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Sharon L. Green, Associate Professor of Theatre


Sharon Green
4/24/2006
Contact: Bill Giduz 704/894-2244 or bigiduz@davidson.edu

Green came to Davidson in 1999 as Visiting Assistant Professor of Theatre, and was appointed Assistant Professor in 2001. She earned her B.A. (magna cum laude) from the University of Rochester, her M.A. from the University of Toronto, and her Ph.D. from CUNY Graduate Center.

Green has brought to Davidson an expertise in theatre for a cause. Many groups, or “communities” of people as defined by location, ethnicity, social concern, or faith, stage theatrical productions to promote awareness of their situation, or seek social change. Green teaches a seminar in “Community Based Theatre for Social Change.” Her work in this field includes an expertise in the techniques of Brazilian director and activist, Augusto Boal, whose “Theatre of the Oppressed” has influenced dramatists throughout the world dedicated to using theatre as part of their struggles for social justice. Green has studied the ways in which others have adopted and adapted his work. She also has an expertise in contemporary performance and feminist performance theory.

She said, “Theatre can help a community articulate its concerns and challenges, and promote dialogue about these issues with other communities.”

Students in her seminar on theatre for social change work throughout the semester to create a performance of their own. In 2003 the class decided to investigate faith and tolerance in the Davidson community. During a ten-day residency at the end of the semester, an outside director and community-based theatre practitioner helped them shape their work into a production entitled “The Faith Project.” Last fall's concentration on miscommunication between men and women included a three-day residency by members of the Los Angeles-based Cornerstone Theatre, one of the most well-established community-based theatre companies in the country.

Green said, “Part of what's been rewarding at Davidson is that students already have a deep interest in social justice issues, so I don't have to convince them of the importance of these projects.” However, she lamented, “A lot of students interested in social justice don't think to look in the theatre department for classes! I've seen recently more students taking the initiative to create social justice projects, and hope my interests will help them see how theatre can be part of that.”

She has also enjoyed collaborating with other areas of the college, such as the community service office, Lilly programs, colleagues in other departments, and student health center, in creating her productions. “We're all so busy that it's difficult, but those have always been rewarding experiences,” she said.

In addition to community-based theatre productions, Green has also directed three mainstage productions -- The Love of the Nightingale, The Diary of Anne Frank, and Goodnight Desdemona, (Good Morning Juliet), as well as one-acts by Bertholt Brecht.

Last year she published in the journal Theatre Topics her dissertation research on ways in which cultural and economic globalization pose challenges for a Jamaican theatre collective. Another similar article will be published soon in the Caribbean studies journal, Small Axe. Green also published an article in Journal of Women's History about how the current political climate affected her staging choices and representation of violence against women in Love of the Nightingale.

While admitting she came to Davidson “because they gave me a job,” Green said she has found herself richly nurtured here by her faculty colleagues. “I love the students, but feel strongly that the teacher I am now is a product of the examples I've observed in my colleagues both within my own department and across the college. For instance, I had the privilege of auditing a Spanish class for a full semester, and watching that teacher changed the type of teacher I am, and changed way I think about teaching.”