Date of this Version
This had traditionally been a theatre based course for the Johnny Carson School of Theatre and Film when I took over teaching it in the Fall semester of 2008. At that time, the course (a requirement for Theatre majors, Film and New Media majors, as well as Theatre and Musical Theatre minors) was populated almost entirely by upper level Theatre majors, particularly those in the performance stream. Over the next few years as the Film and new Media program grew, the needs of those students increased in relative importance as they comprised a larger and larger percentage of the class. Additionally, an increase in Theatre and Musical Theatre minors, and students from disciplines outside the Carson School changed the demographic of the class so distinctly that I felt a need to investigate the effectiveness of my teaching.
In addition, there was very little examination of material outside of European-based Western culture, both within the class and the theatre program as a whole. To address this deficiency, I started a new assignment as part of the class, the “Translation Project.” This project was a conscious attempt to engage students in examining other cultures, to question assumptions about their own, and to look at language more consciously as a tool for filmic and theatrical scripts.
Thus, I began the Peer Review Project to address three basic needs. First, examination and documentation of my teaching methods grew in importance as the demographic for the class had changed significantly over the six years that I had been teaching it. Second, I wanted to document the implementation of the Translation Project to determine its effectiveness as a teaching tool. Third, I wanted to ensure that I was effectively covering material in both theatre and film, as well as opening up new cultural explorations.