Building A Workable Model For Youth Theatre An Exploration Into A Courageous And Complex Field

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Mayo, Megan E
Children's theater; Theater -- Production and direction
thesis / dissertation description
As an active director of productions featuring youth actors, I find myself debating the same questions continuously: Are there clear and demonstrated differences between working with young people and adults when directing a youth theatre production? Are there approaches and methods of working with young people that differs greatly from working with adults? Are these methods supported and utilized by those working professionally in the field? Is there an ideal format for a theatre producing only productions with youth? I believe that directing young actors tends to require a shift in focus due to the pliability, sensitivity, and inexperience of the actors. I feel the director must take into account the emotional, developmental, and educational needs of the young people and at the same time remain focused on the creation of a product with artistic integrity and clear storytelling. Due to the didactic nature of Youth Theatre, directing young people often requires an awareness of process over product despite the similar end goal of directing adults. Since little research or literature exists about the differences between working with adults versus young people, I will pursue information by interviewing several recognized professionals in the field of Theatre by and for Youth. I will examine their multiple methods, techniques, and practices of working with young people. In addition, I will use my personal experience working with youth at the Orlando Repertory Theatre in Florida and Coterie Theatre in Missouri. Through an investigation into the emerging field of Youth iv Theatre coupled with my education, I plan to develop a workable and effective youth theatre company based upon these findings with the hope it might inspire others working in this field