Adolescents and teens are surrounded by a myriad of influences that affect how they see and present themselves. Contemporary communication for these young people frequently happens in an online forum through digital social media. The primary purpose of this master's thesis is to examine the affect of digital social media on adolescent and teen identity construction and perception of self and other. Further research was performed to identify how that identity can be expressed through theatrical performance. The first chapter is a review of current literature, theory and practice of those within the educational paradigm who are trying to incorporate media literacy skills into contemporary pedagogy. An action research project was formulated to create lesson plans that aid students in engaging critically with digital social media and then empowering them with the skills to access, analyze, evaluate and create that media. Students then use their findings in the creation of a devised theatre piece. Chapter Two discusses the methodology involved with the gathering of the data and the process of analysis using open coding. Chapter Three presents the findings and exhibits student work and Chapter Four analyzes the findings and presents a course for future study, research and use of the findings in the contemporary drama classroom.



College and Department

Fine Arts and Communications; Theatre and Media Arts



Date Submitted


Document Type





adolescents and teens, devised theatre, digital social media, drama education, identity, media literacy education, media messages, storytelling, technology