Interim Department Chair Professor, Drama and Theatre for Youth and Communities / UTeach Theatre
Dr. Megan Alrutz is Associate Chair and graduate advisor for the Department of Theatre and Dance, where she teaches in the Drama and Theatre for Youth and Communities and UTeach Theatre areas. Her research and practice focus on creating new and interdisciplinary performance, storytelling (live and digital) and drama-based pedagogy.
A graduate of Arizona State University and Rutgers University, Alrutz works nationally and internationally as a theatre-maker, director and dramaturg. She creates and directs visually dynamic and poetic theatre for the very young and works as the dramaturg for award-winning author/illustrator, playwright and screenwriter Mo Willems. Alrutz’s most recent production work includes devising and directing an original theatre for the very young production called Gimme Please! (devised with Sam Provenzano and University of Texas at Austin students, premiered at the Alliance Theatre in partnership with the Paperboats Platform, showcased at TYA/USA Festival 2019), dramaturging and directing within Mo Willems’ suite of live productions at the Kennedy Center and serving as producer and production dramaturg for Willems’ animated and live-action productions for HBO Max. Alrutz’s work has premiered at the Alliance Theatre, Arts on the Horizon, Metro Theatre, Orlando Rep, the Kennedy Center and presenting houses throughout the U.S.
As a thought leader in applied theatre with/for young people, Alrutz also leads interactive workshops and trainings in K-12 schools and higher education and with organizations focused on gender and racial justice, community engagement, professional development, digital storytelling and curriculum innovation. She created and co-directs two long-term applied theatre programs. In Patchwork Stories, co-directed with Fiona MacBeth, Alrutz devises and directs interactive, story-based installations that respond to and raise community questions through artistic frames and local stories. In collaboration with Lynn Hoare, Megan co-directs the Performing Justice Project, an applied theatre program that invites young people to devise original theatre as a way to explore, imagine and perform gender and racial justice in their lives and communities.
Alrutz is the author or co-author of three books: Devising Critically Engaged Theatre with Youth: The Performing Justice Project (Routledge 2020); Digital Storytelling, Applied Theatre & Youth: Performing Possibility (Routledge 2015) and Playing with Theory in Theatre Practice (Palgrave 2010). Her scholarship has also been featured in Research in Drama Education, Youth Theatre Journal, Teaching Artist Journal and Journal of Community Engagement and Scholarship.
Applied theatre, digital storytelling, devising, dramaturgy, theatre for young audiences, theatre with and for youth, theatre for the very young (ages 2-6), intersectional feminism and critical performance pedagogies
Applied Drama and Theatre, Creative Drama, Community Engagement, Digital Storytelling, Dramatic Literature for Youth and Families, Dramaturgy, Performing Justice Project, Practice-based Research, Theatre for the Very Young, Theatre for Young Audiences, Theatre and Social Justice, Research Methods, Storytelling for Presentation.