M.F.A. in Drama and Theatre for Youth and Communities


Nationally recognized as a leading graduate program in the field, the M.F.A. in Drama & Theatre for Youth & Communities (DTYC) focuses on the interdependence of theatre artistry, pedagogy, and scholarship. The DTYC program is inherently interdisciplinary in nature, drawing on practice and scholarship from many fields such as theatre/drama with youth, education, cultural studies, performance studies, health and wellness, youth development, and visual arts. Throughout their program of study, students in DTYC participate in socially engaged and  culturally responsible coursework, fieldwork, performance-making and research activities.  Through drama-based pedagogy, youth-focused artistry, and rigorous scholarship, students and faculty in this area demonstrate a strong commitment to leadership, community, diversity, innovation, and social justice. This M.F.A. program also responds to contemporary issues in the field and contributes to local and global discourses related to drama and theatre with/for youth and communities.


The M.F.A. in DTYC attends to theoretical foundations and critical issues to prepare graduates for multiple career paths in elementary and secondary schools, college and university education; community and non-profit sites, and professional theatre for young audiences [TYA]. The three-year, sixty-semester-hour program stresses flexibility and encourages participation in classes throughout the Department of Theatre and Dance and the University at large. The program culminates in a practical thesis project and a written thesis document which applies theory from a wide range of disciplines (education, social sciences, drama/theatre, performance studies, among many others) to an area of practice in drama and theatre for youth and communities. Thesis projects apply reflective practitioner research to address Applied Drama/Theatre, Arts Integration, Community Engagement, Drama-in-Education, Theatre for Young Audiences, Teaching Artist Praxis, Theatre Education, Theatre-in-Education, Youth Theatre, and/or the creation or production of original works for young audiences or other appropriate projects. Within higher education and the theatre profession, the MFA in DTYC is considered a terminal degree for related fields of study. The degree does not lead to public school teacher certification; however, students interested in teacher certification may take additional classes to achieve this goal.


The DTYC program began in 1945 with a focus on creative drama classes and plays for children. Decades later, DTYC remains an integral component of the departmental landscape through our production work, as well as innovative school and community engagement programs.  Plays for young audiences are presented on campus and on tour to schools. Many of the productions have been premières of such plays as The Honorable Urashima Taro; The Arkansaw Bear; Tomato Plant Girl; Ashes, Ashes; And Then Came Tango; and Señora Tortuga. Students often engage in new play dramaturgy projects and audience engagement with leading professional companies such as Metro Theatre Company, The Coterie Theatre, Seattle Children's Theatre, Childsplay Inc., Imagination Stage, and the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts. In addition, DTYC students engage with youth and communities through long-term faculty-led programs, such as Drama for Schools and the Performing Justice Project, as well as innovative projects locally, nationally, and internationally.  Our M.F.A. students work closely with our B.F.A. program in Theatre Studies, collaborating with pre-service teachers and working as Teaching Assistants in many of our undergraduate courses. Each of these opportunities provides a laboratory for students and faculty to pursue a variety of research and practice-based initiatives. Please visit our additional pages to explore the DTYC curriculum, as well as specific ways that our students engage with youth and communities beyond the UT classroom.