Dean Adams, associate dean of performing arts services, and Kaja Dunn, assistant professor of acting, presented at the national conference of the Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE), which took place in Orlando, Florida, August 7-11. The 2019 ATHE conference theme was "Scene Changes: Working through the Transitions." Assistant Professor of Physical Theatre Carlos Cruz attended the conference as a member of the ATHE governing council.
Adams presented on three panels: "Immersing Online Students in Experiential Learning of Theater and Performance," "Tenure and Promotion Transitions: Navigating the Process as a Music Theater/Dance Professor," and "Changing the Scenery on Musical Theatre History." A former producer and director, Adams recently contributed to The Oxford Handbook of Musical Theatre Screen Adaptations. He will direct the Department of Theatre production of Pippin this spring.
Dunn was the coordinator for the session “Culturally Competent Pedagogy and Practice in the Age of MAGA and BREXIT” and made two presentations: “Shifting the Landscape: Institutions of Blackness in Theatre, Performance, and Academia” and “Changing Scenes Through Actor Training: Rethinking the Methods of Connecting Black Character Work and European Acting Techniques.”
Dunn serves as National Secretary for the Black Theatre Association and is a noted scholar on issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion in theatre education and the profession. With her colleague Beth Murray, associate professor of theatre education, she presented at two regional conferences this summer: “Decolonizing Theatre Pedagogy” at the Black Theatre Network Conference in Winston-Salem on July 28 and “Inclusion and Diversity: Casting for your Stage, Staff, Production Teams, and Board” at the North Carolina Theatre Conference Producers Gathering in Greensboro on July 22. She directed the Department of Theatre production of Pearl Cleage's Blues for an Alabama Sky last spring.
Cruz is Vice President for the ATHE Conference 2020, which will take place in Detroit in July 29-August 2.