In theater arts education and arts education more broadly, scholars and policy makers now navigate forces associated with the well-documented neoliberal turn shaping discussions of competition, performance, privatization, and austerity. Thus, in response to the special issue’s call, this article directs attention to the ways in which historical understandings of class, combined with contemporary economic discourses of neoliberalism, exert profound influence on arts learning policy and shape the ways in which pedagogy, research, and resources circulate as societies move into an increasingly global context. Specifically, this article focuses attention on theater arts education, a relatively young academic discipline that has matured in the last 50 years and, through deliberate and tireless efforts, cultivated an increasingly international scholarly community. This global growth in artistic, pedagogical, and scholarly interconnectedness begs for ongoing critical reflection in order to shape the field in support of sustainable, inclusive, and ethical systems and institutions for theater arts education as it further develops and diversifies in the 21st century. I situate my discussion of theater arts in global education within the histories and theories shaping culture in the 21st century, from Lyft-sponsored viral videos starring hip hop performers like Chance the Rapper to the Progressive-era historical impulses for theater arts learning, in order to contextualize the landscape in which theater arts educators, scholars, artists, and policy makers might move forward together into the 21st-century global context.
- Arts education
- drama education
- theater education
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Visual Arts and Performing Arts