Bridging theatre and visual art : the role of an applied theatre practitioner in a fine art museum
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This thesis document details the theoretical and practical implications of using theatrical techniques and drama-based instruction in the visual art museum setting. Presented are four diverse museum theatre programs created and implemented at The Blanton Museum of Art at the University of Texas at Austin. These programs support the argument that drama-based instruction and theatrical techniques can help deepen and/or complicate the notion of visitor engagement in a visual art museum. The theoretical underpinnings of museum theatre are investigated by examining elements of applied theatre and museum learning and the progressive education theory which shapes their practice. The belief is put forth that creative participation in museum education is essential for personal and critical connection with visual art. Theatre is a dynamic and powerful tool to support this creative participation. Findings include recommendations for utilizing museum theatre programming implemented by an applied theatre practitioner as it promotes the use of critical thinking and problem-solving skills, engages the senses, and stimulates meaningful dialogue.