Teaching Performing Arts for Cross-Cultural


EDUC 539: Teaching Performing Arts for Cross-Cultural Education

Offered in the fall semester


TPACE interweaves artistry, identity, and pedagogical tools for a course that actively links theory and practice. Through facilitation, creation, reading, and discussion, graduate and undergraduate students develop skills to use theatre and other arts to address diversity and difference in educational and community settings. 

Fall 2016 course meets on Thursdays 4pm-7pm

* All Penn undergraduate and master's students from all twelve schools are eligible.



Programs for Awareness in Cultural Education (PACE) and Teaching Performing Arts for Cross-Cultural Education (TPACE) are partnerships between the Greenfield Intercultural Center and the Graduate School of Education. Their aims are to train students to increase cross-cultural awareness at the University of Pennsylvania.

Democratic Classroom Environment:

We strive to create an environment where students are engaged and active participants in a democratic learning process: meaning students create knowledge together with instructor and classmates rather than acting as containers waiting to be filled by expert knowledge. It also means that a supportive environment for cross-cultural dialogue dismantles and exposes the hierarchy both within the structure of the classroom itself and between course participants.

Course Goals:

  • Train students in the use of collaborative, inclusive techniques to create original performances that address intercultural issues creatively.
  • Engage students, on a personal level, with the factors involved in their own identity formation and socialization, and that of others.
  • Examine portrayal of identity and difference in theatrical forms.
  • Prepare students to engage others in a similar process using theatrical and other artistic forms (as a creative activity and through critique) to generate genuine intercultural dialogue.

Course Requirements:

  • Apply for course through brief application HERE and interview. (Instructor will contact you to schedule interview after you submit an application.)
  • Attend class retreat on Sunday, September 12.
  • Weekly 3 hour class session.
  • Attend a performance with the class. (This varies from year-to-year depending on local performance offerings. Date will be determined according to class member availability.)
  • Complete assignments as designated in the syllabus, including several that involve partner or group work outside class.


  • Gain hands-on practical experience with lesson planning and facilitation.
  • Develop the skills necessary for participating in and guiding difficult cross-cultural discussions.
  • Improve storytelling, performance, and public speaking skills.
  • Learn how to incorporate performance arts into learning environments.
  • Explore the intersections of identity, culture, society, education, and art.
  • Earn graduate level course credit.
  • Make strong connections with fellow course members and the diverse community of PACE and TPACE members, instructors, and advisors.


Suzana Berger, TPACE Instructor
Contact: suzanab@sas.upenn.edu 
Website: www.suzanaberger.com

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