• Theatre

Dani Snyder-Young

Assistant Professor

Dani Snyder-Young is a scholar/artist whose work focuses on theatre and social change, applied theatre, and contemporary US activist performance.

Dani is the author of Theatre Of Good Intentions: Challenges and Hopes for Theatre and Social Change (2013, Palgrave Macmillan), which examines the limits of theatre in making social change. She has published in Research in Drama Education: The Journal of Applied Theatre Research, Theatre Survey, Theatre Research International, Qualitative Inquiry, Youth Theatre Journal, Texas Theatre Journal, and the International Journal of Learning, and from 2013-2015 she regularly wrote popular press theatre criticism for HowlRound.

Her artistic work as a director and dramaturg focuses on political theatre, community based performance, new play development, and adaptations of classical texts for diverse audiences.

Dani began her artistic career in Boston in 1999, and is thrilled to be back.  She was an artistic associate at Boston TheatreWorks and she worked locally with Lyric Stage Company of Boston, New Repertory Theater, Boston Playwright’s Theater, Coyote Theater, Other Side Productions, Playwrights’ Platform, Peabody House Theatre Cooperative and Shadowboxing Theatre Collaborative, as well as regionally at Barrington Stage Company, Gloucester Stage, Hangar Theatre, and the Williamstown Theatre Festival.  Her devised work with young people has been performed in New York at the Public Theatre and the HERE Arts Center, and in New York she was a founding member of the Present Tense Theatre Company. She has worked internationally with Misery Loves Company of Prague, Czech Republic.  Dani is an ensemble member of Halcyon Theatre in Chicago and a member of Actor’s Equity Association.

Prior to joining the Northeastern faculty in 2017, Dani previously taught at Illinois Wesleyan University, New York University, and Pace University.  She holds a BA from Wesleyan  University and an MA and PhD from New York University.

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  • PhD,New York University
  • MA,New York University
  • BA,Wesleyan University

Courses Taught

  • Activism & Performance
  • Devised Theatre Project
  • Classics of the Global Stage

Research/Publications Highlights


• Theatre of Good Intentions: Hopes and Challenges for Theatre and Social Change.  Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013.  Paperback edition, 2016


Recent essays:

• “Despite artists’ intentions, emancipated spectatorship reinforces audience members’ existing attitudes and beliefs.” In S. Woodson & T. Underiner (Eds) Theatre, Performance and Theories of Change.  (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018.)


• “The Promise and Pitfalls of the Real”. Theatre Survey 57.3. August 2016


Professional Affiliations

• Association of Theatre in Higher Education

• American Society of Theatre Research

• Pedagogy and Theatre of the Oppressed

• Dani serves on the advisory board of Applied Theatre Research


Research Interests

  • Applied Theatre
  • Directing
  • Performance as Social and Civic Practice
  • Spectatorship