A Legacy of Leadership

Applied Drama and Theatre for the Young (ADTY) allows students to expand and sharpen their craft as both an artist and educators. The ADTY program, one of only six programs of its kind in the US, focuses on the symbiotic relationship between theatre artistry, pedagogy, and research. Students in the program apply practice from many fields such as theatre for young audiences, creative drama, performance studies, applied theatre, arts integration, youth theatre, and community engagement. As a program, we believe drama and theatre can engage the imagination, challenge and inspire ideas, and support learning for youth and communities.

The Applied Drama and Theatre for the Young graduate program was founded at Eastern Michigan University in the early 1960s by Virginia Glasgow Koste. The program has a legacy of strong graduates who provide leadership and service, working in communities worldwide as non-profit teaching artists, education directors, managers, professors, K-12 educators, artistic directors, playwrights, and directors.

Our Academic Programs

The Applied Drama and Theatre for the Young program prepares graduates for multiple career paths in education, professional theatre for young audiences, and community or non-profit organizations. Students take core courses, providing the foundation in Drama, Theatre for Young audiences, and Applied Theatre/Drama. Students have the flexibility to choose elective courses that align with their unique interests and customize a course of study that supports their individual goals.

Possible electives include courses in theatre, education, special education, interpretation & performance studies, psychology, children’s literature, and more. MFA students are eligible to pursue EMU’s Arts Entrepreneurship [Graduate Certificate] concurrently. The program can be completed in three years (full-time) or up to 6 years (part-time) and is considered a terminal degree. 

An undergraduate minor in drama/theatre for the young is available for students wishing to prepare for a variety of careers involving work with and for the young through drama and communication. 

Visit our Graduate Student Blog and Instagram page for latest updates. 

Student Activities and Involvement

Annual TYA productions, touring shows, and community engagement programs allow students to hone their craft and experiment with their art. Students can work with the Interpretative Performance studies program on Boal techniques and theatre/drama in prisons and participate in ENGAGE@EMU to provide service in the community while gaining opportunities to work with diverse populations.

Our Students In Action

Theatre for the Young Tour

For more than forty years the Theatre for the Young Tour at EMU has engaged with audience members at schools, libraries, and community centers in the greater Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti/Detroit community. Recent productions include Hare and Tortoise, The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, Michigan Myths and Legends, The Snowy Day and Other Stories by Ezra Jack Keats, Peter and Wendy, Wind and Sun Tales, Taking Flight: Tales of Courage and Antigone.

Community Engagement

The Applied Drama and Theatre for the Young program values and fosters the relationship between arts and the greater community. We believe that knowledge and participation in the community through the mediums of theatre and performance help individuals to grow as artists and communicators. See a list of community engagement opportunities.

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Contact Us

Meriah Sage

Assistant Professor & Program Director

121 Judy Sturgis Hill Building


[email protected]