Lauryn Morgan Thomas has been selected as an Undergraduate Emerging Scholar for the Mid-America Theatre Conference for her paper on children and mystery plays. The paper grew out of summer field and archival research, which was supported by an OUR grant. She has been invited to present her paper at the March conference in Houston.
The Mid-America Theatre Conference is a national organization. At its yearly conference, it hosts symposia on history, playwriting, pedagogy and practice. MATC also publishes the peer-reviewed journal, Theatre History Studies. Three undergraduate papers, from across the country, are selected as Emerging Scholars each year. The scholars present their research in a panel session, following the same procedure as established scholars in the field. A Q and A and discussion of the work follows.
Thomas, who is a senior majoring in Theatre Arts, shared how the process of finding her topic arose from connecting multiple interests. "I am also a Fiction Writing major, and have a certificate in Children's Literature," she explained. "The intersection between these fields has been key to this particular research paper, as I studied the function of children in the York Mystery Plays both in the medieval era and today. A true asset of Pitt is the ability to put your fields of study in conversation with each other, finding ways to both compare and contrast, and finding their intersections both before you arrived in the fields and how they will continue to intersect after graduation."
Thomas had to submit a 7-10 page paper. Her work was evaluated on the quality of the writing and research, their critical/theoretical sophistication, and their originality.
For more information on OUR grants that might support your own research endeavors as an undergraduate student, visit http://www.asundergrad.pitt.edu/our.
For more information regarding MATC and instructions for how to submit for next year, visit http://matc.us.