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Theatre and Global Change Course

By Cecilia M. Orphan, National Manager, American Democracy Project

Have you ever wondered how theater arts might be used to advance the civic engagement movement?

I am pleased to announce that one of our 7 Revolutions Scholars, William Payne of the University of Minnesota Duluth, will co-teach an online course with The New York Times leading theater critic, Ben Brantley. The course is called Theatre and Global Change and will explore the diverse ways theater can help us understand and interact with the significant global changes happening today.

A live filming of the course will take place as part of the opening events of the ADP National Meeting in Orlando on Thursday, June 2 at 6:00 pm.

I hope many of you will register for this exciting course and attend the living filming that is part of the ADP National Meeting. Please see below for additional information.

Theatre & Global Change

Through the study of classic and contemporary dramatic literature and the exploration of the Seven Revolutions taking place today (changes in Population, Resource Management, Technology, Information Flow, Economic Integration, Conflict, and Governance) students will generate awareness and action leading to an appreciation of the role that artistic creation can and does play in our changing world.


Focusing on the first four Revolutions (Population, Resource Management, Technology and Information Flow), this course will include:

  • Ancient and modern classic plays by William Shakespeare, Sophocles, David Mamet, Tony Kuschner, August Wilson, and Carel Kapek are the texts used to explore the various ways theatre can and does express the world we live in.
  • A wide spectrum of material from the Knowledge Network, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and various other web sources help from the Seven Revolutions – global trends that will fundamentally change how we live.
  • Weekly live online sessions with special guests like New York Times Theater Critic Ben Brantley and Theatre director and activist Margarita Espada of Teatro Yerbabruja.

Target Audience
This course is for students wanting to learn more about theatre, about global change, and about ways artistic creation can help us understand and respond to the changes occurring in our present and future worlds.

  1. People interested in learning about global change.
  2. People interested in theatre.
  3. People interested in new ways to respond to the challenges of the present and the future.

In addition to the daily self-paced lessons, online discussion forums and resources, there will be a weekly live online session with the instructor. Live sessions will be archived for future viewing. There will be five live sessions for this course: 

Thursday, May 12, 2011
Instructor: Bill Payne

Thursday, May 19, 2011
Instructor: Bill Payne
Guest: Margarita Espada

Thursday, May 26, 2011
Instructor: Bill Payne

Thursday, June 2, 2011
Instructor: Bill Payne
Guest: a Seven Revolutions Scholar

Monday, June 6, 2011
Instructor: Bill Payne
Guest: Ben Brantley

To read more about Bill and Ben and to register for the course, please visit The New York Times Knowledge Network website. To register for the ADP National Meeting in Orlando, June 2-4, 2011, please visit this website.

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