Identity, intentionality, transformation : one teaching artist’s journey through an applied theatre process

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Luck, Jennifer Hartmann

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What does it mean to be a Teaching Artist and how does the creation and facilitation of an applied theatre program with youth shape a Teaching Artist’s identity? This thesis follows the journey of one Teaching Artist and the applied theatre project she created and facilitated at The Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders in Austin, Texas, surrounding the issues of self esteem and body acceptance. This applied theatre project combined drama-based strategies and creative writing strategies with public performance opportunities to encourage young girls to find their voices in order to promote positive self esteem. The semester long, after-school project was initially entered into by the Teaching Artist as a form of interactive dramaturgy and research, with the intention of developing a one woman play for young audiences about the same issues. But once submerged in the project, the Teaching Artist began to question the ethics of her process; she began to struggle with her identity, her intentionality and the reciprocity found within her work. All educators hope to transform their students; to observe growth and positive change among their pupils, to witness a successful performance event or to behold young people reveling in art making. But this thesis also considers the possibility that some of the greatest transformation in an arts education/applied theatre setting may be found within the educator themselves



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