Belmont University Research Symposium (BURS)

Publication Date



Music and Performing Arts, College of


Theatre and Dance, Department of

BURS Faculty Advisor

Dr. James Al-Shamma

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation


Theatre serves as a creative outlet and an escape for designers, actors, and directors. It is also often a cathartic experience for audience members to be fully immersed in, and escape into, a theatrical production. Knowing that theatre can have such a great impact on an individual's state of mind, how exactly does theatre affect self-esteem? According to my research, the presence of theatre and the dramatic arts positively affects the lives of participants in many groups. One of these is elementary school students, who are taught theatre in order to create a space within which to learn foundational skills, such as self-esteem and empathy. Another group consists of college students in training to teach elementary school students; these trainees found that a basic understanding of theatre and theatre education led them to have more self-esteem in the arena of teaching. Even victims of traumatic brain injuries and severe mental illnesses improved significantly through the application of different types of theatre activities.