Immersive Theatre, Pedagogy, Game Design, Arts Integration, Tabletop Role-Play Game, Artificial Intelligence


The suspension of disbelief is integral to the performing arts. We ask our actors to see couches made of three chairs, designers to create cities in empty spaces, and most of all; we ask audiences to believe the stories and relationships that are figurative and often abstract. This level of critical and creative engagement is assumed to develop in spaces of higher education. However, with an ever-changing world and increasing conversions and integrations of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in spaces of higher education, it has become even more apparent that students need to develop their creative and critical thinking skills earlier on in their development. By recontextualizing learning through imaginative immersive game systems, such as Dungeons & Dragons and similar tabletop role-playing games (TTRPGs), I have found that students experience categories of significant learning synergistically through experiential gameplay. This immersive storytelling relies entirely on the player-performers to spend their disbelief and immerse themselves in their imagination, termed theatre of the mind. The gamification of role-play acts as a means of challenging students to activate their development of collaborative improv, storytelling/playwriting, and dramaturgy skills. Through research and play testing, I have developed a gamified drama-focused role-play educational tool utilizing many of the core gameplay mechanics in the world's most popular TTRPGs. In this thesis, I present the game structure and reflect upon my experiences implementing this work. Additionally, I explore the cross sections between game design and immersive theatre practice and consider how this intersection is utilized in gamified performance and pedagogy. Finally, I consider how a theatre-of-the-mind-based pedagogy can be utilized in subjects outside of the theatre classroom.

Completion Date




Committee Chair

Listengarten, Julia


Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.)


College of Arts and Humanities


Performing Arts

Degree Program

Theatre for Young Audiences






In copyright

Release Date

May 2024

Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Masters Thesis (Open Access)

Campus Location

Orlando (Main) Campus

Accessibility Status

Meets minimum standards for ETDs/HUTs