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Megan Alrutz to give talk on “Sites of Possibility: Digital Storytelling, Applied Theatre, and Youth”

as part of the New Faculty Colloquium

Tue, November 8, 2011 | GEB 4.214

3:30 PM - 6:00 PM

Megan Alrutz to give talk on “Sites of Possibility: Digital Storytelling, Applied Theatre, and Youth”

“Sites of Possibility: Digital Storytelling, Applied Theatre, and Youth”


As a process for engaging marginalized voices in the social/cultural economy of the media, digital storytelling has garnered much attention from media artists, community organizers, and scholars since the early 1990s. The practice of digital storytelling, or the making and sharing of personal narratives through recorded voice-overs, digital photography and video, music, and/or digitally composed multi-media collages, parallels aspects of applied drama/theatre in many ways; and yet, little scholarship exists around how digital storytelling can and does function as an intentionally facilitated, critical performance practice with young people. In this talk, Megan Alrutz explores ways in which the theory and practice of applied theatre and digital storytelling can revision the ways we represent and engage young people in society.  
Together, applied theatre and digital storytelling can invite youth to productively critique systems of power in and through the live and mediated performance of their own stories. Considering digital storytelling as an applied theatre practice raises important questions and insights around identity politics, responsible representation, critical pedagogy, and aesthetics, as well as notions of social change and social justice. Megan draws on practical examples to examine how digital storytelling, as both a creative process and a performance product, functions as a political act of cultural production, offering young people an opportunity to reflect and archive--(re)vision and (re)construct--complex notions of identity, culture, and community.

Dr. Megan Alrutz is assistant professor in the Department of Theatre and Dance where she teaches courses in applied theatre and community engagement, theatre for social change, and digital storytelling. Her creative and scholarly interests focus on applied theatre and theatre for young audiences‹including school-based arts-integration; critical performance pedagogy with youth; and devising and directing theatre and digital storytelling to explore issues around voice and identity, as well as community dialogue. Megan works nationally as a facilitator for professional development in theatre education and drama-based pedagogy, and was the founding director of ArtsBridge/UCF and Digital U, two applied arts/media programs for youth. Her publications can be found in journals such as Youth Theatre Journal, Teaching Artist Journal, and TYA Today, and she recently co-edited a collection for Palgrave Macmillan entitled Playing with Theory in Theatre Practice.

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