The work of the theatre unit can be an invaluable and indispensable asset to the institutional community. Not only can the power of storytelling coalesce communities, it can also promote connection, deepen understanding, and advance awareness. The work of the theatre unit has the ability to open doors that have been closed, re-establish ties that have been broken, and mend long-standing rifts. But does this ability stop at the academy’s threshold? Can it extend beyond the boundaries of the institution? Should the theatre unit seek to expand its reach into the community, and in doing so, is it possible that the closed doors, broken ties, and protracted rifts that exist just beyond the academy walls can be opened, re-established, and mended? This session will extend the conversations begun two years ago in Minneapolis. Vignettes will be shared which depict not only success stories, but initiatives that posed challenges and how these challenges were addressed. Attendees will also consider how community connections might in return enhance the cultural and artistic development of the theatre unit, and lead to innovative initiatives that may result in fruitful opportunities for theatre students. Attendees will give thought to how communities can be best served by the work of the institution. How can theatre be a catalyst for positive results? How might administrators work with their faculty and students to further community engagement efforts? The presenter will assist participants to consider how community connections can be established, and what it means to nurture such connections. Rather than developing concrete action plans, participants will advance their understanding of the realm of possibilities.
Time for questions will be provided.
Presenter: Jack Reuler, Mixed Blood Theatre
Moderator: DeAnna Toten Beard, Baylor University