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Matt Omasta is a nationally recognized leader in drama and theatre arts education who has been honored with the Founders Award from the Educational Research Association; the Lin Wright Special Recognition Award, the Research Award, and a Presidential Citation from the American Alliance for Theatre & Education (AATE); as well as Utah State University (USU)'s Outstanding Undergraduate Research Mentor Award. Dr. Omasta currently leads USU’s B.F.A. programs in Theatre Education & Applied Theater and serves as the department’s honors advisor. He teaches courses in drama pedagogy, theatre for young audiences, applied theatre, and theory history, literature, theory, and criticism. Dr. Omasta is an active leader in national organizations and has served on AATE’s Board of Directors, the American Society for Theatre Research’s Executive Committee, and as Treasurer for the American Educational Research Association (AERA)'s Arts & Inquiry in Visual and Performing Arts Special Interest Group; he presently serves as Program Chair for AERA's Arts & Learning Special Interest Group.
Dr. Omasta's recent and forthcoming publications include the books Play, Performance, and Identity (Routledge, 2015), Playwriting and Young Audiences (Intellect, 2016), Qualitative Research: Analyzing Life (Sage, 2017) as well as numerous scholarly articles in Research in Drama Education: The Journal of Applied Theatre & Performance, Youth Theatre Journal, Theatre for Young Audiences Today, the International Journal of Education & the Arts, and Theatre Topics. He regularly presents his research at national and international venues including the American Alliance for Theatre & Education, the International Drama Educators Association, the American Society for Theatre Research, the American Educational Research Association, the International Theatre for Young Audiences Research Network, and the Association for Theatre in Higher Education. As a creative artist, he has recently directed productions at USU as well as Imagination Stage (Bethesda, MD) and Unicorn Theatre (Logan, UT).
Dr. Omasta earned a Ph.D. in Theatre for Youth / Educational Drama from Arizona State University, a M.A. in Theatre Education from Emerson College, and a B.A. in Drama from Ithaca College. He has taught at Emerson, ASU, Providence College, and the University of Rhode Island, and worked with a variety of organizations including Imagination Stage, Trinity Repertory Company, Florida Studio Theatre, and Walt Disney Entertainment.