As some of you may know from reading my past blogs, I am minoring in Theatre in addition to studying Electrical Engineering. I try to take one theatre class a semester because I love engineering, but it’s also cool to get to do something different every now and then.

This semester my theatre class is THTR488: Theatre in the Community. It’s a really great class that focuses on theatre as a political, economic, and social force for change. It’s a small class – only 7 people – which means that we really get to discuss our thoughts and questions about theatre as a source of change in detail. We meet in the Village Gate Theatre, which is a small theatre space in the University Village. It’s a great class because not only do we read about theatre and discuss it, but we also get to get up on our feet, play theatre games, and improvise exercises around issues that reflect our perceptions and allow us to change them.

Inside the Village Gate Theatre where my class is held!

I’m excited about this class because next week we start our partnership with Homeboy Industries,an organization that “assists at-risk and formerly gang involved youth to¬†become positive and contributing members of society through job placement, training and education”¬†. We will meet with these youth once a week, and I’m really looking forward to learning from them and working with them!

In addition to the work we are starting with Homeboy Industries, every student in the class is required to have an internship with a group that they are interested in working with. We get to tell the internship coordinator what we are interested in working on, whether it’s economic change, gay rights, domestic abuse, or any number of other topics. Then we will be set up with an organization and will use what we’ve learned in class to help them incorporate liberation theatre into their efforts.

It’s a great class, and a lot of fun! I’m really glad that even with all my engineering coursework, I’m still able to find the time to pursue my love for theatre!