Date of Award

Spring 6-13-2014

Author Requested Restriction

Open Access (no embargo, no restriction)

Work Type

Masters Capstone Project

Degree Name

Master of Interdisciplinary Studies (MA)


Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences

First Advisor

Michael Kula

Second Advisor

Linda Blair


This project details the development of a small, community theater, in Tacoma, WA: Working Class Theater NW. Disparity between the audience that exists in Tacoma and the theater designed to serve that audience creates space to re-conceptualize the role of theater in the region. The power of drama to engage in communal problem solving is often undermined by reliance on money and thematic disassociation from the issues of every day life. Engaging citizens through stories that reflect and expand on lived experiences, such as economic uncertainty and social diversity, removes the necessity of power and privilege to gain access to an artistic life. This is vital if theaters and other non-profit arts organizations wish to create sustainable and relevant projects that serve local communities. Production of David Mamet’s A Life in the Theatre is a case study that explores how the theoretical underpinnings of Working Class Theater NW perform in practice.