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Metropolitan State University Center for Faculty Development 2015 Fall Teaching Workshop

Saturday, October 3, 2015
Metropolitan State University, Saint Paul Campus

Conference Theme: Race Matters

Focused on its theme, “Race Matters”, the 2015 Fall Teaching Workshop features Penumbra Theatre Company’s RACE Workshop.   Penumbra Theatre Company’s RACE Workshop combines expert facilitation, a powerful exploration of race in America, monologues performed by professional artists, and opportunities for participants to use theatre as a way to problem-solve and model. The process names and celebrates difference, recognizes cultural nuance, and invites everyone to participate in the dialogue.

Conference Schedule:

7:30 am - 8:30 am           Registration and Light Breakfast
8:30 am - 9 am Welcome and Excellence in Teaching and Advising Awards
9 am - 11 am Penumbra Theatre Company’s Race Workshop
11 am - noon Small Group Discussions
noon - 1:30 pm Lunch
1:30 pm - 4 pm Post Workshop Activities

Penumbra Theatre’s RACE Workshop

Penumbra Theatre’s RACE Workshop employs a three-pronged approach into conversations about race and difference:Penumbra Theatre’s interactive presentation – Stereotypes: The Power of Perception – gives participants an overview of the history and political context of racial and ethnic stereotypes in the US. The presentation helps audiences understand that contemporary perceptions about race and difference are grounded in ongoing, systematic practices rather than simply individual prejudice. It aims to educate about the ways in which this history is our common inheritance and also suggests ways in which we can intervene in problematic practices in the present.

Penumbra Theatre’s professional artist monologues are personal stories that demonstrate the everyday ways in which individuals first encountered race and racism in their own lives. Each narrative involves introspection and reflects the artist’s struggle to reconcile their own identities with the way the world sees or “reads” them. The stories ground structural practices in personal experience, provoke empathy, and spark both “mirror” and “window” moments – those that reflect participants’ own experiences, and those that offer new insights. Following the artists’ stories, we invite participants to share their own connections, resonances, and stories as they are willing.

Penumbra Theatre’s embodied activities are low-stakes exercises aimed at getting participants into their bodies and connecting with each other in simple and direct ways, like standing face to face with a partner and making eye contact for 30 seconds. These exercises and games create a platform for talking about (and experiencing!) human connection and empathy as a means of working against stereotypes.

Through the breakout sessions, facilitated by MSU faculty, participants will have an opportunity to connect what they experience in the workshop with their own teaching practices and philosophies, and brainstorm ways to activate/connect the material in their own classrooms.

Facilitator Bio

H. Adam Harris PhotoH. ADAM HARRIS: Teen Programs Coordinator
H. Adam is the Teen Programs Coordinator with Penumbra Theatre Company and a former Summer Institute Intern. As a professional actor, he was recently seen in How the Grinch Stole Christmas (Children's Theatre Company); The Way of Water (Frank Theatre); Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Much Ado About Nothing, (Guthrie Theater); and Penumbra Theatre's production of The Amen Corner at the Guthrie Theater. Adam received his B.F.A from the University of Minnesota/Guthrie Theater Actor Training Program along with a minor in African American Studies. Adam recently toured prisons, homeless shelters, and community centers in a production of The Seven with Ten Thousand Things Theater. His primary role is connecting passionate young leaders with Penumbra's Summer Institute program and working with educators to bring theatre for social change into their classrooms.


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