Applied Theatre

Applied Theatre is the practice of theatre and drama in non-traditional settings and/or with marginalized communities. It encompasses theatre practices that tackle areas of social and cultural policy such as public health, education, housing, social welfare, and juvenile and criminal justice.

Students of Applied Theatre have worked in a range of locations – including homes for the elderly, community and recreational sites, and prison facilities. This specialization can help you become an active creator in the areas of political and guerilla theatre, theatre of the oppressed, theatre in prisons, and theatre for development, as well as preparing you to work with social service and community agencies.

The NYU Steinhardt’s Educational Theatre program is recognized as a major contributor to research and praxis in applied theatre. Faculty serve on major peer-reviewed editorial boards dedicated to applied theatre, including Applied Theatre Researcher, ArtsPraxis,  Journal of Applied Arts and Health, and Research in Drama Education: The Journal of Applied Theatre and Performance.

Graduates hold senior university posts worldwide; they are teaching artists; they develop artist in residency programs; they write and implement issue-based curriculum resources; they author ethnodramas; and they lead educational and community outreach programs in urban and rural landscapes, including major cultural institutions.  

The program is committed to developing future leaders and artist-practitioners who study the:

  • purposes and contribution of applied theatre to cultural life
  • major scholars and practitioners in the field of applied theatre
  • design, application, and scholarship of applied theatre in diverse contexts