The ISU Theatre CoLab initiative will launch in Fall 2018. The initiative’s mission is to foster collaboration and engagement between ISU Theatre and other groups both within ISU’s campus and throughout the broader community to create citizen artistry, inspire and be inspired by meaningful public discourse and expand opportunities for ISU students, faculty and staff.
“The CoLab initiative allows students to experience the power of theatre’s interdisciplinary nature – that both the stories we tell and the way that we tell them can and should be shaped by the community around us,” said Amanda Petefish-Schrag, assistant professor of theatre. “It also demonstrates the possibilities and opportunities engaged liberal arts education provides.”
During the past few years ISU Theatre has explored multiple interdisciplinary and community collaborations. The Classical Studies program partnered with the Spring 2018 production of Iphigenia. Amy Bix, professor of history and women’s and gender studies, contributed dramaturgical expertise to last fall’s performance of The Children’s Hour. Petefish-Schrag collaborated with the ISU Jazz Band on “Rhapsody in Plastic” – a puppet show accompanied by live jazz. Several of last season’s productions presented selections and engaged in community conversations at Ames Public library. Additional collaborations have occurred with Parks library, the React Gallery, and Story Theater Company.
ISU Theatre hopes to establish CoLab partnerships with all future productions as well as other special projects and endeavors.
“One of the goals is to bring more voices to the table, so that our productions, courses and programming represent a greater diversity of stories and viewpoints,” Petefish-Schrag said.
“ISU Theatre seeks to be a cornerstone of Liberal Arts education at ISU, as well as a crucible for community engagement, outreach and collaboration,” said Brad Dell, associate professor and director of ISU Theatre. “Our doors our open and we are ready to listen and partner. Iowa State University, the Ames community, and the state of Iowa is rich with amazing people working on incredible endeavors. We are excited to connect with these rock stars in order enhance the education of our students, enrich our community, and work to make the world a better place.”