“Fear of what we don’t know”: Grappling with diversity in a youth theatre program

Betsy Maloney Leaf, Bic Ngo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


This article examines how youth participants in a community-based theatre program confronted and grappled with issues of diversity and difference while rehearsing and performing a play about Ruby Bridges and school desegregation. It draws on data from an ethnographic study examining ways in which an interracial, intergenerational cast perform work about the Civil Rights movement. The research explicates how artistic practice can be used as a tool to name social injustices and to counteract educational contexts that reproduce inequality. It contributes to the knowledge base of out-of-school learning contexts that inform contemporary approaches to learning in the arts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)78-94
Number of pages17
JournalYouth Theatre Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the William T. Grant Foundation [CON000000027218].

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019, © 2019 American Alliance for Theatre and Education.


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