This study employs auto-ethnography and ethnography to investigate technical theatre arts and design in the academy. Qualitative data was gathered through informal interviews and conversations with peers from high school, college and university; colleagues in the professional theatre and the academy; experiences as a student, artist, teacher and researcher of technical theatre arts. The study examines what enables or constrains learning in technical theatre arts; student access to faculty members, equipment and adequate facilities; program choice; teacher training; industry involvement, networking and employment opportunity and curriculum reform. Poetic inquiry is used as an ethnographic tool and the findings support the use of enquiry-based methods to reinvigorate the curriculum. This study illustrates the strengths of an examined and updated technical theatre arts curriculum that adopts aspects of performance studies; explores potential interdisciplinary applications; and recommends changes to technical theatre arts and design curriculum in the academy.
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Thesis advisor: Mamchur, Carolyn
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