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June 18, 2021

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Friesen conducts drama workshop

Melissa Friesen, associate professor of theatre and communication, will present "Drama Techniques for Classroom and Civic Dialogue: A Participatory Workshop," at 4 p.m., Friday, Dec. 4, in Kreider Room in Marbeck Center, as part of Bluffton University's Friday Colloquium Series. The event is free and open to the public. Please note the change in location.

Friesen attended the 2009 Sojourn Theatre Summer Institute in Portland, Ore. in July. During this week-long workshop, the participants learned techniques and strategies for devising performance material in collaborative settings. Foci included working with youth, building community through theatre-based civic engagement, ensemble work and site-specific devising. Her presentation will briefly describe the workshop but will focus on facilitating a drama workshop.

"Attendees will be asked to explore performance as a way of knowing by participating in drama activities designed to enhance teambuilding and stimulate inquiry. In other words, come ready to move around!" said Friesen. "I have used similar strategies in my own classes and in workshops for children and adults, including a recent drama workshop on bullying for the Beyond Borders peacemaking weekend co-sponsored by The Lion and Lamb Peace Arts Center of Bluffton University."

Friesen received her bachelor's degree from Bethel College, Bethel, Kan., her master of arts in theatre from Bowling Green State University and her Ph.D. in theatre research from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She serves as the communication and theatre department chair and is the Mary Nord Ignat and Joseph Ignat Chair in Theatre.