Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts


Theatre Pedagogy

First Advisor

Dr. Noreen C. Barnes

Second Advisor

Dr. Aaron Anderson

Third Advisor

Lary Gard




Jessica Nicole Dotson

A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Fine Arts at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Virginia Commonwealth University, 2015.

Major Director: Dr. Noreen C. Barnes, Director of Graduate Studies, Associate Professor of Theatre

In the 1990s, astronomer Peter Usher was searching for new ways to teach his introductory astronomy class at Pennsylvania State University. He began to engage his students by searching for astronomical connections from other disciplines. His focus was turned to the arts, especially the works of William Shakespeare. Usher found, while searching through the canon of Shakespeare's work, astronomical references that explored the “new astronomy” of the Elizabethan age (Falk 171). This thesis will explore the writings of Usher, in regard to the astronomy of Hamlet, along with the interdisciplinary connections between art and science in and outside the classroom and museum theatre. From interdisciplinary classroom methods, to arts and scientists collaborating together for the betterment of man-kind, the use of theatre is a way of rediscovering the humanity of human history. The collaboration between the disciplines serves as one of theatre's greatest purposes, to educate and represent a living history of man.


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Is Part Of

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VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission