Natalie Sowell, associate professor of theatre, specializes in theatre for young audiences, theatre education, creative drama, storytelling and theatre for social change. She received a BS in Biology from Creighton University, a MFA in theatre for youth from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and is a trained Theatre of the Oppressed practitioner. She has taught numerous creative drama and theatre workshops in schools, prisons, community centers, and churches throughout the US and in Nigeria and served as Artistic Director of UJIMA YOUTHEATRE for seven years. Her areas of interest include critical pedagogy and liberatory education; diversity and interculturalism in theatre for young audiences; integration of science and creative drama; multicultural children’s literature; and African American theatre.
BS, Creighton University
MFA, University of North Carolina Greensboro
Theatre Education K-12
Writing a Child's Voice for Theatre
Storytelling as Performance: Voice, Body, Narrative
From Dramatic Play to Creative Drama
Dramatic Literature for Children
Radical Youth Theatre
Theatre of the Oppressed
Take the Show on the Road
Advocating for Arts in Education
Creative Drama as Arts Integration
Critical Pedagogy in Action
ACTivism: Theatre as Social Change
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Child Drama and Community Program
Hampshire Theatre houses the only Child Drama Program in the Five Colleges. This interdisciplinary program operates in conjunction with the Critical Studies in Childhood, Youth and Learning (CYL) Program and provides courses and learning activities on subjects ranging from creative drama to theatre for young audiences. The program also manages Seedling Productions, offers teacher licensure in theatre, workshops for children, professional development for teachers, and is connected with numerous community organizations and schools. Natalie Sowell manages the Child Drama Program in collaboration with the theatre faculty and staff and the CYL faculty and staff.
Theatre for social change is the umbrella under which the child drama curriculum falls. From creative drama and theatre for young audiences to storytelling and theatre of the oppressed, each mode of expression is a tool for empowerment and social change. This philosophy makes our program unique in the field of child drama nationally. Our approach to education and drama combines practical experiences with a child-centered critical pedagogy philosophy. This approach also makes us stand out amongst other college-based child drama programs.
Natalie's current work focuses on the creation and implementation of new curricular structures for Child Drama programs in higher education. Professor Sowell is also working on a play and education resources for the Pea Island Preservation Society whose aim is to preserve the history of the first African American Life Saving Station in the US manned by an all black crew.
Natalie is also working on a simulated patient project with Baystate Hospital. The simulated patients in this project are adults portraying children who have been traumatized.