Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department / School

Communication Studies and Theatre

First Advisor

Mike Schliessmann


The first American children's theatre developed in 1903 as part of an effort to assimilate immigrating Russian Jews. The program provided the participants and audience with an introduction to the English language and American social behavior. For many of the immigrants, this was their first exposure to the English language (McCaslin, 1971). While children's theatre at this time was used merely to educate children and to assist in their development, it is now considered an art form and has expanded to community theatres and university settings, and it has been embraced by the professional realm of theatre as well. Children's theatre has grown tremendously in the last fifty years and is becoming a reputable form of entertainment for children and adults to enjoy. Although it has become an important aspect of theatre training, children's theatre still lacks significant understanding in its development as an art form. One of the major weaknesses is the lack of research in the area of analysis of children's scripts. This lack of research and analysis provides a basis for undertaking this study. Because of the lack of research in the area of script analysis, this study rhetorically analyzed two selected children's plays in their written form. The analysis attempted to uncover the symbolic device of allegory, a device that has frequently been studied in other rhetorical artifacts.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Burke, Kenneth, 1897-1937.
Barrie, J. M. (James Matthew), 1860-1937. Peter Pan.
Baum, L. Frank (Lyman Frank), 1856-1919. Wizard of Oz
Children's plays




South Dakota State University



Rights Statement

In Copyright