Applied Theatre and Community Building

Discovery Core Experience: VLPA Courses


60-Second Syllabus: Applied Theatre and Community BuildingVisual and Literary Arts Icon

About This Course: 

This course is an active exploration of how theatre is used for social change work and to provide opportunities for empathy and dialogue. Students will learn acting and improvisation skills, as well as engage in discussions and research. We will define applied theatre and explore examples of individuals and groups participating in this work. Additionally, we will put these ideas into practice. This quarter, we will be working with the group 206 Forward- Youth Advocates of Seattle, a club through Seattle Parks and Recreation. They focus on building youth voice, engaging in community action, and building leadership skills. We will meet with them twice during the quarter to learn from one another and use theatre as a tool for self- expression and gaining confidence as public speakers. At the end of the quarter, you will all create original theatre projects designed to stimulate dialogue about access to education. I hope that you leave the course having connected deeply with your classroom community and used theatre as the means to contribute positively to the larger Seattle community as well.

Professor Deborah Hathaway (She/Her/Hers)

Headshot of Deborah HathawayAbout Professor Hathaway: 

  • B.A. Theatre, Musical Theatre, University of Southern California
  • M.A. Educational Theatre in Colleges and Communities, New York University



"I believe the skills we learn in theater can be directly applied to all aspects of life outside the classroom and the stage.  Even if the final career goal is not one in theater, I challenge each student to find his or her own meaningful connection to the work." -Professor Hathaway