Theatre for Young Audiences companies in the United States rely heavily on recognized titles to bring in audiences. As a result, most of their productions are adapted from recognizable titles, including films, television series, and popular literature. These adaptations draw audiences in that may not otherwise go to the theatre, which is especially important within the world of TYA where the target audience (children) only gains access to a theatre through adult caregivers. Additionally, most children go to the theatre as part of school field trips, further encouraging season selections that will fill educational needs in addition to providing theatrical experience. The intersection between theatres, the adapted works they produce, and the educational responsibilities of these theatres were the inspiration for this thesis. How can theatres help audiences move away from simple compare and contrast between a book and a play? How can theatres promote more meaningful interaction with the artistic process? This thesis seeks to provide a pathway for practitioners seeking to foster more meaningful audience engagement. It begins with a history of how Theatre for Young Audiences, dramaturgy, and adaptation theory evolved in the United States. That context provides a foundation on which to explore how the intersectionality of each of these domains can be harnessed to engage audiences in purposeful critical thinking about the art they see and drive them toward becoming thoughtful creators on their own.
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Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.)
College of Arts and Humanities
Theatre; Theatre for Young Audiences
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Newman, Joni, "Utilizing Dramaturgy to Activate Creativity in Young Audiences" (2022). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2020-. 1060.