Graduate Research Papers


Open Access Graduate Research Paper


Theatre education in the high school has an interesting past. Theatre has a long presence in schools as entertainment, but its benefits to educational outcomes has been largely overlooked. In the United States around the turn of the last century, this schema began to be questioned. In 1936, Columbia University published a book discussing the use of theatre in the United States and its possible uses in education: "The Production of Later 19th Century American Drama" by Garrett Leverton. This book was the first to discuss the beginning of the changing role of theatre in education. Columbia University was not the only place interested in the use of theatre in education. Other books were written that dealt directly with the uses of theatre in education: "Drama in Education" by Grace Sloan Overton was published in 1926, and Samuel J. Hume and Lois M. Foster published the quintessential book "Theatre and School" in 1932. Both of these books, along with scores of journal articles, discussed the vital role that theatre should play in education. The authors asserted that theatre education taught communication skills and problem solving skills, among other lessons. The problem was they did not have any proof. No quantitative data had been collected, nor had any qualitative research been cited in the previously mentioned books. The authors published what they had seen in their own work, expecting their findings to be self-evident. These books went as far as giving teachers instructions on how to implement theatre into their curriculum and lesson planning.

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Degree Name

Master of Arts


Department of Theatre


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