African American Youth Assert Their Voice Through “Creative Dramatics”
Lisa Michele Grady
Thesis DT 3.5 1993 G732
xi, 301 leaves; 29 cm. + 1 folded sheet.
This thesis project analyzes the importance and accessibility of performance-based "creative dramatics" programs within today's African American adolescent and teenage communities. It examines the concept of "creative dramatics," re-defines this concept with regards to African American culture as a tool of empowerment for youth, and asserts the necessity of applying this new definition based on the status held by African American young people in the U.S. society. This work assesses the availability and "creatability" of suitable dramatic material for the target group. As a result an extensive annotated bibliography is included.
The majority of this thesis however, explores the hands-on application of these concepts, using the city of Ithaca, New York, for its case study. In order to better contextualize the environment in which the fieldwork was done, current "creative dramatics" activities within Ithaca, New York are discussed. The lack of involvement of African American youth in these activities prompted the implementation of the newly defined "creative dramatics" concept in the following ways: 1. An effort was made to implement an ongoing program within an Ithaca community center; 2. A creative piece was written as the direct result of surveys, interviews, and conversations with African American high school students from Ithaca, New York; 3. A public presentation of the choreopoem created from student input was presented on an Ithaca stage by an ensemble comprised of African American teenagers from the Ithaca community. Through hands-on exploration this thesis demonstrates the plausibility of implementing community-based creative dramatics programs, without extensive financial backing.