Double Play: Imagining America's 2012 National Conference

Using ensemble theater to empower young adult settlement house workers/learners and shift relationships between community and academy

Friday, October 5, 2012 at 1:30pm | For conference attendees and invited guests


University Settlement invites IA conference participants to learn about our developing partnership with SUNY/Empire State College (ESC). PLAY TANK, an innovative theater ensemble, functions as a professional development institute specifically designed to address the needs of young adult staff from low-income minority communities and support them in overcoming the barriers they face in earning a college degree. SUNY/Empire State College faculty have begun a creative collaboration with PLAY TANK to help redesign what education could look like for these workers, and to address the questions:

  • How can universities not be gatekeepers?
  • How can we create an environment where these young adults can move seamlessly between the contexts of community and university?
  • How can we rethink curriculum, and engage in collaborative learning towards full participation?

This site visit will begin with a performance of 20CitySomething, an original PLAY TANK production that delves deeply into the personal and professional lives of young adult community workers. Conference participants will then join University Settlement program directors, SUNY/Empire State College faculty, members of Columbia University's Center for Institutional and Social Change and the members of PLAY TANK in envisioning and designing interdisciplinary, theme-based, integrative studies that link work and school, community and academy.


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