Master of Arts (MA)


Geography and Anthropology

Document Type



Over the last century community, or “little”, theaters have popped up all over the United States as a way for amateur actors to perform. Academic research in both anthropology and theater studies have greatly overlooked and dismissed these theaters. Using data collected via ethnographic methods over the course of two musical productions, approximately seven months total, at a community theater in Baton Rouge, Louisiana I hope to demonstrate both why individuals, predominately within the middle class, with limited leisure time choose to spend it volunteering at a community theater as well as some of the social and interpersonal benefits it may have for them. I specifically look at how a community theater in Baton Rouge serves as a venue for social bonding, play, escape, and praise. I argue that not only do these elements entice people to participate but also serve to expand participant’s ability to empathize as well as create an outlet to relieve stress accumulated during the average American work week.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Brody, Mary Jill