This thesis examined the ways in which present-day 6th through 12th grade theatre educators approach the topic of mental health, both implicitly and explicitly, in theatre education. Through a survey of existing literature, as well as interviews with 6th through 12th grade theatre educators, the researcher examined ways in which theatre educators were aware of the mental health needs of their students in any of the following capacities: explicit discussions regarding mental health, theatre curriculum, show selection, script analysis, and casting choices.
The reveal the educator perception that mental health issues are increasingly relevant to 6th through 12th grade youth, and that some educators have been taking specific and creative steps to incorporate explicit discussions surrounding mental health into their classroom and rehearsal processes. The researcher’s intention to conduct this study was to start a conversation about the needs students have for their mental health to be supported in the classroom; moreover, it was the hope of the researcher that this study would bring awareness to how students need more specific education taking place in their classrooms to understand this topic. The researcher specifically analyzed how theatre education spaces provide an opportunity to explore the topic of mental health with students using a unique, arts-based platform.
Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
College of Arts and Humanities
Meridionale, Alexandra M., "Addressing the Elephant on the Stage: Mental Health in Theatre Education" (2020). Honors Undergraduate Theses. 734.