“Such Tweet Sorrow”: The Explosive Impact of New Literacies on Adolescent Responses to Live Theatre

John M. Richardson


Trips to the theatre are a regular feature of many high school language arts programs, and yet the experience of watching a play is often significantly different for a teacher than it is for a student. Placing “theatre literacy” within the context of the New London Group’s definition of multiliteracies, and drawing on the work of Lankshear and Knobel as well as audience studies theorists, this article compares how a 17 year-old girl and a 43 year-old English teacher respond to a series of plays, and considers how growing up in a wireless world shapes adolescents’ understanding of live theatre.


theatre; adolescent responses; new literacies; language arts programs; theatre literacy

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.20360/G2V881