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The adolescent's voice: how theatre participation impacts high schoolers and college students

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This dissertation is a qualitative study based on the experiences of five high schoolers and five college-aged students who grew up in Erie, Pennsylvania, and participated in theatrical productions within their schools, churches, the Erie Playhouse Youtheatre, and other community

This dissertation is a qualitative study based on the experiences of five high schoolers and five college-aged students who grew up in Erie, Pennsylvania, and participated in theatrical productions within their schools, churches, the Erie Playhouse Youtheatre, and other community theatres. The author begins with an introduction of the theatrical scene in Erie and explains the options available to these youth during the times they performed, so the reader will have a better understanding of the background of these young people. The author then explores the current literature dealing with youth participants in a youth theatre setting. In his research, he notes that there were few scholarly books or articles that directly dealt with youth who participate in youth theatre. Most of the books dealt with youth who are part of theatrical programs in school settings, and few researchers utilized the youth's voice as part of the process. The author interviewed ten participants about their theatrical experiences asking them about aspects such as: positive and negative experiences, why they performed, and what they learned from doing theatre. After transcribing the interviews, the author analyzed the participants' responses for values, attitudes, and beliefs about theatre. From this analysis, the author found six themes emerged focusing on: fun, friendship, family, personal growth, commitment to productions, and negative experiences in the theatrical process. Throughout the document, the author utilized the youths' voices and kept their words and thoughts as the basis for all findings constructed and discussed.

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Date Created
2014