Dr. Megan Alrutz joined the University of Texas at Austin as an assistant professor of applied theatre and community cultural engagement in 2009. Previously, she was on the faculty of the University of Central Florida where she developed and led the M.F.A. program in Theatre for Young Audience for five years. Dr. Alrutz earned a Ph.D. in Theatre (with an emphasis in Theatre for Youth) from Arizona State University, and a B.A. in Theatre from Rutgers University. Her creative and scholarly interests focus on applied theatre, digital storytelling, and theatre for young audiences. She works nationally as a facilitator of professional development in drama-based pedagogy and practice, as well as arts and technology integration. She is also a professional director and dramaturg.
Dr. Alrutz has over 12 years experience in devising performance and digital media with youth. She was instrumental in developing and directing ArtsBridge UCF and Digital U, two applied arts/media programs that engage university students in long-term arts partnerships with local schools and communities. She also served as the resident teaching artist for Place, Vision, & Voice, a digital storytelling program for youth on the Gila River Indian Community. Dr. Alrutz currently directs The Performing Justice Project (with Lynn Hoare through the Center for Women’s and Gender Studies), an applied performance program that invites young people to devise new work about identity-based inequities and stories from their lives. Other recent projects include working as the dramaturg for Mo Willems’s new musicals based on his Elephant & Piggie series and Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale; facilitating digital storytelling and applied performance project with the University of Exeter; and collaborating with UT students and faculty on an interactive, web-based, storytelling project called mappingDESIRE.
Dr. Alrutz’s work in drama and theatre for youth has been recognized nationally and internationally. Her co-edited book Playing with Theory in Theatre Practice was published by Palgrave Macmillan (2012) and her current book project, Performing Possibility: Digital Storytelling, Applied Theatre, & Youth, will be published by Routledge (2014). Her scholarship can also be found in journals such as RIDE, Youth Theatre Journal, Teaching Artist Journal, TYA Today, and The Journal of Community Engagement and Scholarship. She earned the Foxworth Fellowship (UT, 2012), Grace Hill Milam Centennial Fellowship in Fine Arts (UT, 2011), Excellence in Graduate Teaching (UCF, 2008), and Service Learning Faculty Excellence Award (UCF, 2007). She was also awarded the prestigious Winifred Ward Fellowship in 2003. Dr. Alrutz is a two-term board member of TYA/USA, and an active member of AATE, PSi, and ATHE.