinction an MA in Applied Theatre at Central School of speech and Drama, London. This degree led her to an interest in collaborative devised theatre. In 2009 she led two devising projects with people affected by Mental Illness; co-creating scripts that truthfully represent a common narrative: ‘Care-full’ was staged at Arcola Theatre and ‘Life Through a lens’ at Theatre 503. Between 2008-2012 Joy took part in several theatre improvising groups, both long-form and theatre-sports

Since 2011 Joy has been involved as director and writer, in Sydney play festivals and readings. She has directed over 30 short plays and readings, and had scripts she wrote staged, performed and read at these events. She has also directed 4 full-length production- in 3 out of these her role as Artistic Director involved overseeing collections of short-plays and finding artistic ways to unify shows through theme and form, so they offer fluid narratives and profound audience engagement: ‘Mothers’ produced by Improvising Change at Tap Gallery (2014), ‘I love heart’ produced by Budding Theatre at Old Theatre 505 (2014) and ‘Rhymes with Silence’ Produced by Improvising Change at Project 107 (2015).

In addition, Joy has a degree in Psychology (2000), and training in Youth Work (2002), Mental Health Support (2009-2015) and Psychodrama (2013-2015). She has been supporting people in the community for 2 decades and has found ways to incorporate her love of theatre within Mental Health services. Joy has developed and led theatre groups in day-centres, drop-in centres and hospitals, using her improvising experience and psychodrama training to encourage participants’ creativity and personal development.