Augusto Boal said "Theatre is a form of knowledge; it should and can also be a means of transforming society. Theatre can help us build our future, rather than just waiting for it." I have been a teacher in a private school setting for 27 years. In my work with students, it becomes increasingly important to me that the projects in which I engage become transformative, not only for me and my students, but for my audiences as well. Finding ways that promote awareness of social justice, both locally and globally, has become paramount. My ongoing goal is to inspire dialogue and understanding while dealing with relevant social issues. Can theater designed as a "means of transforming society" be made relevant to students I work with? Over the course of this past year, I documented some of my efforts. Through the thoughtful and careful selection of theatrical material which allowed me to explore various topics, I opened up conversations that started at the beginning of the rehearsal process and continued through, and even after, the performances. I networked with organizations connected with the chosen social issues so they could provide first-hand information to me and my students. I was able to share that information with my audience members who attended our productions. I explored different types of immersive techniques and added a pre-show experience that underlined the theme for two of my shows. My research focused on plays and musicals that dealt with pressing contemporary social issues related to each production. I explored how the shows could be staged in inventive ways to target the chosen issues. I collaborated with local organizations that were able to benefit from our efforts through charitable donations. I was also able to tie in my professional work on the stage with this project.
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Master of Arts (M.A.)
College of Arts and Humanities
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Papin, Janine, "Initiating Change, Connection, and Community" (2020). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2020-. 113.