Allen Lang

Director, Theatre Outreach

BA, University of Wisconsin–Stevens Point. MFA, SUNY-Empire State College. Published plays include Chimera, White Buffalo, and The Wading Pool. Recipient of the Lipkin Playwright Award and Drury College Playwright Award. Plays produced in New York City at Pan Asian Rep, Red Shirt Entertainment, La Mama, The Nuyorician Poets Cafe, and other venues. In New York, directed new plays by Richard Vetere, Adam Kraar, Diane Luby, and Michael Schwartz. Established The River Theatre Company in Central Wisconsin with a company of local players. Directed, toured with the work of Samuel Beckett, Eugene Ionesco, Slawomir Mrozek, David Lindsay Abaire, and John Patrick Shanley, among others. Performances presented on NPR and in shopping malls, street festivals, bus stops, parking lots, and abandoned stores, as well as more traditional venues. Conducted theatre workshops for participants of all ages in New York City, Yonkers, Westchester County, and throughout the United States and abroad. Wrote, directed, and performed in original plays presented in schools, community centers, and museums in Yonkers, Westchester County, and beyond. Recipient of grants from the National Endowment of the Arts, The Wisconsin Council of the Arts. Sarah Lawrence College Theatre Outreach co-director; artistic director of the Sarah Lawrence College theatre program, 2007-2010. SLC, 1998–

Undergraduate Courses 2018-2019

Theatre

First-Year Studies: Theatre Outreach: Theatre and Community

Open , FYS—Year

Students enrolled in FYS in Theatre are also allowed, but not required, to take one extra component in the theatre, dance, or music programs as part of their Theatre Third. All students enrolled in FYS in Theatre must complete the same theatre meeting attendance and technical support hours requirements that all students enrolled in Theatre Thirds must complete.

Students will explore the theatre artist working in the community, the theatre artist/activist responding to a population’s particular needs, sharing skills and creating work that connects and empowers their fellow citizens. Students will experience the impact of sharing creative skills in the community. Starting close to campus, the class will become better acquainted with the richness and diversity that is Yonkers. Exploring Yonkers, students will research the complex sociological issues surrounding this, the fourth-largest city in New York State. In addition to the political, we will venture into Yonkers to explore public parks, spaces, landmarks, and cultural institutions and meet and interact with the people who run them. Incorporating a vocabulary of theatre and everyday movement, students will design and develop their own art in the public sphere by constructing a site-specific environmental performance video piece in a Yonkers park, combining the political with the poetic. The class will learn about the work of theatre artists who listen, connect, and extend their theatre-making into communities—theatre makers who are catalysts for change. Students will also look into the mission of Sarah Lawrence College and its continuing commitment to experiential learning through community engagement, exploring the history of artistic practices and sharing of creative skills of the Sarah Lawrence College Theatre Outreach Program and other campus programs and initiatives. This course will include trips to New York City to view theatre that explores and provokes dialogue about race, gender, class, and other issues. Assigned readings, course discussions, and exercises will explore tools for making theatre in the community. A very strong interest in collaborative theatre-making and for sharing expressive skills connected to community work is required for students enrolling in this course. Conference work will entail research into Applied Theatre, Performance Theory, and Theatre for Social Justice movements.

Faculty
Related Disciplines

Theatre Outreach Projects: Connections to Community

Intermediate/Advanced , Component—Year

This class meets once a week.

This advanced course will provide a strong foundation from which to explore and extend teaching and theatre-making skills in the community. With an interest in exploring personally expressive material and in extending and developing skills, students will find a practical approach to experiential learning that grows teaching skills through a weekly community placement. Placements are usually yearlong and typically culminate in a process-over-product, informal presentation that is reflective of the interests, stories, and experiences of the individual participants. Students will explore collaborating with partnerships at schools, libraries, museums, community centers, prisons, and downtown Yonkers storefronts and other venues to develop original work that will result as a creative forum—with performances concluding in a talk-back environ of historical and contemporary social-political and artistic issues as applied to community work. Class readings and discussions will explore theoretical and practical discussions about theatre making and sharing theatre skills in the 21st century that will examine the role of creative artists working in the community to bring forth social change. Exploring gender and open to all races and ethnicity, students will work toward the development of a creative ensemble of Sarah Lawrence College theatre artists. Class readings and discussions will explore LGBTQ, African American, Latino/Hispanic, and Asian/Asian American artistic contributions, and that will provide a strong foundation from which to create new work. Focusing on local, national, and world issues as they pertain to our own experiences, first-semester work will culminate in an informal workshop presentation and discussion session at a Yonkers high school. Second-semester class work will culminate in a touring show for the HS Lunchbox Group and intergenerational work with the 50+ Lunchbox Group. First-semester course work will include a Yonkers tour that visits the Yonkers Downtown Waterfront, as well as important Yonkers cultural attractions. The class is open to all students who want to explore personal material through a sociopolitical lens. Open to dancers, poets, playwrights, actors, and visual artists. Educator John Paul Lederach asks the artist to connect with the “moral imagination”—the ability to “stay grounded in the here and now, with all its violence and injustice, while still imagining and working toward a more life-affirming world.”

Faculty

Graduate Courses

Theatre 2018-2019

Theatre Outreach Projects: Connections to Community

Component—Year

This class meets once a week.

This course will provide a strong foundation from which to explore and extend teaching and theatre-making skills in the community. With an interest in exploring personally expressive material and in extending and developing skills, students will find a practical approach to experiential learning that grows teaching skills through a weekly community placement. Placements are usually yearlong and typically culminate in a process-over-product, informal presentation that is reflective of the interests, stories, and experiences of the individual participants. Students will explore collaborating with partnerships at schools, libraries, museums, community centers, prisons, and downtown Yonkers storefronts and other venues to develop original work that will result as a creative forum—with performances concluding in a talk-back environ of historical and contemporary social-political and artistic issues as applied to community work. Class readings and discussions will explore theoretical and practical discussions about theatre making and sharing theatre skills in the 21st century that will examine the role of creative artists working in the community to bring forth social change. Exploring gender and open to all races and ethnicity, students will work toward the development of a creative ensemble of Sarah Lawrence College theatre artists. Class readings and discussions will explore LGBTQ, African American, Latino/Hispanic, and Asian/Asian American artistic contributions, and that will provide a strong foundation from which to create new work. Focusing on local, national, and world issues as they pertain to our own experiences, first-semester work will culminate in an informal workshop presentation and discussion session at a Yonkers high school. Second-semester class work will culminate in a touring show for the HS Lunchbox Group and intergenerational work with the 50+ Lunchbox Group. First-semester course work will include a Yonkers tour that visits the Yonkers Downtown Waterfront, as well as important Yonkers cultural attractions. The class is open to all students who want to explore personal material through a sociopolitical lens. Open to dancers, poets, playwrights, actors, and visual artists. Educator John Paul Lederach asks the artist to connect with the “moral imagination”—the ability to “stay grounded in the here and now, with all its violence and injustice, while still imagining and working toward a more life-affirming world.”

Faculty

Previous Courses

Theatre Outreach: Collaboration and Community

Open , Component—Year

This class meets once a week.

Developing original, issue-oriented, dramatic material using music and theatre media, this course will present the structures needed for community extension of the theatre. Performance and teaching groups will work with small theatres, schools, senior-citizen groups, museums, centers, and shelters. Productions and class plans will be made in consultation with the organizations and with our touring groups. We will work with children’s theatre, audience participation, and educational theatre. Teaching and performance techniques will focus on past and present uses of oral histories and cross-cultural material. We will study sociological and psychological dynamics as part of an exploration of the role of theatre and its connections to learning. Each student will have a service-learning team placement. Special projects and guest topics will include the use of theatre in developing new kinds of afterschool programs, styles and forms of community on-site performances, and media techniques for artists who teach, as well as working with the Sarah Lawrence College Human Genetics Program.

Faculty