Dr. Megan Alrutz heads the Drama and Theatre for Youth and Communities area in the Department of Theatre and Dance. She works nationally as a scholars, dramaturg, director and teaching artist in the areas of applied theatre and theatre with and for youth. Before coming to The University of Texas at Austin in 2009, she led the M.F.A. in Theatre for Young Audiences at the University of Central Florida. Her creative and scholarly work focuses on ethical representation and youth agency in applied theatre, theatre with and for youth and digital storytelling. Dr. Alrutz has a Ph.D. in Theatre from Arizona State University and a B.A. in Theatre from Rutgers University.
She was recently awarded the Harold Oaks Award in Theatre for Young Audiences (TYA/USA 2016), the Branson Ward Endowed Excellence Award (UT Austin 2016), the Foxworth Fellowship (UT Austin 2012), Grace Hill Milam Centennial Fellowship in Fine Arts (UT Austin 2011), Excellence in Graduate Teaching (UCF 2008) and the Service Learning Faculty Excellence Award (UCF 2007). She was also awarded the prestigious Winifred Ward Fellowship in 2003. Dr. Alrutz is a two-term board member of TYA/USA, and an active member of AATE, PSi and ATHE.
Dr. Alrutz currently co-directs the Performing Justice Project (PJP), an applied performance program that invited young people to devise new work about identity-based inequities and stories from their lives. She also co-directs Patchwork Stories, an on-going community-engaged performance project in partnership with the University of Exeter.
Areas of Expertise
Applied theatre, theatre with and for youth, theatre for the very young, digital storytelling, feminist and critical performance pedagogies
- Alrutz, Megan. Digital Storytelling, Applied Theatre & Youth: Performing Possibility. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge, September 2014.
- Alrutz, Megan, Julia Listengarten, and Vandy Wood, eds. Playing with Theory in Theatre Practice. Basingstokes: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012.
- Alrutz, Megan. "Playing at Praxis: Locating Youth Voices in History." The Reflexive Teaching Artist: Collected Wisdom from the Drama/Theatre Field, edited by Kathryn Dawson and Dan A. Kelin II. Intellect Books, 2014.
- Alrutz, Megan. "Sites of Possibility: Applied Theatre and Digital Storytelling with Youth." Research in Drama Education: The Journal of Applied Theatre and Performance 18.1: 44-57, 2013.
- Alrutz, Megan. "Performative Galleries: Integrating Applied Theatre and Digital Media into Museum Settings." Youth Theatre Journal 25:1-12, 2011.
- Naked Mole Rat Get Dressed: A Rock Experience, Seattle Children's Theatre (2017)
Book and Lyrics by Mo Willems, Music by Debbie Wicks LaPuma, Directed by Linda Hartzell
- Talkin' Trash, Metro Theater Company (2016)
Written by Nicholas Kryah, Directed by Julia Flood
- Point A to Point B, Arts on the Horizon (2015)
Conceived by David Kilpatrick
- The Good in Me / In My Skin, Mexican American Cultural Center (2015)
Devised with the Performing Justice Project, Co-directed by Lynn Hoare
What do you enjoy most about being a part of the UT Theatre and Dance community?
Our students are so smart and talented, and they care deeply about how the arts impact community. Working with both graduate and undergraduate students at UT is the best job I can imagine - we create beautiful performances, we positively impact spaces with young people, and we continue to imagine how stories just might change the world.
What is your favorite thing about Austin?
I love all of the hidden parks, trails and waterfalls. I also love the Kite Festival, the Outdoor Hope Gallery and the abundance of delicious coffee. Most of all, I love that I have so much chosen family on this campus and in this city.