Specialization in Theatre for Youth

Specialization in Theatre for Youth

Please Note: The TFY program is re-organizing within the ITS program–please contact us for the latest information before applying.

The Theatre for Youth Program is a comprehensive program for graduate students who are interested in interdisciplinary studies in theatre and drama with, by, and for children and youth. TFY students train in the artistic and educational aspects of theatre and drama, theoretical and practical, formal and informal, production and process oriented, with and for youth. A strong emphasis is placed on community outreach and involvement. The Theatre for Youth Program at UW-Madison stresses the potential and value of theatre and drama both as an art form and as a teaching method. Courses offered incorporate theory, history, methodology, and practice. In addition to TFY in the United States, the program maintains a strong international focus through course content, methods, and productions.

Qualified students may pursue a M.A. or Ph.D. degree in the broad area of Theatre For Youth, which includes Theatre for Young Audiences (TYA), Drama for Teaching and Learning, and Applied Theatre. The student is expected to develop a thorough background in traditional theatre, i.e., world drama, history, criticism, and production. In addition, the student may develop and pursue special interests, research, and production in theatre and drama as it applies specifically to young people, pre-K to post high school. Considerable coursework is expected in other departments of the University to enhance this area of specialization.

Candidates for the M.A. degree with a specialization in Theatre for Youth will be advised by the Director of the Theatre for Youth Program and must take at least 12 credits in Theatre for Youth. They will gear their thesis to any aspect of the field of theatre for youth in consultation with their advisor. The thesis should be a product of the student’s independent research, carried out in consultation with the Advisor and other faculty members with expertise in the field.

Ph.D. students in Theatre for Youth are advised by the Director of the Theatre for Youth Program, and take the TFY courses offered by the department in the course of their studies. They will gear their dissertation to any aspect of the field of Theatre for Youth in consultation with their advisor. In addition, at least one of their three Prelim A papers should discuss an aspect of theatre and drama for youth.

For more information on the TFY Specialization in the Interdisciplinary Theatre Studies Program, contact Professor Manon van de Water mvandewa@wisc.edu.

Frequently Offered Courses in Theatre for Youth

T&D/C&I 362 Drama in Education
An introduction to the philosophy, methodologies, and practice of drama in education. A unique feature of the class is its lab, which consists of demonstrations with children from the community.

T&D/C&I 426 History, Theory, and Criticism in Theatre for Young Audiences

Historiographical perspectives in theatre for young audiences, including the analysis of plays for young people and theoretical implications and assumptions. Discussions of current developments in TYA.

T&D/C&I 462 Theatre for Young Audiences, Production
A production class which includes the preparation and performance of a main-stage production for young audiences, as well as the development of educational materials and implementation of pre and post-show drama workshops.

T&D/C&I 525 Applied Theatre
An overview of the practical and theoretical perspectives on the use of formal theatre techniques in elementary or secondary educational settings or for special interest groups in the community. Students in this course devise, script, and present programs as actor-teachers and interact with audiences.

T&D/C&I 562 Drama in Education, Advanced Studies
An in-depth exploration of practical and theoretical perspectives on the place of drama in education. Focus is on the development of a philosophy for drama in education and its integration into a short-term drama curriculum. Students conduct lab sessions in an educational setting in the community.

T&D 619 Special Topics in Theatre/Drama With and For Youth
A graduate-level course on specialized subjects of current interest in the history, theory, and pedagogy of theatre and drama by, with, and for young people. Courses include Theatre as Therapy in Volatile Regions and International TYA.

T&D 911 Seminar: Problems in Theatre and Drama
A graduate seminar on specialized subjects of current interest in the history, theory, and pedagogy of theatre and drama by, with, and for young people. Courses include Ideologies in Theater for Youth and Theatre, Youth, Culture.

TYA Productions

The mission of the Theatre for Young Audiences Program is to offer quality productions that respect young people’s capacity to construct meaning, both on an emotional and intellectual level. Our productions will not talk down to children, nor shy away from subjects that occupy their minds and hearts. Productions aim to be diverse and multicultural; in content, casting, and design. Many productions are original translations and US premieres.