Summary: Session 2592
"Proceedings of the 2001 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition. 2001,
American Society for Engineering Education"
Theater Class Helps Transform the Climate for Diversity in
Alice M. Agogino, Edith Ng, Carla Trujillo
University of California at Berkeley
Interactive theater -- theater that combines live performance and audience participation has
been successfully used to improved the educational and professional climate in academe and
industry. This paper describes an adaptation of this concept to improve the climate for diversity
and difference; counteract recent degradations of campus climate due to anti-affirmative action
legislation in the State of California; improve the quality of teaching; and build a more tolerant
community among a diverse student body, staff and faculty. It identifies ways the program
increased awareness and empathy, promoted positive new behaviors, and provided significant
data, suggestions and support for change.
Interactive Theater workshops combine live performance and audience participation to help
people examine complex human issues3,7,10