Portfolio of Teaching

This page contains select examples of my teaching, demonstrating its connection to my creative activities, research and outreach.

Online Teaching and Course Development

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Theatre and Society in the West

I have mentored graduate students in the development of online learning module materials for two courses, Theatre and Society in the West and Theatre in a Global context.

Theatre and Society in the West is taught as a hybrid course, students meet in person one day a week for one hour and complete the rest of their educational material online. This course is a 300 person lecture course in which students from all majors of the university explore theatre appreciation.

I begin by having the graduate students explore their own learning styles and then work as a team to understand the multiple learning styles that exist. Students complete research on their module and begin brainstorming engagement activities. We meet as a group, including media creators, game developers and videographers, to discuss these engagement actitives. The graduate students become the producers of this content and work with the media creators to further develop and test their ideas.

Leslie Hull, winner of the 2012 Midwest Association of Graduate School Excellence in Teaching Award, and Sarah Goeke, 2014 Somer Teaching Award, both received their awards in the semester that they served under my supervision as teaching assistants in Theatre and Society in the West.

Theatre in a Global Context

Theatre in a Global Context is the third course in a cognate for non-majors exploring theatre history. Graduate acting and design students researched aspects of theatre and society throughout the world and throughout history. Guided by my simple online module creation principles, the students began to develop their materials. Students worked with undergraduate media and arts students to implement these ideas. Course will be offered for the first time in fall 2014.

Teaching & Learning with Technology

Work from the online development courses inspired me to offer a workshop designed for K-12 instructors, focusing on methods to integrate media in the classroom using concepts of theatre. I coordinated by June Wygant of Warren Consolidated School of Performing Arts. The workshop was canceled due to insufficient registration. Plans to offer it again in 2015 are underway. For workshop details please see http://thr.msu.edu/mtpl.

Graduate Courses in Media Performance Design

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Through independent studies and graduate practicum, graduate students in the Department of Theatre experience the complete production process of media design.

This work begins with an exploration and research of existing media design work and ends with the student writing and directing a short work incorporating media and theatre. This gives the student experience with media as both a design element and and acting element. These works are then performed as part of the Media Theatre Performance Laboratory workshop series.

Genesis Garza, MFA 2012, wrote and directed Fear. Emil Boulos, MFA 2012, wrote and directed Painting the Dark. Both works were performed at Riverwalk Theatre at the December 2011 workshop. Painting the Dark was remounted in June 2012 at Riverwalk Theatre. A review of the production can be viewed here.

Media Theatre Workshop

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December 16 & 17th, 2011

A two-day event that focused aspects of integration of media and live theatre was taught by the faculty, staff and students of Michigan State University’s Department of Theatre at Riverwalk Theatre.

Workshops were taught through hands-on demonstrations, performances and lectures. Workshops included: Game Design, Cueing Systems, Lighting Design and Media, Set Design and Media, Sound Interaction and Media.

Performances of excerpts from The Laramie Project were performed by students from Warren Consolidated School of Performing Arts. Graduate MFA Media Design students performed works as part of the workshop: Fear, written and directed by Genesis Garza and Painting the Dark, written and directed by Emil Boulos.

These workshops were run through Media Theatre Performance Laboratory (MTPL), a collaboration between Michigan State University and Riverwalk Theatre, directed by Alison Dobbins, with the goal to teach media design to theatre practioners through hands-on workshops and performances. All workshops held at Riverwalk Theatre.

Digital Design for the Stage

Students in my undergraduate Digital Design courses come from many different majors in the university including music, engineering, computer science, telecommunications, theatre, art and psychology. I actively recruit students from other majors as I find the mix of students creates an active and exciting classroom.

The tools in the classroom vary from year to year, but the focus includes media design approaches, working with collaborators, media engineering and interactive cueing systems (Isadora, Modul8, Resolume), timeline cueing systems (Watchout, Hippo), linear cueing systems (QLab), projection mapping (MadMapper, VPT).

Students create work for various applications on campus including the fascia of the Breslin Basketball Arena (not all work is shown at games, but this is an excellent opportunity for students to design for a variety of LED displays). Student work has also been show at the MSU Museum for the exhibit Masks: Secrets and Revelations.

Final projects vary greatly and have ranged from projection mapping installation art to rock concerts with interactive media. Students are encouraged to think of the entire campus as their canvas and to recruit student talent for their actors.

To create more visibility for these courses in the future I have cross-listed my theatre courses with the telecommunications department.

Motion Graphics for Live Performance (also listed as Compositing & Special Effects)

Students in this course examine storytelling through animation and special effects. The tools used in the course include After Effects, Final Cut Pro, Maya, Photoshop and Illustrator

Students post all work on YouTube as part of each project assignment. The goal is for students to build an online audience. Student work can be viewed by searching YouTube for TC337 or THR337. An example play list is provided here.

This course is taught both in the Theatre and Telecommunications departments.


Honors Research Seminar

Students in this course work in collaboration with the artists in Theatre Engine to research elements of audience interaction with the performance.

Students are from all majors in the University (typically Freshmen or Sophomore status). They are put in groups with theatre graduate students and experiment with theatre through play. Student research work is incorporated into Theatre Engine performances and is presented at the University Undergraduate Research and Arts Forum.



Arts & Healthcare


Students in this course came from all majors in the University. Guest lectures were presented from Olin Health Center, Simulated Patient Interviewing, and History of Medicine. The course was developed through connecting the Center for Bioethics, College of Human Medicine, College of Osteopathic Medicine, Olin Health Center and Health Communication program on campus.

Students explored the artistic side of medicine through: medical history depicted through paintings, art therapies, health communication and health edutainment through plays. Students wrote their own works (example) and created an Art & Healthcare performance as their final (example). The course was taught in an engaged classroom method in which students danced, drew, and interacted in every class period. Here is an example exercise to experience mental health. Students all wore headphones and listened to this while carrying on a conversation with others around them. This accompanied a larger class discussion on schizophrenia. There is no video material available for this course.

This class has sparked further interest in Arts & Healthcare and will be the stepping stone for future classes and collaborations.