Theses and Dissertations - UTB/UTPA

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Theatre Arts

First Advisor

Dr. Eric Wiley

Second Advisor

Thomas Grabowski

Third Advisor

Dr. Margaret Dorsey


Evaluating theatre's actual contribution to social development is subjective. There is a specific field of study that has been born from the need to incorporate all theatre outside the mainstream that seeks to do more than entertain an audience: “Applied Drama” or “Applied Theatre.” This study argues that through the process of creating the play Crawling with Monsters a group of UTPA students were empowered to make social change and ended up doing a critically acclaimed applied drama project regarding Mexico's drug war. After an introduction to the formation of the group and the situation to which it was responding, Augusto Boal's Theatre of the Oppressed provides a theoretical basis for looking at the experiences of the group and at several interviews with the participants; we see how this production changed their perspectives and encouraged them to become contributors of social development.


Copyright 2012 Jorge Augusto Contreras. All Rights Reserved.

Granting Institution

University of Texas-Pan American