UT Theatre and Dance Artists Present at ATHE Conference


September 7, 2023

Before the start of the fall semester, the Association for Theatre in Higher Education’s (ATHE) Annual Conference took place in Austin, Texas. UT Department of Theatre and Dance affiliates attended, presented and orchestrated this year’s conference, sharing their theatrical knowledge and networking with fellow theatre practitioners.

A group of 11 alumni, faculty and students pose together at the 2023 Association for Theatre in Higher Education Conference
Photo of ATHE attendees Erica Saenz (B.A. 1998), Sidney Monroe-Williams (M.F.A. 2014), Cherrie Mendoza (B.A. 2014), Yobany Pizano (current student), Rodolfo Robles Cruz (M.F.A. candidate), Marial Quezada (Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction candidate), Oscar Franco (B.F.A. 2014), Katie Dawson (faculty), Mateo Hernandez (M.F.A. candidate), Alli Metz (M.F.A. 2002) and Roxanne Schroeder-Arce (faculty).

Faculty member Katie Dawson served on the 2023 Association for Theatre in Higher Education Conference Committee, helping coordinate the conference with theatre scholars from across the country. After months of planning, artists and educators travelled to Austin on August 3-7 to take part in various panel discussions, workshops and breakout focus groups.

The work of UT Theatre and Dance faculty, students and alumni were woven throughout the conference. Along with presenting in multiple panel discussions, faculty member Nanette Acosta gave a tour of the Winship Drama Building to members of the ATHE Design, Technology and Management focus group. Later, during a New Play Development Workshop, Ph.D. candidate Jessica Peña Torres directed the ten-minute play Esto Tamién Pasará, written by Jessica Mayer and featuring B.F.A. in Acting student Brandt Agosto-Medina in the role of “Franki."

During the conference, faculty member Roxanne Schroeder-Arce hosted a reading of Papakõ: The Journey, a new Coahuiltecan play she co-wrote with Maria F. Rocha and Genevieve Schroeder-Arce. The reading was followed by a discussion with members of the ATHE Latinx, Indigenous and the Americas (LIA) focus group and the Indigenous Cultures Institute. Before the reading, Schroeder-Arce invited folks to the University for a meet and greet with the play’s creative team and deeper discussions about the themes of the play.

UT Theatre and Dance involvement didn’t stop there – other affiliated panels, sessions and workshops included:

Session: Adjunct Advocacy: Centering the Margins

  • Presenters included Kathryn Van Winkle (Ph.D. 2019)

Session: Field Relations

  • Presenters included Enzo Vasquez Toral (Faculty; presenting under his previous appointment at Northwestern University)

Session: Navigating Consent in Design, Management, Technology and Beyond.

  • Presenters included Nanette Acosta (Faculty) and Maggie Dick (M.F.A. 2003),

Keystone Session: “CC BY ATHE” Call to Action for Affordable Learning: Promises (and Pitfalls of an ATHE Repository of open Educational Resources.

  • Presenters included Molly Roy (Ph.D. 2023, UT Performing Arts Liaison Librarian)

Workshop: Games We Play

  • Presenters included Renita James (M.F.A. candidate), Gabrielle Lewis (M.F.A. candidate), Allison Metz (M.F.A. 2002) and Nic Bennett (Ph.D. in Advertising candidate with the Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering)

Session: Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging in Design, Technology and Management Session

  • Presenters included Nanette Acosta (Faculty)

Session: Building Anti-Racist Tools & Moving to Spiritual Empowerment: Applications of Diasporic and Intersection Dance/Movement Practices

  • Presenters included Jessica Peña Torres (Ph.D. candidate), who also served as a co-coordinator for this session

Session: Documenting Progress: Theatre History Poster Session

  • Presenters included Kathryn Van Winkle (Ph.D. 2019), Michael DeWhatley (Ph.D. candidate) and Allen Porterie (M.F.A. candidate)

Session: Healing-Centered Teaching & Directing: Petcha Kucha Forum

  • Presenters included Katie Dawson (Faculty)

Roundtable: We are/not Monsters: Queer-/Crip Theorizing-in-Process

  • Presenters included Rowan Kairos Looney (Ph.D. candidate)

Workshop: CV and Cover Letter Clinic

  • Presenters included Roxanne Schroeder-Arce (Faculty)

Panel Discussion: Women and Theatre Program Emerging Scholars Panel

  • Presenters included Malena Pennycook (M.F.A. candidate)

Panel Discussion: LGBTQ+ Debut Panel

  • Presenters included Mateo Hernandez (M.F.A. candidate)

Panel Discussion: Manifesting Care: Emerging Scholars in ATDS and DTaP

  • Presenters included Gabrielle Lewis (M.F.A. candidate)

Session: Innovations in Theatre History and Musical Theatre History Pedagogy – A Gallery Walk

  • Presenters included Kathryn Van Winkle (Ph.D. 2019)

Session: “You Should Have Seen This Coming”: Interrupting Official Discourses on Ecological Degradation

  • Co-coordinator: Whitney Mosery (Ph.D. candidate)
  • Presenters included Khristián Méndez Aguirre (Ph.D. candidate), Whitney Mosery and Nic Bennett (Ph.D. in Advertising candidate)

Session: Institutions as Sites of Inequity or Change

  • Presenter: Michael DeWhatley (Ph.D. candidate)

Numerous alumni also presented as faculty from other universities nationwide. View the ATHE Conference Program to see all of the artists and scholars who presented at this year’s conference.