Applied Theatre with Youth is a collection of essays that highlight the value and efficacy of applied theatre with young people in a broad range of settings, addressing challenges and offering concrete solutions.

This book tackles the vital issues of our time—including, among others, racism, climate crisis, gun violence, immigration, and gender—fostering dialogue, promoting education, and inciting social change. The book is divided into thematic sections, each opening with an essay addressing a range of questions about the benefits, challenges, and learning opportunities of a particular type of applied theatre. These are followed by response essays from theatre practitioners, discussing how their own approach aligns with and/or diverges from that of the initial essay. Each section then ends with a moderated roundtable discussion between the essays’ authors, further exploring the themes, issues, and ideas that they have introduced.

With its accessible format and clear language, Applied Theatre with Youth is a valuable resource for theatre practitioners and the growing number of theatre companies with education and community engagement programs. Additionally, it provides essential reading for teachers and students in a myriad of fields: education, theatre, civic engagement, criminal justice, sociology, women and gender studies, environmental studies, disability studies, ethnicity and race studies.

chapter |10 pages

Editors’ introduction

ByLisa S. Brenner, Chris Ceraso, Evelyn Diaz Cruz

part 1|26 pages

Engaging community

chapter 1|9 pages

Goodman Theatre

Civic practice in service of community
ByWilla J. Taylor

chapter 2|5 pages

Playmaking through polycultural partnerships

ByClaro de los Reyes, Marion Lopez, Amikogaabawiikwe

chapter 3|5 pages

Unleashing the untold story

The Carpetbag Theatre Inc. and the legacy of the T.R.Y. Ensemble
ByJoe Tolbert

part 2|26 pages

Bridging divides

chapter 4|10 pages

Seeing plays and writing plays

Pathways to understanding
ByDavid Shookhoff

chapter 5|5 pages

“Telling our own story”

Using digital storytelling to re-design education with Texas and Alaska youth
ByKathryn Dawson

chapter 6|5 pages

A translanguaging stance on theatre education

BySindy Isabel Castro

chapter |4 pages

Roundtable discussion with Sindy Isabel Castro, Chris Ceraso, Kathryn (Katie) Dawson, and David Shookhoff

ByLisa S. Brenner, Chris Ceraso, Evelyn Diaz Cruz

part 3|28 pages

Reframing narratives

chapter 7|9 pages

Neighborhood bridges

Rehearsing transformations in the classroom and beyond
ByMaria Asp, Sonja Kuftinec, Jack Zipes

chapter 8|5 pages

Room to play

An exploration of resources and youth agency
ByLiz Foster-Shaner

chapter 9|6 pages

A tale of telling some truths to power

ByJessica “Decky” Alexander

part 4|26 pages

Fostering agency

chapter 10|9 pages

From vision to implementation

Re-examining essential practices for applied theatre with youth
ByJoshua Rashon Streeter, Nicole Olusanya

chapter 11|5 pages

A process-oriented approach in applied theatre programming with youth

ByRachel DeSoto-Jackson

chapter 12|5 pages

Listen to us!

Teenage girls creating theatre for social change
ByDana Edell, Leonor Duran, Kuenique Allicock

part 5|26 pages

Celebrating identities

chapter 13|9 pages

Queering applied theatre

Working with LGBTQ youth to dismantle systems of oppression
ByAlexander Santiago-Jirau

chapter 14|5 pages

Rehearsing for life

HOPE IS VITAL, FYI, sexuality education for youth
ByNik Zaleski, Michael Rohd

chapter 15|5 pages

Staging generations of queer history

ByMegan Carney

part 6|26 pages

Embodying heritage

chapter 16|9 pages

Laughter, healing, and belonging

Cada quien tiene su lugar
ByMacedonio Arteaga, Alicia Chavez-Arteaga

chapter 17|5 pages

Ax X’oos Shaxwatíx

My feet are firmly planted
ByVera Starbard

chapter 18|5 pages

Tricksterism in translation

ByAndrés Munar

part 7|26 pages

Promoting equity

chapter 19|9 pages

Our story

How Nicu’s Spoon fosters representation, access, and inclusion for youth with disabilities
ByStephanie Barton-Farcas

chapter 20|5 pages

Inclusive theatre as drama therapy

BySally Bailey

chapter 21|5 pages

Where we do the things they think we can’t

The Pegasus Ensemble
ByScott S. Turner

chapter |5 pages

Roundtable discussion with Sally Bailey, Stephanie Barton-Farcas, Evelyn Diaz Cruz, and Scott S. Turner

ByLisa S. Brenner, Chris Ceraso, Evelyn Diaz Cruz

part 8|26 pages

Amplifying voices

chapter 22|9 pages


A theatre company of imagination, hope, life skills, and quality art for justice-involved young men
ByJudy K. Tate

chapter 23|4 pages

The value of process

Creating theatre with incarcerated youth
ByErin R. Kaplan

chapter 24|5 pages

Voices beyond bars

Art as a means of self-expression for incarcerated youth
ByJoanne Seelig Lamparter

chapter |6 pages

Roundtable discussion with Chris Ceraso, Erin R. Kaplan, Joanne Seelig Lamparter, and Judy K. Tate

ByLisa S. Brenner, Chris Ceraso, Evelyn Diaz Cruz

part 9|28 pages

Igniting activism

chapter 25|9 pages

Young Women’s Voices for Climate

ByBeth Osnes, Sarah Fahmy, Chelsea Hackett, Lianna Nixon

chapter 26|6 pages

The voters are coming

Moment Work and the national #HereToo Project
ByBarbara Pitts McAdams

chapter 27|6 pages

Speak About It

Social scripts for consent and healthy relationships
ByOlivia Harris