Professional Studies and Fine Arts

Professional Studies and Fine Arts

Classes You Didn't Know You Could Take: "Advanced Theatre for the Classroom"

A Q&A with Dani Bedau about THEA 580

Classes You Didn't Know You Could Take:

by PSFA Stories Team

June 15, 2021

In this series, we’ve asked instructors to talk about their new, unusual, or little-known PSFA classes that you can take in Fall 2021.

Q&A with Dani Bedau

THEA 580: Advanced Theatre for the Classroom

Units: 3

Are there any Prerequisites?:

Yes, THEA 315, but I will happily waive them for those interested in participating.

Online or Face to Face:

The course will be mostly F2F with some remote, synchronous sessions.

How I would describe this class to someone I met in line at the coffee cart:

This is a class that explores a range of theatre techniques aimed at community-building, expanding creativity, and generating material. It is interactive and fun!

Who should definitely take this class?

Don’t let the catalogue title fool you! This course is not just for future classroom teachers. It is designed for anyone interested in developing skills to work with theatre artists, students, or community members. Students who want to lead creative process in any kind of setting: communities, classrooms, camp programs would be well suited to this class.

Why I’m enthusiastic about teaching this class:

I rework THEA 580 every time I teach it. The course is often intimate so I can tailor the final assignment to the specific interests of the students. I really enjoy the mix of theatre majors and education majors who typically take this class.

Why I love this subject:

I recently added a unit on adaptation for the Theatre for Young Audience stage to this course and I it has become my favorite part of the class. We’ve adapted all sorts of things in the past from concept albums to YA novels.

How I’m preparing for this class:

I am doing work on decolonizing my teaching and my classroom so my syllabus will reflect this thinking. I am considering leaving some sections of the syllabus TBD until I meet the actual students in the course and learn more about who they are and what they want and need out of this course. I am also re-reading the book Ziggy, Startdust & Me by James Brandon, which will be one of the pieces of source text we’ll be using in our adaptation work.

Three things you’ll learn/do in this class:

Collaborate, create, interact with other students.

Top three reasons you should study with me:

1. My classes are structured like a small community of artists working together and getting to know each other.

2. My classes are student-centered. This means, I take student input and feedback very seriously and make adjustments to the syllabus as needed throughout the semester.

3. Much of the work of this class takes place during class hours. It is interactive and fun! All of the “homework” involves bringing in material for the in-class presentations we do regularly in this class.

The content within this article has been edited by Lizbeth Persons.

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