Provocations Faculty Excellence Speaker Series: AnnMarie Saunders

May 02, 2024
07:00 PM - 08:00 PM
Prince Frederick Campus, Building B, Room 104

headshot of AnnMarie SaundersProvocations Faculty Excellence Speaker Series presents:

“Collaboration, Chaos, and Community: Embracing DEIB in the Creative Process”

AnnMarie Saunders, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Theater

May 2, 2024, 7 p.m.
Prince Frederick Campus
Building B, Room 104

Collaboration is essential to a theater production. Allowing students and team members with various points of view to blend their ideas into a cohesive show often creates a “too many chefs in the kitchen” scenario; however, it usually results in a much richer, multi-layered production than a single mindset approach. Additionally, it creates a valuable educational opportunity for both students and teachers alike. Theater as a discipline is uniquely poised to address diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) due to its collaborative nature. The process used to put up a show can also be used to open DEIB in other subjects as well.

The CSM presentation of the musical RENT in the fall of 2022 was the first production of this Pulitzer Prize-winning show in the Southern Maryland region. The musical hit Broadway in 1996, 26 years before CSM’s production. The show features characters of various ethnic and racial backgrounds and sexual and gender identities, and highlights the issues of drug addiction and the AIDS crisis. While a challenging show, we were able to achieve a meaningful production, connect with several community organizations including the Charles County Department of Health, and draw some of the largest audiences CSM has seen in many years. The success was due in large part to the cooperative process described above.

In this interactive discussion, Dr. Saunders will share the collaborative process theater practitioners use to take a play from the page to the stage and then facilitate use of that process with the group. Discussion will include not only how to work with students from various abilities and backgrounds, but also how to involve community partners in classroom and creative work.

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