Minor In Applied Theatre

Theatre practitioners are regularly applying their practice in the fields of education, medicine, therapy, political advocacy, environmental justice, community organizing, social services and justice reform. The academic area that studies these applications is called Applied Theatre. This part of the field is an ever-evolving and hybrid study of artistic, cultural and social practices that are advanced through a continued examination of their efficacy and ethics.

Students interested in Applied Theatre Studies often ask:

  • How do I use my art form to create a more just society?
  • How can I use my art to help my community?
  • How do my politics and my identity impact the work I make?
  • How is my art relevant to the major global issues we are dealing with today?
  • How can we use theatre to disrupt systems of oppression?
  • How do I make theatre more accessible?
  • What is Theatre of the Oppressed? Playback Theatre? Educational Theatre? Theatre of Witness? Revolutionary Theatre? Street Theatre? Theatre for Development? Drama Therapy? Eco-Theatre? Community-Based Theatre?

All of these questions are relevant to the study of Applied Theatre!

What is the Applied Theatre Minor within Tisch Drama?

The Applied Theatre Minor is an effort to support students that want to focus their time on studying how theatre can be applied to the pursuit of improving the lives of individuals, communities, and societies. It was created by Jan Cohen-Cruz with the support of then department chair, Una Chaudhuri. As more students became interested in the minor, Cohen-Cruz found collaborators in Awam Amkpa and Rosemary Quinn, who then went on to mentor interested students and administrate the minor for more than a decade.

How do I engage with Applied Theatre at NYU?

There are many scholars/practitioners throughout NYU that engage with different practices within Applied Theatre. Professors within Tisch Drama, Experimental Humanities and Social Engagement, Gallatin, Art and Public Policy, Steinhardt, Open Arts, and elsewhere are teaching courses related to specific Applied Theatre Studies theories and practices.

How do I get an Applied Theatre Minor?

Students interested in completing an Applied Theatre Minor will receive support from their Advisor and the Director of Applied Theatre, Mauricio Tafur Salgado, in order to ensure that they can complete the minor alongside their Studio work and their academic responsibilities. If you decide to pursue the minor, Salgado will meet with you monthly to talk through your progress. Below are five steps that describe what will be required from you in order to complete the minor.


STEP ONE: Declare your interest

In order to declare your interest in the minor you must complete a short essay reflecting on the reasons why you want to complete the minor. The essay should be between 750-1000 words and must be completed through this link: https://forms.gle/aYUuHv6McTvL7RrH9

You must also talk/communicate with your Student Advisor to make sure that you can organize your overall coursework to complete the required courses for the minor. Once your Advisor assesses that you can complete your course load and you’ve completed the personal essay, The Student Advisor will confirm that you have officially declared your pursuit of the Minor.

STEP TWO: Sign up for an Applied Theatre Minor Introductory Retreat

For this 4 to 6 hour Introductory retreat, you will join other Tisch Drama students pursuing the Minor and students from other departments in Tisch and Schools at NYU that are studying Applied Theatre. Three retreats will be offered over the course of the academic year and you are required to attend one of them. To find out information on retreat dates and to sign up, please contact John Dietrich (John.Dietrich@nyu.edu)

STEP THREE: Complete at least three-four credit courses

These three courses must include:

a. An introductory course on Applied Theatre. (AT Intro Courses)
b. A course that explores the critical discourse of a social, political, or historic topic that relates to the issues that you hope to engage with your Applied Theatre practice.[1] (AT Critical Contexts)
c. A course on an Applied Theatre Praxis. (AT Praxis Courses)

STEP FOUR: Complete an Internship for two or four credits

Internships in Applied Theatre can be arranged in any semester including the summer. While completing your internship, students will take four workshops focusing on the ethics of community engagement and collaboration. If the student completes a two-credit internship then they will have to complete an additional four-credit course to complete the minor.

Additional Requirements

AT ANY TIME THROUGHOUT YOUR STUDIES: Support one Applied Theatre Studies community event at NYU

These can be events initiated by the student or in collaboration with Applied Theatre faculty. They can be events at Tisch or any other School within New York University as a whole, as long as it is related to Applied Theatre practice or the particular issue the student is focusing on within their research. Such events can include organizing panel discussions or workshops. Students can also support one of the Applied Theatre Minor Retreats.

Applied Theatre Courses

These are some of the many courses that could be considered towards an Applied Theatre Minor:

Applied Theatre Intro Courses

THEA-UT 491 - Applied Theatre Change Maker's Lab - Mauricio Salgado

THEA-UT 625 - Cmty-Based Thea: Intercultural Collab w Teens - Martha Bowers

MPAET-UE.1978/GE.2978 - Applied Theatre Praxis - Joe Salvatore




Applied Theatre Critical Context Courses

THEA-UT 605 - African American Drama - Wright

THEA-UT 606 - Asian Diasporic Drama - Takahashi

THEA-UT 632 - Jewish Diasporic Performance - Biggie

THEA-UT 732 - Feminism & Theater: Evil Women on the Pre-Modern Stage - Davis

THEA-UT 732 - Debates of the Turn of the Millennium of the US Stage - Jones 

THEA-UT 747 - Arab Theatre & Film:  Contemporary Arab Theatre - Atrach

THEA-UT 801 – Migration in Theatre, Film, & Performance Art - Ziter

THEA-UT 608 - Modern US Drama - Jones

THEA-UT 623 - Feminism and Theatre: Abolitionism and Feminism - Jones

THEA-UT 632 - Theatrical Genres: Approaching Indigenous Theatre - Salgado

THEA-UT 632 - Theatrical Genres: Trans-Inflected Theatre and its Potentials - Barbagallo

THEA-UT 678 - Producing Artistic Entrepreneurship - Bradley

THEA - UT 732 - Theatrical Genres: Disability, Medicine and the Performance of Embodied Difference - Araneo

THEA-UT 749 - Pre-Conquest & Colonial Theatre in Latin America - Bentin

THEA-UT 750 - Performance Studies: Spectacle and Surveillance - Bentin

THEA-UT 744 - Theatre in Asia: Japanese Theatre: Classical to Modern - Takahashi

OART-UT 1018 - art and social change

OART-UT 1058- Abrupt climate change

OART-UT 1057 - Green World

OART-UT 300 - Imagining the future through the arts

OART-UT 1500  - Iran Arts Activism

OART-UT 826 - Politics of Portraiture

OART-UT 1093  - Creative Fundraising

OART-UT 1017 - Multidisciplinary Arts Practice with Community Groups: Theories & Practice of Group Works in the Arts

OART-UT 298: Research: Manifestos & Arts Practice


Applied Theatre Praxis Courses

THEA-UT 625 - Cmty-Based Thea: Intercult Collabs w Teens - Bowers

THEA-UT 625 - Community-Based Theatre: Theatre & Activism - Swopes

THEA-UT 664 - Collaboration Practicum: The Creative Process - Whitehead

THEA-UT 673 - Theatre and Therapy - Omens

THEA-UT 632 - Boal and Beyond - Jirau

THEA-UT 625 - Community-Based Theatre: Site Specific - Bowers

THEA-UT 632 - Boal and Beyond - Alker 

THEA-UT 673 - Theatre and Therapy Practicum - Omens

MPAET-GE 2114 Creating Ethnodrama & Documentary Theatre - Salvatore