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Our Departmental Response to Racism                                         

In summer 2020, we established an Advocacy, Allyship and Access committee. AAA created an actionable five-year anti-racism and inclusion plan focused on Artistic Inclusion, Faculty Development and Recruitment, Curriculum, Community Outreach, and Student Concerns. AAA meets biweekly to review and ignite ongoing progress towards the plan objectives. The Center for Inclusive Teaching and Learning provided faculty fellowships to support these efforts in part.

Individual faculty have aligned with AAA, which is chaired by Lisa Sanderson (MT) in complementary ways. They have collaborated with students to direct and devise theatre productions centering diverse themes and donated personal funds to sponsor guest artists of color in our department. They mentor Players Artistic Alliance, reviewed season selection, consent and concern processes in production practices, and founded Stages to Equity, a new scholarship supporting students of color. As a faculty, we are committed to creating an inclusive teaching and learning space.

Please explore below to read the five-year anti-racism plan; learn about our community collaborations with g including Nicole Brewer (ART) and Sarwat Najib; meet a Stages to Equity scholarship recipient and explore devised and collaboratively directed work.

Student Voices

Theatre & Dance faculty engage in collaborative directing and devising to center student voices in many ways. A production of Lolita Chakrabarti’s Red Velvet was collaboratively directed by theatre faculty and a student of color to center diverse perspectives. Faculty worked with students to devise Unruly Women & Unfinished Business: The Fight for the Right to Vote, In This Moment, and As We Climb. In addition, Drama faculty mentor the Players’ Artistic Alliance, a student-led organization sponsoring several creative opportunities for students, including a fringe festival, Spotlight Nights, and Night of Color concerts centering diverse voices.
Hear from Red Velvet’s student director Kendra James.
UWSP Student Group – Players

Overseen by Department of Theatre and Dance Chair Michael Estanich, the AAA committee continues to implement, create, and consider inclusivity and anti-racism in the department of Theatre and Dance using the five-year plan as a guide.  Actions have included examining our seasons to reduce Eurocentrism; reviewing stage management and audition practices for safety and consent; mentoring individual students in restorative justice practices; centering student voices in co-direction and devised productions; and creating department wide discussion series and lectures on themes of community and representation. Residencies by guest artists center diverse expertise as we strive to attract diverse faculty.  Current faculty can receive sponsorship to complete UWSP’s Inclusive Excellence Certificate.  Visit our Community Collaborations and Faculty Student Funding pages to learn more.

“Advocacy, Allyship and Access developed the plan after students of color asked for anti-racism action in the wake of George Floyd’s murder in 2020. An incident of student bias further galvanized the department, and the plan was adopted officially in early 2021.”

Guest Artists & Community Collaborations

The Department of Theatre & Dance teaches and celebrates collaboration.

Sarwat Najib

Three-residence residency

The residency featured Afghan dance, culture, and Sarwat’s fashion designs and was co-sponsored by COFAC, CITL, and the Department of Theatre and Dance.  Dance and musical theatre students were models, as well as community members. Community attendance at Sarwat’s events was largely driven by the Social Justice committee from Holy Spirit Church as well as representatives from many diversity organizations in the Stevens Point community.  Ongoing community engagement through the arts in support of diverse community members and perspectives is desired.

Keith Hamilton Cobb

reading American Moor

Friday, September 16, 2022

1:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.
followed by Q & A

Jenkins Theatre
Noel Fine Arts Center
1800 Portage Street, Stevens Point, Wis.

Sponsored by:

Dasha Kelly Hamilton

Two-Session Residency

Monday, September 20, 2021
A Line Meant – Our Journeys
Focused on her work as writer and performance artist

Tuesday, September 21,2021
Truth Evolution
Focused on her work as creative change agent

Residents also included Sheri Williams Pannell, director, music director, and founder of the Bronzeville Arts Ensemble.

Nicole Brewer – Photo ART Anti Racist Theatre

Spring 2021 – Virtual Session

AAA members began an ongoing outreach to diverse guest artists in spring of 2021 with an invitation to Nicole Brewer, founder of ART, Anti Racist Theatre, to be in residence with students and staff of Theatre & Dance.

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Student & Faculty Funding

The Department of Theatre and Dance, COFAC, CITL, and Stages to Equity all provide/ have provided significant funding to support an inclusive culture. 
The Center for Inclusive Teaching and Learning sponsored two Faculty Fellows in the Department of Theatre and Dance for four years, enabling staff to focus on initiatives such as the Interactive Theatre Project, a new Arts in Advocacy class, and coordination of the guest artist series as well as oversight of AAA. 
COFAC and the Department of Theatre and Dance make guest artist residency funding a priority despite budget constraints. They also support two faculty per semester in the Inclusive Excellence Certificate program.

Individual faculty who wish to remain anonymous have funded guest artist residencies. Many faculty also attend EDI workshops and learning experiences at their own expense.

Stages to Equity Scholarship Fund

Stages to Equity is a new scholarship supporting underrepresented students in their studies in the Department of Theatre and Dance.  Watch the YouTube video below featuring our most recent student recipient. Click the GiveNow link to make a gift. 

Give Now

Committee Members

Michael Estanich

Michael Estanich

  • Department Chair – Theatre and Dance
  • Professor – Dance
  • Program Coordinator BA Dance
Department of Theatre and Dance

Danielle Wyatt

  • Administrative Assistant II
College of Fine Arts and Communication, Department of Theatre and Dance, School of Performing Arts

AAA Awareness