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Playing God on a Budget: The Importance of Poor Theater in Education


In this thesis, I will make a case for the importance of poor theatre models within educational institutions. I will clarify the educational advantages that working within the limits of minimal resources plays in the artistic development of students. I will draw out the important lessons that can be learned about creating cohesive worlds onstage and support it with examples from my experiences as Artistic Director of U.C. Santa Cruz’s student-run, poor theatre company, Barnstorm. I will use three case studies as further evidence: Barnstorm’s The Tempest, which I produced and directed; Barnstorm’s Ghosts, for which I acted as producer; and Pains of Youth, which I independently produced and directed using the skills I had learned from my work on the first two. Through this examination, I will make clear the necessity of learning the skills to work within limitations for the developing theatre artist.

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