Engaging Schools and Communities

Students in the Drama and Theatre for Youth and Communities program have the opportunity to engage in a variety of dynamic programs and projects focused on theatre for young audiences, drama and theatre education, and applied theatre and drama.

Current Programs and Projects

The Cohen New Works Festival

Drama and Theatre for Youth and Communities students regularly participate in the Cohen New Works Festival, a biennial, week-long showcase or new work created by university students and faculty. Recent projects include And Then Came Tango by Emily Freeman, Wonder and Wander by Bethany Lynn Corey, Third Street by Briandaniel Oglesby and Ben Hardin and Shrines to Childhood (pictured left) by Briana Bower, Megan Nevels and Jennifer Arffmann. 

Learn More about The Cohen New Works Festival

Drama for Schools

Drama for Schools (DFS) is a collaborative, professional development program model in drama-based instruction, in association with the Department of Theatre and Dance. From our hometown of Austin to Texas' Rio Grande Valley to a small village in Alaska, Drama for Schools has partnered with schools and communities for over 15 years. 

Learn More About Drama for Schools

New play and production dramaturgy

Drama and Theatre for Youth and Communities frequently collaborate as dramaturgs with a variety of professional theatres and development teams including Seattle Children's Theatre, Teatro Vivo, ZACH Theatre and Write Now.

The Performing Justice Project

Created by Dr. Megan Alrutz and Lynn Hoare, with support from the Center for Women's and Gender Studies, the Performing Justice Project (PJP) partners with high schools, juvenile justice centers and other community-based sites to devise original performance pieces which explore and enact gender and racial justice. The Performing Justice Project creates live performance work, as well as digital stories and public dialogue.

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Voices Against Violence

This partnership program between the university Counseling and Mental Health Center and Department of Theatre and Dance offers an opportunity for students to perform and facilitate dialogue around issues of consent and sexual violence. Students may participate by taking the Theatre for Dialogue Ensemble course and by joining the Get Sexy, Get Consent ensemble.

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Former Programs and Projects

The Balloon Project

A theatrical collaboration between the university and Patch Theatre Company (Adelaide, South Australia), the Balloon Project was a devised, visual theatre piece for children ages three to eight years old. The work was built using an interactive performance-making model created by Patch Theatre Company, who is dedicated to presenting repertoire for the very young and their families. Learn more about Patch Theatre Company.

The Living Newspaper Project

The Living Newspaper Project facilitates the active exploration and research of current civic issues by providing teachers and students with the resources to bring a newspaper to life. Engaging secondary school teachers and students, the Living Newspaper Project is a collaboration between the Bernard and Audre Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice of the university's Law School, Creative Action and the Department of Theatre and Dance. Learn more about the Living Newspaper Project.


Originally conceived by students in Professor Katie Dawson's Drama and Theatre Applications in Museum Settings course, mappingDESIRE was an applied theatre/digital media project that invited the university community to share their stories through audio recordings and share them with a public audience. The recorded narratives were framed as stories about experiences of/with desire on campus and were performed and archived on a web-based map of the university campus.

Sacred Springs Summer Camp

Hosted by the Indigenous Cultures Institute (ICI), the Sacred Springs Summer Camp strives to reconnect youth with their heritage through education and exploration. University faculty and students serve as teaching artists and coordinators, learning with youth through danza, music and visual art.