In two earlier studies, experienced upper secondary theatre students in Sweden (Österlind, 2011) and the US (McCammon, 2010) completed the same questionnaire about their experiences. Questions included the number of years involved in theatre, reasons for choosing theatre study, activities participated in, favorite memories, biggest challenges, and future benefits. This paper compares these responses specifically to answer these questions: Why do secondary school students choose and stay with drama/theatre studies? According to the students themselves, what do they learn in theatre and how do they benefit from their study? What similarities and/or differences might there be between experienced secondary theatre students in Tucson, Arizona and Stockholm, Sweden? Responses suggested remarkable agreement between the two sites and grouped around four themes: Theatre creates fellowship and fun. Theatre develops the person, specific theatre skills and life competencies. Results also support other similar studies of student perception of their theatre participation.
2011. Vol. 34, 85-100 p.