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Teaching

Teaching philosophy:

Education is about empowerment, curiosity, and connections.

Erik Ramsey (left) and David White (right) offering a workshop at the Lyubimovka Playwright Festival, Teatr.doc, Moscow, Russia.

Empowering students involves recognizing the numerous ways in which people learn and presenting ideas in a multifaceted manner. Students learn best when they are empowered in a class or workshop setting.  For the instructor, empowerment implies functioning as a guide rather than a lecturer, providing tools and illumination rather than prescription and limitation.

Curiosity is what the students must bring to the table in order to be led by the guide.  Curiosity means that students look at, around, or through ideas and materials they are shown by the instructor.  They explore the tangents of ideas and materials like an eager music-lover investigating the deepest tracks of their favorite artist/band’s catalog.

Connections are what the instructor helps the students make.  Connections between ideas, connections between people, and connections to international ideas are rewards for the empowered, curious student. Students in the 21st century understand interconnectedness in unique ways, so forming a network, whether in the professional, intellectual, or social realms, is a way to build an audience for their ideas.

Courses taught:

•  Script Analysis (sample syllabus)

Plans for course:

  • Teach script No. 8 of 10 from August Wilson’s century cycle.
  • Integrate new plays into the curriculum.
  • Facilitate conversation between students and a playwright.

•  Playwriting (sample syllabus)

Plans for course:

  • Compile anthology of readings for students as current selections are out of date.
  • Work to incorporate new writing techniques (cut up, found sources, etc).

•  Special Project in Theatre Research:  Senior Thesis (sample syllabus)

Plans for course:

  • Integrate Austin Kleon’s Share Your Work! As a core text.
  • Build the course around sharing small things each day and building a professional profile.
  • Model final presentations around TED talks (already doing some of this, but is there the chance to broadcast online?)

•  New Play Development (sample syllabus)

Plans for course:

  • Work to integrate different interdisciplinary artists.
  • Develop additional materials/core materials for the course based on current reading list.

•  Text Construction (sample syllabus)

Plans for course:

  • Integrate Austin Kleon’s Show Your Work! as a means of making process more transparent.
  • Focus on performance ethnography and the methodologies and practices therein (IRB, field notes, etc.).

•  Special Topics: Aristotelian Perspectives – MFA course (syllabus forthcoming)

•  Self Empowerment:  The Artist as Entrepreneur (sample syllabus)

Plans for course:

  • Integrate social media aspects that have risen in significance since 2010.
  • Work to create a platform for the course where students’ work is showcased as a means of networking and promotion.

•  Theories of Theatre

• Solo Performance (National Theatre Institute [2004-2006] and New College Alumni Fellowship [January 2007])

•  Directing (Connecticut College, Spring 2007)

Other education experience:  Director of Educational Outreach, Eugene O’Neill Theater Center & Program Associate, National Theatre Institute [2004 – 2006]

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