By Sylvan Baker, Stephen Buescher, and Kaja Dunn
The prompt for the following conversation originated in a session at the ATHE conference in Orlando that centered around teaching culturally competent pedagogy in the age of Make America Great Again (MAGA) and Brexit. This piece is a recording of a curated discussion among the three scholars from that panel, which took place on Skype across three time zones. In the wake of massive political transition in both the United States and the United Kingdom, we discuss what it means to have a culturally responsive, culturally competent curriculum on both sides of the pond
How do we start/continue to push forward ideas of equity, inclusion, and decolonization in our actor-training programs, while also dealing with a changing political climate and the increasingly partisan grouping of issues around race, ethnicity, and culture? This piece considers effective ways of changing both curriculum and culture on campus. Looking at practice and culture in BA, BFA, and MFA programs, the panel explores the barriers and strategies to implementing change in aca- demia and advocating for the theatre world that students will enter. Drawing on critical race theory, decolonizing methodologies, and sociological and psychological research, the panel also looks at the unique barriers affecting faculty of color in theatre institutions that are working to implement change.