About the Players
Through performances, workshops, seminars, and individual consultations, the CRLT Players Theatre Program provides educators and administrators with an innovative and dynamic approach to sparking dialogue, promoting inclusivity, and effecting positive change inside and outside the classroom. At the heart of the program is the CRLT Players, a troupe of local professionals and student actors. Using a solid foundation of research, the CRLT Players develop and present provocative vignettes in order to engage audience members in thinking and talking about issues of pedagogy, diversity, and inclusion.
The CRLT Theatre Program is primarily funded by the Office of the Provost, the College of Engineering, the College of LS&A, and the ADVANCE Program at the University of Michigan.
“Using Theatre to Stage Instructional and Organizational Transformation”
This article, which appeared in Change Magazine, succinctly describes why and how the CRLT Theatre program works as a professional development tool for issues of teaching and learning and institutional transformation. In addition, the article summarizes evaluation data concerning the impact of the program.
The CRLT Players Theatre Program was created in 2000 and grew out of CRLT's longstanding commitment to multicultural education. Starting with a single sketch, the program has steadily expanded and now includes a roster of 20 sketches on two main topics: teaching and learning, with a focus on the experiences of underrepresented students, and institutional climate for faculty worklife. The institutional climate sketches grow out of a collaboration with the ADVANCE Program at U–M. The Program was developed with a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF). Initially focusing on institutional transformation with respect to women faculty in science and engineering fields, ADVANCE has expanded to address necessary institutional changes to support the needs of a diverse faculty in all fields.
In 2011–2012, the Players performed more than 45 times for over 3,000 faculty, graduate students, and administrators. The Players spend approximately two–thirds of their time at U–M performing at campuswide orientations and CRLT seminars (for faculty or postdoctoral scholars/graduate students), and at disciplinary–specific workshops for departments, schools, and colleges. The Players are also in demand nationally and have performed on campuses around the country including Harvard, MIT, Stanford, University of California at Irvine, University of Chicago, University of Virginia, and University of Washington. In addition, the troupe has performed at major national conferences on higher education, including multiple performances for the National Science Foundation, and keynote presentations at the Professional and Organizational Development Network in Higher Education (POD), the Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE), and the Carnegie Association for the Advancement
The success of the CRLT Players Theatre Program has brought national recognition. NSF, through the ADVANCE program, funded the 2005 and 2006 Summer Institute programs for representatives of campuses outside of U-M to learn about the use of interactive theatre for institutional transformation. The American Council on Education (ACE) and TIAA-CREF awarded the CRLT Theatre Program with a Theodore M. Hesburgh Certificate of Excellence, a national award for the recognition of excellence in faculty development.