In my pedagogical process I approach each student individually and connect with them on a level particular to their area of interest and developmental stage along the academic continuum. I encourage the creative process and the on-going refining of work, and strive to find ways to teach students how theatre and performance might impact their own lives and the lives of those around them, whether they are practitioners or not.
I seek out ways to incorporate underrepresented voices and materials including, but not limited to, perspectives from visible minorities/global majority, members of the LGBTQ+ community, those affected by disabilities, and more. I have made it my continuing effort to tie together practice and theory; creating assignments which require students to take views external to their own and present them through theatrical and performative means.
Through my artistic work I use my industry connections to enhance the learning experience and provide professional opportunities to students. I hold a firm belief that theatre and performance can be better utilized in preparing students for future work both within and beyond the spheres of theatre and performance. Those students hoping to pursue artistic endeavors must be prepared to work outside of traditional platforms in an era of continually reduced funding and rising costs.
In the age of pop music and blockbuster films, of memes and viral videos, we often forget that theatre was one of the original forms of popular entertainment. In this course I focus on theatre practitioners including actors, directors, designers and backstage personnel to understand how theatre is produced. I also consider popular entertainment in Europe and America, with a particular focus on musical theatre and Broadway to explore how theatre communicates, resonates, and remains relevant to all audiences.
This course in meant to introduce students to cultural institutions and their formulation, while providing exposure to the professional environment an artist might find themselves in. In order for artists and arts administrators to succeed post-education, it is critical for them to understand the history of their respective field, which includes the events and questions have shaped and continue to shape their industry. This course been formulated as an interdisciplinary initiative to aid in this learning. Over the past century the arts have become ever-more integrated with one another resulting in a requirement of not only understanding one discipline, but how other disciplines affect a particular practice.
Through my Site-Specific Performance course I guide student through both theory and practice and how they intersect. Students will learn the theoretical underpinnings of site-specific while examining historical and contemporary case studies and applying their knowledge through practice. The course illustrates a direct relationship between practice and theory, adopting a “laboratory” model in which one can be used to examine and develop the other. Students are encouraged to consider the social, political, and cultural impacts of a site on a piece of theatre or performance. In this course, students learn to work collaboratively, and develop their skills as a devisor. Those participating have the opportunity to create site-specific work in class throughout the semester culminating with a final performance of their own site-specific work, developed with their classmates.
This course teaches students how to become confident, compelling, and culturally-aware communicators. This course draws upon several academic disciplines, but will have an emphasis on what theatre practice offers the study of communication and the process of giving presentations. THET 285 will explore acting, directing, designing and devising techniques in its approach to the challenge of communication.
The Arts Leadership Minor is a new program offered through the College of Arts and Humanities at the University of Maryland, College Park, which I have been tasked with creating the introductory and concluding classes. As a part of the course of studies students will attend classes throughout the arts and humanities to gain insight into both historical and contemporary aspects of managing artistic endeavours. Students are provided with the opportunity to put into practice the concepts that they are engaging with conceptually and to explore other forms of cultural management and artistic expression.
Under the guidance of Dr. Caitlin Marshall, I have helped develop an online version of American Theatre History: 1750-1900. As a part of the process of creation we have extensively investigated digital learning strategies. This resulted in short intensive videos that cater to the current generation of students. In addition to our approach to digital content we have attempted to refocus the course with an effort towards post-coloniality centering voices of marginalized groups who have traditionally been excluded from histories.
*Below is a sample video of this course, which I wrote, directed and filmed.*
This seminar will investigate the phenomenon of espionage as it relates to theatre and performance practice. Using both real-life and theatrical case studies, the class will explore the concepts of espionage, deception, factitious identities and trickery; the history and manifestation of such events; and how they are facilitated.
We will analyse plays/texts along with exploring the blurred lines of acting, playing pretend, and other instances of intentional deception. With these theatrical instances and concepts in mind the class will also explore case studies of espionage and deception from the earliest instances on record, evidenced in religious/spiritual texts, to more contemporary instances, such as Maria Butina—the Russian agent recently found to have infiltrated the National Rifle Association and Republican Party.
A sample of a new online course offered by the School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies at the University of Maryland, College Park
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