This essay considers the diverse pedagogical purposes the study of drama served in the rhetorical preparation of teachers at three progressive-era normal schools for women, the Framingham, Westfield, and Salem State Normal Schools. Drawing on scholarship and archival materials, I argue that these normal schools both introduced future teachers to drama as a tool to help their pupils learn and employed dramatic activity as a means to prepare future teachers for their lives in the classroom. Through work in drama, future teachers made explicit connections between learning and playmaking, pedagogy and theatrics, teaching and performance.

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