Katie Dawson

Drama and Theatre for Youth and Communities


Acting for Non-Majors, Outreach Methods, Creative Drama I, Creative Drama II, Teaching Artists in Schools and Communities, Applied Drama and Theatre, Theatre-in-Education

I am also the faculty coordinator for UT's Arts in Communities program, Drama For Schools.

What you enjoy most about being a part of UT Theatre and Dance:

I am most inspired by the level of student engagement within the department and the greater community. Our students actively participate in their education, becoming advocates for their own emotional and intellectual development.

Favorite thing about Austin:

Green spaces, great people. . .it's a place where I feel that I'm the best version of myself.

Current projects/research/interests/hobbies:

I am exploring the use of collaborative, dialogic professional development programs in drama-based instruction as a way to make a sustainable improvement in K-12 school culture, teacher satisfaction, and student success.

The biggest risk you have taken to date:

Becoming a first-time mom and a first-time professor at the same time . . . neither was easy, but I love both jobs!

Something about yourself that we wouldn't know from reading your professional biography:

When I was sixteen, I was one of the original safety test crash dummies for the Department of Highway Safety. I used to appear as "Vince" at live trade shows, where I rapped about the importance of buckling your safety belt.

About Katie:

Katie Dawson is an assistant professor in the Department of Theatre and Dance at the University of Texas at Austin and serves as director of the Drama for Schools program. Her areas of research include community-engaged outreach programs, arts integration, drama-based instruction, museum theatre, and teaching artist praxis. Katie is the former coordinator of the Science Comes Alive interactive theatre program at the California Science Center. She spent three years as a classroom teacher and over twenty-five years facilitating arts integration lessons in schools in Ohio, Chicago, Montana, California, Texas, Washington D.C., and the northern interior of Alaska. Katie was named the 2005 Winifred Ward Scholar and received the 2013 Creative Drama Award from the American Alliance for Theatre and Education. She received the 2012 Teaching Award from the Department of Theatre and Dance and 2013 Regents Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching. Katie has facilitated trainings, presented workshops, and given interactive keynotes at numerous locations including: The University of Southern California, Texas State University, New York University, Southeast Center for Education and the Arts, Young Audiences of Northeast Texas, Illinois Theatre Association, Texas Theatre Educators Association, Texas Association of Museums, Texas ASCD, the Dana Foundation, American Alliance of Theatre and Education, Association for Theatre in Higher Education, the American Educational Research Association, the ComeOUT Festival and the University of South Australia. Her scholarship has been published in Youth Theatre Journal, International Journal of Education and the Arts, RiDE: The Journal of Applied Theatre and Performance, and the International Journal for Learning through the Arts, Teaching and Teacher Education among others. Her play, No Problem, is published by Dramatic Publishing. Katie worked as an actor in repertory theatres in Chicago, Alabama, Montana, and Los Angeles. She developed and sold two children’s television shows and made multiple guest appearances on talk shows (Donnie and Marie, Bob Saget, Ellen) modeling inquiry-based activities for families. Her new co-authored book, The Reflexive Teaching Artist: Collective Wisdom from the Field, will be available the summer of 2014 from Intellect.