We are honored to welcome Dr. Philip Taylor, Dr. Edie Demas, and Emily Morris to our inaugural advisory board. With such powerful and inspiring leaders in the fields of education, theatre, and international development supporting our mission GET is primed for continued growth.

Philip Taylor B.Ed. 1980, Rusden State College (Australia); MA 1988, Ph.D. 1992, New York University; has been Director of the Program in Educational Theatre since 2003.  His research interests are in the fields of applied theatre and process drama, qualitative research, reflective praxis and educational inquiry. His book Applied Theatre: Creating Transformative Encounters in the Communitydescribes how theatre can empower individuals and communities to effect change. Dr Taylor established the International Institute in Drama in Education Research Institute (IDIERI) which has met in Australia, Canada, England, Jamaica, and the United States. He was inaugural director of the first centre in Australia dedicated to applied theatre research, Centre for Applied Theatre Research, Griffith University, 1997-2001, and was foundation editor of Applied Theate Researcher.

His book Researching Drama and Arts Education: Paradigms and Possibilities(Falmer) has been a standard text on research design used by many graduate students worldwide. Other publications include Assessment in Arts Education(Heinemann), Structure and Spontaneity (Trentham Books), Redcoats and Patriots: Reflective Practice in Drama and Social Studies (Heinemann) and The Drama Classroom: Action, Reflection, Transformation (RoutledgeFalmer). Dr Taylor has served on numerous international editorial boards, including Studies in Applied Arts and Health, Research in Drama Education, Drama Research, International Journal of Education and the Arts, and Drama Australia Journal.  Directing credits for NYU include Woyzeck, the brechtbeckett workshop, The Caucasian Chalk Circle, Ah—Ssess, Tears of the Mind, Beautiful Menaced Child, and Gross Indecency: The three trials of Oscar Wilde.

Dr Taylor has given keynote addresses across the globe, most recently in Korea, Japan and China, and is a frequent workshop presenter worldwide.  At NYU he established a new scholarly periodical, Arts Praxis, and is excited by his forthcoming book Theatre for Critical Social Change.

Edie Demas‘s interest in educational theatre began when she was a young English teacher. “I felt stymied by what I could do in the classroom, and I tried to incorporate theater conventions like role-play, improvisation and tableaux to teach Robinson Caruso.” Although these techniques worked, Demas realized she needed to acquire more concrete skills in nontraditional teaching methods. “I visited the NYU masters program in educational theatre and felt as if I were coming home.”

After Demas received her masters degree in 1990, she worked as a teaching fellow in the program for several years. She was then invited to Ireland to direct a workshop and tour with the Graffiti Theater company. At the same time, NYU’s study abroad program in educational theatre began a collaboration with the company, and Demas began teaching one of their summer courses.

When she wasn’t teaching or touring with Graffiti, she founded a children’s film festival called Unreal. “The festival incorporated an education program. Since film studies had just been added to the national curriculum in Ireland, I got to work hand in hand with their Department of Education.”

Next, Demas became an associate artist at Ireland’s famed Abbey Theater. “There was a real explosion in the Abbey Theater’s education and outreach program, so I moved to Dublin to work with them and their audiences.”

The culmination of these experiences came in the fall of 2001 when Demas returned to New York to become the Director of Education at The New Victory Theater. “I’m thrilled every day with my job. It’s a wonderful opportunity to bring together all the work I’d been doing aboard, all the teaching I’ve ever done and my education at NYU.”

As one of only a few full-time theaters in the country dedicated to children and their families, The New Victory is an extraordinary entity, and Demas relished the challenges she faced every day. “Just when a show closes another one comes in. It’s intellectually and creatively stimulating and very exciting to be a part of that kind of energy.” In 2010 Demas left The New Victory to pursue an independent career in California and is currently working on a book about raising children in the arts.

Emily Morris has over thirteen years of international development experience. Currently employed with Education Development Center (EDC), Inc., she serves as a Project Director and monitoring and evaluation advisor, and recently as the Country Director in Tanzania for two large education projects.  In addition to her solid background in project management, she has been an arts educator in primary and secondary schools in the US and abroad and has accomplished skills in curriculum development, assessment and research.  She was awarded four major research fellowships to conduct research and advocacy work with at-risk youth in Tanzania, Zimbabwe and Ecuador. She holds an M.S. in International Development Management, with a concentration in Education and Youth Development from American University, Washington DC, and a B.A. in Development Studies and Dance from Sarah Lawrence College, NY.  Ms. Morris is fluent in Kiswahili, and proficient in Spanish and Arabic.  To read an interview with Emily about her work in Tanzania with the Education Development Center click here.


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