Interactive Theatre Resources
Adapted from: Using Interactive Theatre for Social Change: An Interdisciplinary Symposium. Conference website (2007).
IAT takes different forms and is called by different terms (e.g., Theatre of the Oppressed, sociodrama, drama in education, theatre in education, etc.). Although IAT on social justice issues has been practiced worldwide, heightened interest in its use for faculty development in higher education grew out of the efforts of the Center for Research on Learning and Teaching (CRLT) at the University of Michigan, which has housed an interactive theatre program since 2000. Through conference presentations, summer institutes, and a major article reporting research findings and advocating for the effectiveness of IAT (Change Magazine, summer 2006), CRLT successfully promoted interest in IAT among faculty developers and other higher education constituencies seeking to foster multicultural awareness and address campus climate issues.
An interdisciplinary team at MU has been researching the impact of IAT since 2000, publishing multiple articles and invited book chapters. MU's Interactive Theatre Troupe was founded in 2003, when MU joined a 3-year multi-campus program sponsored by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Working with the cluster on the Scholarship of Multicultural Teaching and Learning headed by CRLT, MU modeled its IAT program on Michigan's. In 2006, MU received 2 major grants for projects with IAT as a key component: a Ford Foundation “Difficult Dialogues” grant and an NSF ADVANCE PAID grant, Mizzou ADVANCE.
The Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE) has just created a Task Force on Interactive Theatre to investigate means of supporting the IAT movement nationwide (possibilities include a script exchange service, co-sponsorship of IAT performances at conferences in relevant disciplines, etc.). MU faculty member Suzanne Burgoyne, who co-chairs the task force, is serving as the ATHE president.
For more information about Interactive Theatre, refer to:
- MU's Difficult Dialogues website
- University of Michigan's CRLT website
- Kumagai, A. K., White, C. B., Ross, P. T., Purkiss, J. A., O'neal, C. M., & Steiger, J. A. (2007). Use of interactive theater for faculty development in multicultural medical education. Medical Teacher, 29(4), 335-340.
- Izzo, G. (1997). The art of play : The new genre of interactive theatre. Portsmouth, NH : Heinemann. (available through MU Libraries)