Creative Drama and Youth Voice: Teaching Health Topics and Empowerment through Theater and Peer Education

Date of Completion


Document Type

Open Access Capstone

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

First Advisor

Delores B. Gallo


In this paper, the Teenage Girls InFormed (TGIF) theater project has shown the power and value of using theater as a creative and critical teaching tool in order to reduce violence in girls' lives. The introduction explains the nature of the project which uses drama as a teaching tool in a peer leadership project focusing on girls and violence. The paper explains in detail the process of developing the theater piece through the individual "stories" of four Boston high school students and one college student. The performance piece was then performed for middle school audiences with the goal of involving the audience in discovering and creating strategies for violence reduction among young women in the areas of interpersonal violence and relationship abuse. Three major areas of research were addressed: 1) critical and creative thinking, 2) creative drama, and 3) youth empowerment and peer leadership. Finally the evaluation of the project was developed through the implementation of several tools which indicated the growth of the peer leaders in theater skills, knowledge of strategies for violence prevention and personal confidence. The response of the audience was also assessed and further supported the efficacy of theater and peer leadership as teaching and empowerment methods.


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