College of Visual and Performing Arts
George Mason University
George Mason University Mason
George Mason University

Emergency Virtual Conference on Undergraduate Theater Education

July 2, 2020

In an effort to respond to the cancellation of events due to COVID-19, and the subsequent movement to online classes at George Mason University and at many colleges around the United States, tenure track faculty member Sherrice Mojgani (she/her) developed the idea to hold an Emergency Virtual Conference on Undergraduate Theater Education. The conference is being organized by three Assistant Professors from Mason's School of Theater: Sherrice Mojgani, Head of Design and Lighting Design Instructor; Debra Sivigny (she/her), Assistant Professor of Scenic and Costume Design; and Mimsi Janis (she/her), Assistant Professor and Head of Theater Education.

The convening will take place from July 13-17, 2020 via Zoom and will feature Kaja Dunn (she/her), Assistant Professor of Theatre and Head of Acting at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Dunn will deliver a keynote address on "Teaching in Trauma." The conference will include a presentation by Porsche McGovern (she/her), independent researcher and facilitator on "Diversity Initiatives in the Age of Covid-19." It will also address the subject of "Adapting Performance for Telepresence" with a presentation by Janet Hayatshahi (she/her), Assistant Professor at Randolph-Macon College, as well as a panel with: Ed Gero (he/him), Associate Professor at George Mason University; Ian Wallace (he/him), Professor at Folsom Lake College; Jeremy Cohen (he/him), Producing Artistic Director at the Playwrights' Center; and moderated by Naysan Mojgani (he/him), Literary Manager at Arena Stage. Teresa Spencer (she/her), Assistant Professor at Towson University, will lead a roundtable discussion on “Adapting Attendance and Participation Policies.” Participants will also meet in working groups to discuss discipline-specific issues. Attendee institutions include New York University, Hunter College, University of South Dakota, Loyola Marymount University, and more. 

Please be advised that the conference is now full and registration closed. 

The full conference schedule appears below:

Monday, July 13

4:30 p.m.

Welcome: Orientation & Sharing

Tuesday, July 14

1:30 p.m.

Keynote Address: “Teaching in Trauma”

Kaja Dunn, Assistant Professor of Theater and Head of Acting at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte

5 p.m.

“Diversity Initiatives in the Age of COVID-19”

Porsche McGovern, independent researcher and facilitator

Wednesday, July 15

1:30 p.m.

“Beyond the Brokenness” - Collaborative Creation in a Virtual Space

Janet Hayatshahi, Assistant Professor at Randolph-Macon College

4:30 p.m.

“Staged Readings” - Adaptation Performance for the Digital Space

Ian Wallace, Professor at Folsom Lake College; Ed Gero, Associate Professor at George Mason University; Jeremy Cohen; Producing Artistic Director at the Playwrights' Center; moderated by Naysan Mojgani, Literary Manager at Arena Stage

Thursday, July 16

1 p.m., 2:30 p.m., and 4:30 p.m.

Working Groups in the Areas of Theater Studies, Design, and Performance respectively

Friday, July 17

1:30 p.m.

"Attendance and Participation Policy"

Teresa Spencer, Assistant Professor at Towson University

4:30 p.m.

Discussion/Wrap Up: "Adapting Learning Outcomes and Formative Assessments"

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