The episode, which also includes faculty from Fordham University, Muhlenberg College, Pace University, and Temple University, is part of a weekly podcast dedicated to exploring the “heart of theater-making”.
Stevenson’s episode is the Northeast edition of “The Shape of Training: Undergraduate Programs” and focuses on directing programs and how each of those featured provides students with professional preparation.
At the top of the episode, the group discusses how important it is to encourage directing students to take courses across theatre and in other disciplines in order to strengthen their craft. “We all agreed that teaching students to collaborate is priority number one for directors,” shares Stevenson.
However, she adds, the conversation moved to much broader topics. “It was illuminating to talk with other department chairs about how all of us have adapted our curriculum and teaching both for remote production, as well as to address systemic inequality and racism.”
Referring to the calls for justice and civil unrest that spread across the world in late May 2020 after the death of George Floyd, the group discussed how each of their respective departments faced truthful introspection. Stevenson says that she and her colleagues in conversation are now working to create more dialogue and feedback loops with students, as well as opportunities for them to drive decision-making. “Honestly, there was a tremendous amount of overlap among us, which points to the larger systemic issues in society that all institutions must help address.”