The present research consists of a comparative study of Brigham Young University's Golden Age Comedia (GAC) and Golden Age Theater Production (GATP) courses. The two courses cover much of the same academic material, but one of the differences between the two approaches to the teaching of Golden Age literature is that the GATP course incorporates a theater production and outreach component. Although this outreach program has been seen as intuitively and anecdotally effective, there has been no prior attempt to document student motivation for choosing this course over the traditionally taught course (GAC), nor to discover any of the outcomes experienced by university students who participate in it. Similarly, there have been no studies conducted to compare the educational outcomes of the two approaches. Therefore, the present empirical study was conducted with the goal of determining student motivation and expectations for course selection, academic outcomes of each approach, and whether any additional intellectual or personal growth was experienced by students in the GATP course. This study revealed that there indeed are differences in the motives and expectations behind students' decision to enroll in the GAC course rather than the GATP course, and vice versa, and that each course yields different outcomes for those students. Students receiving instruction through the GATP Outreach program appear to be able to attain a similar mastery of the course material as those in the GAC course. Furthermore, through the inclusion of the outreach program, students are able to acquire additional skills and enriched attitudes that have the potential to prepare them for future studies and life experiences. For universities interested in implementing a similar production and outreach program, this study provides evidence that such a course can indeed provide an alternative path to the teaching of Golden Age literature at the university level and that it proves to be an attractive alternative to certain students that is worth their time and effort.



College and Department

Humanities; Spanish and Portuguese



Date Submitted


Document Type





outreach, service-learning, Golden Age theater production, teaching literature