This annotated bibliography covers many of the texts that have guided my research and practice up until this point in my career. I have also included many texts that will continue to guide my doctoral studies. It is divided into main areas of research for my dissertation: Applied Theatre, Guatemala, Guiding Theories, Making Theatre, Research, Resilience, and Women and Girls. 

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Applied Theatre

Babbage, F. (2004). Augusto Boal. London ; New York: Routledge.

Babbage worked directly with Boal, so her first hand experience helps to understand the methods that he employed and gives a recipients perspective on how he employed them.  While this book shouldn't be used without understanding and consulting Boal's original text, the context that Babbage provides is useful in getting a larger picture of Boal and his work.


Boal, A. (1979). Theatre of the oppressed. New York: Theatre Communications Group.

Published in 1979, Augusto Boal gave an alternative to the western tradition of theatre.  The first part of this book is a critique of Aristotle's Poetics and explains that the traditional theatre notion of a cathartic ending is actually a manipulation of the people and robs them of their ability to interact critically with the themes and issues brought up in the play. 

The rest of the book goes on to demonstrate how theatre is political, and the way in which it is used can either give power to or take power away from the audience. This book provides a clear theoretical basis for how and why theatre should be engaging to the audience and provide a space in which they can be actors upon their own realities through the theatrical space.


Jackson, A. (2007). Theatre, education and the making of meanings: art or instrument?. Manchester ; New York : New York: Manchester University Press ; Distributed exclusively in the USA by Palgrave.

Jackson’s book looks primarily at Theatre in Education and the role it has played in the West in the 20th century into the 21st. As a main theorist in the field, Jackson’s work has helped to establish definitions of terms and connect educational theatre with other research areas.


Landy, R. J., & Montgomery, D. (2012). Theatre for change: education, social action and therapy. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Landy and Montgomery offer and updated look at where Theatre Education and Drama therapy are happening. Their case vignettes provide specific examples of various types of theatre practice and how they vary based on the context in which they occur.


Leonard, R. H., Kilkelly, A., & Burnham, L. F. (2006). Performing communities: grassroots ensemble theaters deeply rooted in eight U.S. communities (1st ed). Oakland, Calif: New Village Press.

This book looks at several case studies of community based theatre companies operating in the US. As I will be writing on a particular community based theatre for my dissertation, this provides several examples of how to speak about affect and effect when looking at the impact that companies have on the communities they serve.


Liz Lerman. (n.d.). Critical Response Process. Retrieved May 7, 2014, from

Liz Lerman’s process for critical reflection gives a guideline for how to address critique of artistic work. This process works well for giving and receiving reflection in a participatory and “safe” manner.


Nicholson, H. (2005). Applied Drama: the gift of theatre. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillin.

Nicholson's book is one of the foundational texts regarding Applied Theatre's modern practice.  She outlines the ways in which theatre is used in an applied manner and also talks about the theoretical and ethical implications of the work.

This book is helpful in determining a definition of applied theatre.  I draw from her text in giving an introduction to the field of applied theatre. 


Prendergast, M., & Saxton, J. (2009). Applied theatre international case studies and challenges for practice. Bristol; Chicago: Intellect. Retrieved from

  Prendergast and Saxton provide clear working definitions of the various types of applied theatre, as well as examples of various companies working within the categories. I find this text particularly useful for introducing students to the field of applied theatre before delving into deeper investigations of theories or guiding practices.


Thompson, J. (2003). Applied theatre: bewilderment and beyond. Oxford; New York: Peter Lang.

Thompson, much like Helen Nicholson and Andrew Jackson, has provided a text that lays down some theoretical foundations for applied theatre work. His book is particularly useful for my research as he has worked in conflicted regions of the world, of which he is not a community member.


Thompson, J. (2011). Performance affects: applied theatre and the end of effect. Basingstoke, Hampshire; New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

This further publication of Thompson’s looks at the challenges of applied theatre. He urges practitioners to focus on the affect of theatre work, so as not to be taken in by the appeal of effect. He points to a specific case in which his work Sri Lanka possibly led to the death of several boys. This incident led him to deeply question the best practices of applied theatre. His ability to tie applied work in with terms and theories borrowed from performance studies is particularly useful for my studies. Additionally, his message is pertinent for my work in Guatemala.



Aggabao Thelen, C. (2010). Lisandro Guarcax and the Dance of the Nawales: In Memoriam (1978-2010) [Informational]. Retrieved from

An article written as a memorial for  Grupo Sotz’il founder Lisandro Guarcax. Examines how he began working in dance, and what his death meant for the Sololá community in 2010.


Costantino, R. (2006). Femicide, Impunity, and Citizenship: The Old and New in the Struggle for Justice in Guatemala. Chicano/Latino Studies, 6(1).

Written through a Chicana feminist lens, this article explores the modern history of violence against women in Guatemala. As I will be working in that context, it is vital that I am aware of the current and former state of women.


Grupo Sotz’il. (2015). Ati’t Xajoj:  Danzando con la Abuela. Grupo Sotz’il.

In an effort to preserve and promote their dance forms, Grupo Sotz’it has created a book that outlines how to perform each of their dances. Along with the visual manual they have also created an accompanying DVD showing a video of each dance move. This text also includes a introduction outlining the reasons why they have chosen to pursue this work and what it means for their community.


Irani, K. (2010, September 24). Indigenous Arts and Survival. Retrieved December 15, 2015, from

Another article addressing the life and death of Lisandro Guarax. Important when thinking about the context and history of Ajchowen and Grupo Sotz’il.


Manz, B., & Neier, A. (2005). Paradise in ashes: a Guatemalan journey of courage, terror, and hope (1. paperback printing). Berkeley [: University of California Press.

In her book, Manz explores the violence and political unrest that was rampant in Guatemala for most of the second half of the 20th century. She looks deeply at the atrocities suffered by the Mayan people and the repercussions for them today. Again, deep knowledge of the history of Guatemala is essential as a background for any work I have and will continue to do there.


Taylor, D. (2014). Theatre of crisis: drama and politics in Latin America. [Place of publication not identified]: Univ Press Of Kentucky.

As a Latin American artist and performance studies theorist, Taylor is well suited to provide a history of theatre and its roll in the Latin American context. This text provides a background on how theatre has evolved since the colonization of Latin America and what it has looked like under various military dictatorships.


Guiding Theories

Balme, C. B. (1999). Decolonizing the Stage. Oxford University Press. Retrieved from

 In his book, Balm looks at the term “syncretic theatre.” He explores what has happened with indigenous theatre in post-colonial environment. Tied to the broader meaning of syncretism, syncretic theatre refers to performance styles that blend indigenous and colonial forms to create an entirely new type of theatre. In some ways, the work of Grupo Sotz’il resembles this style. Balme’s research in other regions with large indigenous populations may prove to be a useful frame for looking at and defining the work of Ajchowen. 


Freire, P. (1993). Pedagogy of the oppressed (New rev. 20th-Anniversary ed). New York: Continuum.

Freire introduces a new pedagogy to counter what he sees as an oppressive form of education.  Freire developed his teaching approach in contrast to what he deemed the “‘banking’ concept of education, in which the scope of action allowed to the students extends only as far as receiving, filing, and storing the deposits” (53).  He proposed that, instead of viewing students as repositories, passively receiving information, that they should be seen as “co-investigators,” examining the world and its themes in an attempt to reach praxis.  I lean heavily on his theories in my research, facilitation, and life.


Kuppers, P., & Robertson, G. (Eds.). (2007). The community performance reader. London ; New York: Routledge.

This compellation of essays on community performance use case study approaches to discuss how performance operates within communities. Drawing from professionals working in the UK, US, and Australia, it investigates the challenges that practitioners face.


Tatum, B. (2008). Can We Talk about Race? And Other Conversations in an Era of School Resegregation. Beacon Press. Retrieved from

Can we talk about race addresses how race operates within school environments and challenges educators in communities to explore their own race in relation to the wider dialogue around diversity. 


Making Theatre 

Boal, A. (2002). Games for actors and non-actors (2nd ed). New York: Routledge.

As a practical handbook for facilitators of Theatre of the Oppressed methods, Boal’s book provides a compilation of various games to be used in any different scenario. This has been useful in my facilitation and will continue to be a text from which I draw new ideas for workshops.


Bogart, A. (2001). A director prepares: seven essays on art and theatre. London ; New York: Routledge.

This text serves as an assessment and study of the challenges that Bogart has faced throughout her career as a director of devised theatre. By both examining her own experiences as an artist, and placing her work within the larger context of theatre, Bogart manages to give supported reasons for why theatre should be created and what some of the overarching needs of making theatre are, along with the challenges. Bogart’s work gives many reminders of the joys and pitfalls of collaborative creation.


Bolton, G. M. (1979). Towards a theory of drama in education. London: Longman.

In his book, Gavin Bolton uses years of experience as an educator to provide what he calls, “a theory of drama in education” (vi).  Using practical examples as the basis for his theories, he speaks directly to teachers and artists hoping to use theatre in education (DIE).  He provides an outline of what theatre in education may look like and how it is distinct from other theatrical forms, what steps need to be taken to create it, and some ways to determine whether or not it was successfully achieved. 


Bray, E. (1994). Playbuilding. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

In his text, Bray provides a guideline for anyone seeking to create original, devised, theatre performances with young people.  Bray offers a useful breakdown of the different types of plays that a group can create, looking at Story Plays, Character Plays, Setting Plays, Place Plays and Theme Plays.  Beyond an outline, Bray also describes the benefits and challenges of each of the different types of plays that one can create. The rest of the book examines the process of building materials for a play through guided exercises and improvisations, as well as the careful process of editing that material into a concise and cogent piece of theatre. 


Callery, D. (2001). Through the body: a practical guide to physical theatre. New York : London: Routledge : N. Hern.

In this book, physical theatre is explored through its origins in the West. It is explored through well-known practitioners such as Artaud, Grotowski, Meyerhold, Brook and Lecoq. Due to the physical nature of Sotz’il Jay’s work, it is helpful to place their theatre styles in context of broader global theatre movements. This book will assist with that.


Faber, A., Mazlish, E., Nyberg, L., & Templeton, R. A. (1995). How to talk so kids can learn-- at home and in school. New York: Rawson Associates.

This book provides helpful guidelines for how to speak in a humanizing manner with young people and adults. As a facilitator, much of the struggles with working with groups come from managing group dynamics, and this book skillfully addresses how to navigate difficulty.


Hunt, D., & MaskHunt Motions. (2013). Masks and masked faces: a manual for the construction of 22 masks and their variations.

Hunt’s practical guide to creating masks outlines the process that I learned with her in Puerto Rico, as well as various other approaches to creating masks. As an avid maker, her text has proven personally useful, and will be useful in working in communities as well.


Linklater, K. (2006). Freeing the natural voice: imagery and art in the practice of voice and language. Hollywood, Calif.: Drama Pub.

Linklater’s theories and practices of voice work and preparation have underlined all of my work with the Vocal Empowerment program. Her concept of freeing a voice that is already within you, rather than creating a voice, is a theoretical framework that guides Dr. Osnes’s and my desire to use theatre as a tool for young women’s vocal empowerment.


Neelands, J., & Goode, T. (2000). Structuring drama work: a handbook of available forms in theatre and drama (2nd ed). Cambridge, UK ; New York, NY, USA: Cambridge University Press.

In their handbook Needlands and Goode provide a useful overview of over seventy commonly used drama conventions. They divide the conventions into four categories:  Context-Building Action, Narrative Action, Poetic Action and Reflective Action. Under each category, the conventions are described alongside a cultural connection and learning opportunities that exist within the convention.

For devising theatre, this book provides a great and descriptive overview of the various theatrical conventions at our disposal.  For creating workshops, Needlands and Goode also provide two very useful Process Models for how theatre can work in an educational context.


Rohd, M. (1998). Theatre for community, conflict & dialogue: the Hope is Vital training manual. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

In the forward to Michael Rohd’s training manual for his Hope is Vital theatre company, Doug Paterson gives a very concise and yet accurate description of the emergence and principals of applied theatre. While his forward was written to place Rohd’s work in a broader context, Paterson’s descriptions can be pulled out and expanded to explain the greater objectives and rationales of the field of applied theatre.


Stanislavsky, K. (1989). An actor prepares. New York: Routledge.

Stanislavsky and his followers have been central to guiding and informing Western, particularly American, theatre forms. While I tend to stray from his methods and into more Brechtian practice, there is no denying that knowledge of his methods is necessary for modern theatre practitioners and educators.




Creswell, J. W. (2013). Qualitative inquiry and research design: choosing among five approaches (3rd ed). Los Angeles: SAGE Publications.

Creswell gives clear definitions, explanations, examples, and criticisms of various types of qualitative methods. His extensive experience as a researcher and the wide-spread use of this text makes it invaluable as a guiding source for designing a research study.


Graff, G., & Birkenstein, C. (2010). They say / I say: the moves that matter in academic writing (2nd ed). New York: W.W. Norton & Co.

This book provides a manual for using rote, formulaic sentences to make connections and transitions in academic writing. While it should not, perhaps, be followed precisely, it does provide a useful tool for when phrases become overused or cliché.


O’Toole, J. (2006). Doing drama research: stepping into enquiry in drama, theatre, and education. City East, QLD: Drama Australia.

O’Toole’s book is specifically aimed at researchers using Drama as a focal point. It guides drama researchers through the entire process of planning research to writing up data. Some of the major values of this text are the readability and search-ability, and the fact that all of the information is geared towards drama researchers in particular.


Saldaña, J. (2013). The coding manual for qualitative researchers (2nd ed). Los Angeles: SAGE.

Provides guidelines to qualitative researchers on how to code data. This book offers a variety of real world suggestions and centers the suggestions around looking at: Sources, Description, Application, Example, Analysis and Notes.


Wolcott, H. F. (2009). Writing up qualitative research (3rd ed). Los Angeles: SAGE.

Wolcott provides useful, bulleted suggestions for academic writers. His style is useful in guiding writers through the process of creating various aspects of their dissertations, and offers sections such as “Keep Going”, “Linking Up”, “Tightening Up”, and “Finishing Up.”



Fletcher, D., & Sarkar, M. (2013). Psychological Resilience: A Review and Critique of Definitions, Concepts, and Theory. European Psychologist, 18(1), 12–23.

Provides current definition (as of 2013) of resilience in the field of psychology. Addresses operational uses of theories and provides guidelines for future theoretical development in the field.


Luthar, S. S., Cicchetti, D., & Becker, B. (2000). The Construct of Resilience: A Critical Evaluation and Guidelines for Future Work. Child Development, 71(3), 543–562.

This article provides an overview of resilience literature from the 1970’s to 2000. It offers guidelines for future researchers and suggestions for how to address pitfalls within the research. 


Women and Girls

Belenky, M. F., Clinchy, B. M., Goldberger, N. R., & Tarule, J. M. (1997). Women’s ways of knowing: the development of self, voice, and mind (10th anniversary ed). New York: BasicBooks.

Belenky et al’s theory on how women learn and acquire separate styles of knowledge has informed my own self-assessment up unto this point in my career. I will continue to consider how my students are learning, and think of this theory as a lens by which I might help girls and women move themselves from received knowers to contextual knowers.


Gilligan, C., Spencer, R., Weinberg, M. K., & Bertsch, T. (2003). On the Listening Guide: A voice-centered relational method. In P. M. Camic, J. E. Rhodes, & L. Yardley (Eds.), Qualitative research in psychology: Expanding perspectives in methodology and design. (pp. 157–172). Washington: American Psychological Association. Retrieved from

Gilligan et al’s explanation of the Listening Guide method is useful when considering how to deepen a coding and interpretation of a qualitative interview. While I have not yet decided if I will use this method, the lessons I learned from coding in this style will likely inform how I conduct and read an interview in the future.


Kristof, N. D., & WuDunn, S. (2014). Half the sky: turning oppression into opportunity for women worldwide. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.

As a foundational text for those working in development with girls, this is a necessary book to understand the newest movements in global development, such as “the girl effect.” While not all of the concepts apply to my current work, Kristof and WuDunn are shoulders I stand on in development.


Miller, J. B. (1997). The healing connection: how women form relationships in therapy and in life. Boston: Beacon Press.

Miller’s theory on women’s development served as an underlying basis for my Master’s thesis. Additionally, I have continued to use the idea of “Relational Development” when conceiving of best practices for girls-focused programing. This will help to inform my doctoral research as I am looking to work further with the Starfish girls.


Osnes, B. (2014). Theatre for women’s participation in sustainable development. New York, NY: Routledge.

As a long time collaborator of mine, Osnes’s book provides a detailed description of how she has used theatre with women. This is particularly useful to me as it outlines how she came to conceive of our earliest work with Starfish.