ATHE's Response to COVID-19 and Teaching Resources
Tuesday, March 10, 2020
As I’m sure is the case with many of you, much of my recent life has been concerned with
contingency planning around COVID-19. In my daily life, I’ve been working with colleagues
across courses to consider how we teach the many aspects of live performance in a moment
of viral contagion, with possibilities on the horizon, as I write this, that include both increased
staff and student absences, as well as possible ongoing closures. I have been in
conversations with colleagues at other institutions who are perhaps further along in facing
these challenges, including the Hong Kong Academy of Performance Arts, Shanghai Theatre
Academy, and University of Washington. We’re looking not only at how we meet student
outcomes in the face of such challenges, but also how some of our pedagogies might better
engage with notions and issues around transmission and contagion. Even questions as
seemingly simple as “Should warmup practices change because of hygiene?” raise issues
that we don’t always consider. Here’s a resource on remote teaching resources that seems
potentially very useful: CLICK HERE
On our website, ATHE will host a clearinghouse public document along similar lines to this,
allowing our members and interested groups to focus on the particular challenges for theatre
and performance, which are so dependent on physical presence. For those of you who are
developing such documents and practices, if you’d like to share them, please do so via
emailing to me at firstname.lastname@example.org—we’ll ensure that in hosting them online, we
include citations of where they originated and maintain record of authors/intellectual property.
ATHE is also looking at these challenges, as many organisations are currently cancelling
their conferences amid lockdowns, travel bans, and widespread growing panic.
There is a great deal of time between now and the July 29 opening of the annual
conference. At present, we expect that the conference will take place at the Detroit Marriott
as planned, but we are closely monitoring the developments regarding COVID-19
and will be in touch with members and registered attendees should things change.
The plans that VP for Conference Carlos Alexis Cruz, his committee, the Focus Group
Conference Planners, and the membership have put together are incredibly exciting,
and I hopefully look forward to everything going as planned.
Stay healthy and wash your hands!