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Mary McAvoy

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Faculty, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 2002
Assoc Professor
Faculty, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 2002

Dr. Mary McAvoy is an associate professor in the School of Music, Dance and Theatre. Her research and creative practice focus on histories of theatre and drama in educational contexts; performance pedagogy and activism (particularly in US labor movements); educational theatre/drama, theatre teacher preparation, and teaching artistry; radical and experimental performance in youth cultures; and arts education policy.

She is the author of Rehearsing Revolutions: The Labor Drama Experiment and Radical Activism in the Early Twentieth Century (University of Iowa Press - Studies in Theatre History and Culture; 2019 Choice Outstanding Academic Title; 2020 Theatre Library Association George Freedley Memorial Award Finalist), co-author of Drama and Education: Performance Methodologies for Teaching and Learning (Routledge) and co-editor of Youth and Performance: Perceptions of the Contemporary Child (OLMS). She is also co-editor (with Professor Peter O'Connor, University of Auckland) of the forthcoming "Routledge Companion to Drama in Education." Her articles have appeared in Youth Theatre Journal, The Journal of American Drama and Theatre, Arts Education Policy Review, and various edited collections. She serves on the editorial board and has guest edited for multiple journals.

As a practitioner-researcher, she works extensively in education and community engagement for performance and theatre. She has presented master classes and professional development in theatre teaching and theatre arts curriculum development in the US, Russia, and China and has developed engagement programs for a variety of audiences in professional and educational theatres. In her capacity as a director and dramaturge, she prioritizes new, experimental, and avant-garde works for young audiences (birth - age 25). 

She teaches courses in theatre history, research methods, and theatre teaching methods preK-16+ in both the undergraduate and graduate theatre programs. She also directs the theatre education teacher certification programs and serves as one of the faculty coordinators for community engagement programming in the school of Music, Dance and Theatre.

  • Ph.D. Theatre, University of Wisconsin-Madison.
  • M.A. Theatre, University of Wisconsin-Madison.
  • B.A. Theatre (with K-12 teacher certification), University of North Carolina-Asheville
Research Interests: 
  • histories of theatre and drama in educational contexts
  • drama/theatre and the labor movement
  • educational theatre/drama
  • teaching artistry
  • radical and experimental performance with, by, and for young people 
  • performance pedagogy and activism
Fall 2018
Course NumberCourse Title
THE 325Play Reading/Education Theatre
THP 484Internship
THF 497Senior Project
THE 510Studies in Literature
THE 590Reading and Conference
THP 598Special Topics
THE 600Research Methods
THP 684Internship
THP 693Applied Project