|dc.description.abstract||The general aim of this study was to establish why students at Stellenbosch University embarked on a course in Drama. The initial hypothesis was that students were attracted to the expressive, therapeutic features inherent to this field of study. A questionnaire was designed to test this hypothesis. However, in the early stages of the project, feedback from the Drama students of 2005 and, at a later stage, that of the first-year Drama students of 2006 and 2007 proved the hypothesis to be incorrect. The specific questionnaire that was handed out to students also included questions that would enhance the interest value of the survey, such as: “What question was the most frequently asked by your friends and relatives enquiring about your Drama studies?” Responses to the latter question, amongst others, triggered two other pilot studies. The aforementioned studies were conducted among 110 students from different disciplines on the US (University of Stellenbosch) campus, as well as among 65 respondents in the Stellenbosch area, and focused on perceptions around Drama students and the drama profession as such. The final study contained the following three problem statements:
Are there any stereotypical prejudices towards Drama students? If so, who and what is the Drama student in terms of personality type and character traits?
Are there any stereotypical prejudices towards this field of study and the professional field? If so, what do the field of study and the professional field constitute within the South African context?
Why Drama? or rather, what is the purpose of Drama, and what motivates students at Stellenbosch University (SU) to choose this particular profession, given the current perceptions?
The supporting theories and the data, though not wholly significant, indicated that a marked degree of stereotyping existed with regard to Drama students and the profession. These perceptions about the students and the related professions have also been validated by the limited number of existing studies that could be found on this topic. Moreover, feedback from 253 Drama students revealed that they had decided to study Drama for a variety of reasons, and not only because a successful career in this field will inevitably lead to stardom and fame, which is contrary to what people generally tend to believe.||en_ZA