Date of Conferral







John Flohr


Studies have shown that middle school students’ involvement in performing arts classes helps to improve self-esteem, but there is a gap in understanding how high school students and teachers perceive the influence of musical theatre education on students’ self-esteem. The purpose of this basic qualitative study was to extend research to include high school musical theatre students by examining how high school students and teachers perceive the influence of rehearsals, performance, and musical theatre education classes on students’ self-esteem and education goals. Bandura’s social cognitive theory and Kolb’s experiential learning theory were used as the conceptual framework. Eight students and four teachers at a private high school in the northeastern United States who participated for three months in a musical theatre production were interviewed. Data were analyzed through coding to determine emergent themes. The students reported and teachers confirmed that participation in rehearsals, performance, and musical theatre classes had a positive influence on self-esteem, social skills, career plans, and college goals. This research thus demonstrates positive outcomes of musical theatre education within schools, which may encourage further inquiry by researchers, educational leaders, parents, students, teachers, national, regional, local theatre art agencies, and stakeholders. Positive social change may result from understanding aspects of musical theatre that may increase self-esteem of high school students, which will contribute to the continued value of theatre arts in high school education.

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