Degree Date


Document Type

Dissertation - Public Access

Degree Name

Ed.D. Doctor of Education

Academic Discipline

Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Carol Burg

Second Advisor

Kristin Lems

Third Advisor

Margaret Machon


This utilization-focused evaluation examined the relationship of a devised drama program at a summer youth camp to the campers’ social-emotional learning (SEL), creativity growth, and character development. Methods used in the study included surveys of parents, interviews of teachers, and focus groups of campers. Results indicated that the devised drama provides durable, effective enrichment in SEL, creativity growth, and character development. Data also suggested that engagement in the drama contributed to an enhanced ability to manage anxiety. Concluding recommendations propose the overt use of the vocabulary of SEL competencies and grade-level appropriate SEL curricula. Professional development in Applied Improvisation for teachers, adult SEL for counselors, and pursuing a national program accreditation were also recommended.


Social emotional learning through drama is the focus of this work, as demonstrated at a creativity and role-play summer camp, where long-form, improvisational, immersive, story-based drama is devised.