August 15, 2020

Professors Pool Resources to Focus on ‘Compelling Courses’

Assistant Professor of Biology April Wynn is among the dozens of UMW professors participating this summer in Compelling Courses, a faculty learning community to help instructors design engaging courses.

Assistant Professor of Biology April Wynn is among the dozens of UMW professors participating this summer in Compelling Courses, a faculty learning community to help instructors design engaging courses.

To teach mitosis, April Wynn has students in her class act out the process, portraying chromosomes that divide into nuclei. The assistant professor of biological sciences hopes to replicate lively exercises like this – but virtually – in the fall.

“My goal is to promote the same level of engagement, energy and enthusiasm in an online space,” said Wynn, who, as faculty director of the University of Mary Washington’s First-Year Experience, is helping other instructors do the same for their classes.

Professors often spend their breaks on scholarly research, but Wynn is among dozens of UMW faculty members who went back to school this summer. Through a new faculty learning community called Compelling Courses, representatives from nearly every academic department have been teaching each other how to deliver dynamic online lessons and incorporate the best of the UMW experience into distance learning.

In March of this year, UMW professors – the majority of whom had never taught online – abruptly had to shift to a new method of teaching. The succeeding months have given these instructors time to tinker with and tweak tools so that they are fully prepared to teach virtually if necessary. Many, like Wynn, have found that this modality can even offer benefits.

“We believe teaching can be excellent regardless of medium,” said Professor of Economics Steve Greenlaw, who launched the group with Professor of Communication Anand Rao. “It all depends on how you design the course.” Read more.

Professors Pool Expertise to Create ‘Compelling Courses’

To teach mitosis, April Wynn has students in her class act out the process, portraying chromosomes that divide into nuclei. The assistant professor of biological sciences hopes to replicate lively exercises like this – but virtually – in the fall. “My goal is to promote the same level of engagement, energy and enthusiasm in an […]

Brewer’s Play Read at Kennedy Center Page-to-Stage Festival

Cate Brewer, senior lecturer in the Department of Theatre and Dance.

Cate Brewer, senior lecturer in the Department of Theatre and Dance.

What Happens Stays, a new play by Cate Brewer, senior lecturer in the Department of Theatre and Dance, was read in the 18th annual Kennedy Center Page-to-Stage Festival. What Happens Stays is a new play based on a recent political controversy. Brewer also acted in the piece. “Now entering its 18th year, Page-to-Stage was created to fill the Washington, D.C. theater community’s need for an accessible space to perform and workshop new plays. During this festival, theater artists receive feedback and network with others, allowing them to refine their work and develop relationships that lead to later collaborations. The free performances reflect the dynamic make-up of all corners of the city, whether you are a newcomer or a veteran to theater.” https://www.kennedy-center.org/calendar/series/PTS

Brewer Plays Role at Folger Theatre

Cate Brewer, lecturer in Theatre & Dance, played the role of Mrs. Jennings in the two-week extension for Kate Hamill’s adaptation of Sense and Sensibility at Folger Theatre.  The production was directed by Eric Tucker and received critical acclaim in both its original iteration with Bedlam Theatre Company in NYC and at Folger Theatre in Washington, D.C.

Brewer Performs in Capital Fringe Festival

Cate Brewer, lecturer in the department of Theatre & Dance, performed in the Capital Fringe Festival for the third consecutive summer.  The Capital Fringe Festival is: “a catalyst for cultural and community development, and a destination that brings artists and audiences together. Capital Fringe thrives on amplifying the vibrancy of D.C.’s independent arts community and enriches the lives of those who reside, work and visit here.”(https://www.capitalfringe.org/about)

Brewer Presents at Mid-America Theatre Conference

Cate Brewer, lecturer in the department of theatre and dance, presented a paper at the Mid-America Theatre Conference for the eighth consecutive year this March. The Mid-America Theatre Conference is an annual conference of theatre academics and practitioners, celebrating the craft and discipline of theatre in America.

Brewer Performs in Women’s Voices Theater Festival

Cate Brewer, lecturer in the Department of Theatre and Dance, performed in a world premiere production for the Women’s Voices Theater Festival. Hootenanny, written by Monique LaForce, is a two-person production about two actors backstage during a bluegrass musical version of Macbeth. As the backstage story between these two actors unfolds, life mirrors art.

The Women’s Voices Theater Festival included more than 50 world premiere plays by women and took place this fall in the Washington area. The festival is described as “The professional theaters of the Washington, DC region have joined together to produce the Women’s Voices Theater Festival in the fall of 2015. The companies will each present a world premiere production of a work by one or more female playwrights, highlighting both the scope of plays being written by women and the range of professional theater produced in and around the nation’s capital.” www.womensvoicestheaterfestival.org.

An article about the festival in American Theatre Magazine can be accessed here.

The Washington Post review of the production can be found here.

Cate Brewer Understudies at Folger Theatre

Cate Brewer, lecturer in the Department of Theatre and Dance, was in the understudy company for Aaron Posner’s production of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead at Folger Theatre. She will also play a lead role in Cold As Death, an adaptation of Thomas Middleton’s The Second Maiden’s Tragedy, for the Capital Fringe Festival this July.

 

Washington Post Reviews Fringe Show

This summer, Cate Brewer, faculty in the Department of Theatre and Dance, starred in Monique LaForce’s new work entitled: Isis and Vesco Investigate the Curious Death of Dr. Freud in DC’s Capital Fringe Festival. The production was well-received, and according to Jane Horwitz of the Washington Post “Brewer’s Isis commands the Stage.”

Check out the reviews:

Washington Post Review

Washington City Paper Review

 

Brewer Stars in Capital Fringe Festival Play

Cate Brewer, lecturer in the Department of Theatre and Dance, is spending her summer starring in Isis and Vesco Investigate the Curious Death of Dr. Freud. The play begins this month, with the first showing on Saturday, July 12 at The Redrum in Washington, D.C. For more information, check out the DC Metro Theater Arts blog.