Signs of Change (Book)

New Directions in Theatre Education

There is no one-size-fits-all way to keep pace with the changes affecting high school students and those who educate them. That’s why Joan Lazarus has gathered here the insights of hundreds of secondary school theatre teachers and teaching artists on how they have responded to the shifting demands of theatre education in today’s schools. She paints a portrait of active, dynamic professionals who build vibrant programs and confront challenges in a variety of ways – from inclusive, interactive lessons to comprehensive programs that address the impact of poverty, race, gender and spirituality on students’ lives. In the process, she shows how real teachers bring about real change. An accessible and up-to-date guide to best practices in theatre education, this expanded and revised edition encompasses new hands-on activities – drawn from the author’s in-depth interviews and research.


Joan Lazarus is a professor in the Department of Theatre and Dance at the University of Texas at Austin where she heads the BFA Theatre Studies program and works with graduate students in youth theatre, theatre education and related fields.

''Signs of Change' is expertly written, the book is at once inspiring and overwhelming as chapters are jam- packed with stories of best practices, classroom activities, and personal reflection questions.'

Courtney Blackwell for TYA Today

'This book should be put in the hands of every person who has the inclination and opportunity to make theatre with young people. It is a 'must-have' in theatre-training institutions.'

Praise for the first edition. Julia Perlowski, Reba R. Robinson Outstanding Secondary School Drama Educator

'A leading voice in rethinking secondary school theatre education' 

Praise for the first edition. David Beare for Theatre Research In Canada

''Signs of Change' contains exercises to help teachers examine their paths and directions, and some wonderfully informative, detailed, and heartfelt testimonies from experienced US teachers, educationalists and policy makers.' 

Roger Lang for Arts Professional

'An accessible guide to contemporary theatre education practice in the United States.'

Clive Holmwood for Dramatherapy

'It is the only book I know of that talks about classroom learners, performing and theatre and the links and responsibilities that is our responsibility as educators to be aware of. '

Jill Lloyd-Jones M. Ed. (now retired, taught drama in Toronto, was responsible for arts curriculum for teachers and students and wrote drama and dance curriculum for the Ministry of Education)
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