Theatre for Social Change, Avant-Garde, Theatre for Youth Audiences
Theatre has always existed as a didactic tool to educate society about society's own successes, failures, and foibles. The theatre and theatre artists have attempted to take society's interpretation of truth and place it on the stage for all to see and experience. Sometimes, theatre creates and performs its own truth in place of society's accepted truth by re-examining pre-existing societal constructs and creating an interpretation of truth that better represents the current state of affairs as the theatre sees it. Therefore, theatre becomes the mode by which society learns, explores, refutes, and at times, even dismisses accepted societal truths. As a didactic tool, it is in this vein of truth-seeking that theatre has entered the fickle work of social change. First and foremost, what is social change? Who can create change? How is this change measured? How does one measure the effected change on a particular audience? These questions (and more) as well as their subsequent answers are the job of the social change theatre artist and are explored in this study. This thesis is presented in several distinct chapters. Chapters one and two examine the foundations of theatre for social change and its place in the contemporary theatre world. Chapter three explores writing theatre for social change and yields the development of two original theatrical pieces of theater for social change as a direct result of the aforementioned research complete with a stage presentation of those pieces and an audience assessment (before the performance). The concluding chapters explore the results of the audience survey which explains my understanding of theatre for social change's effect on society and the need for society to continually be exposed to theatre which is socially conscious and contributive in order to firmly define America's socially conscious theatrical identity.
Master of Arts (M.A.)
College of Arts and Humanities
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Bliznik, Sean, "Who Am I?": A Search For America's Identity Through Theatre For Social Change" (2007). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 3090.