teaching artist, ethics, responsibility, Theatre for Young Audiences, Theatre Education, Theatre for Youth, Drama, Reflection
As an artist in the field of theatre for young audiences, I encounter many definitions of 'teaching artist,' and within each definition lies a new set of physical, educational, and psychological responsibilities. While the term 'teaching artist' continues to evolve and grow, I am interested in exploring a common struggle among teaching artists: What does it mean to be an ethical and responsible teaching artist? This thesis allows me to create a personal definition of 'teaching artist' while exploring the relationship between responsibility, ethics, and community-based teaching. I begin by formulating my current understanding and beliefs about what it means to be a responsible teaching artist. I research how others in the TYA field, specifically Michael Rohd, Stephani Etheridge Woodson and Barbara McKean have dealt with issues of ethics and responsibility through four specific questions: How does my personal culture, race, gender, sexual orientation, and beliefs positively or negatively affect the work I do with young people? How does a teaching artist manage an environment in which there are inherently therapeutic qualities, without stepping into the role of therapist, and maintain a healthy relationship with the young people and the work? How do teaching artists maneuver through a structure where the ideologies of the teacher are guiding the project on a macro level but not a micro level? Is it possible or necessary to share responsibility with young people? As a reflective artist I can't help but question, challenge, and rethink choices I make in facilitation. I would venture to say it would be irresponsible not to do so. I am hopeful this exploration will not only improve my personal teaching but also allow and inspire others to take a look at their practice in terms of ethics and responsibility.
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Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.)
College of Arts and Humanities
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Dunn, Amie, "A Personal Exploration Into The Ethics And Responsibilities Of A Theatre Teaching Artist" (2010). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 4398.