Date of Award

8-31-2014

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Liberal Studies (MALS)

Department

Liberal Studies

First Reader

Leah Lembo

Second Reader

Jeffrey Jamner

Abstract

This study examines the relationship of theatre, education, and emotional and social intelligence. The applied research component explores what theatrical processes can offer the efforts to address the issues of bullying by developing skills (focusing on empathy) to help deal with that issue in a substantive way. In this study, I provide a selected review of literature with regards to: how theatre has historically addressed social issues, the current state of bullying with an emphasis on bullying in schools, and how theatre is currently addressing the issue of bullying in both school and theatrical settings. The role that emotional and social intelligence plays, as espoused by Daniel Goleman, in preventing bullying and how that compares with tools developed by theatre artists and nurtured in theatre audiences is also examined. In the applied research portion of the project, I create a case study that follows a high school production of The Secret Life of Girls, a play about teen-age girls and bullying, by Linda Daugherty. Included in the participant-observer case study are rehearsal observations, observations of 3 school-day performances, and interactions with the five schools attending 3 school-day performances. Conclusions show that theatrical processes contain promise in nurturing and developing social and emotional intelligence and that further study is warranted.

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