Devising in the Pandemic: Trauma and a Dramatic Redesign of a Youth Theatre Tour

Main Article Content

Gustave Weltsek


Z402 Youth Theatre Tour was designed from a critical performative pedagogical positioning (Weltsek, 2019). Here learning emerges from how individuals and communities perform their emergent identities as they cross literal and metaphorical socio-cultural borders. Z402 resulted in a 100% student created new play, parallel workshop, and study guide. This new play was based solely upon the students’ perspectives, voices, and ways of being. The design used devised theatre, the use of improvisation and games, to create a new play versus a solely written approach. The new play dealt with healing in the face of suicidal thoughts. The course addressed four Indiana educational licensing requirements; student technical, artistic, educational, and class practicum experiences. In March 2020, due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the University instituted obligatory Online instruction. Students redesigned their stage play into a virtual experience using Zoom and integrated their emotional struggles due to pandemic isolation. The live play, slated for three schools, is now accessible to a large virtual audience


Download data is not yet available.

Article Details

How to Cite
Weltsek, G. (2021). Devising in the Pandemic: Trauma and a Dramatic Redesign of a Youth Theatre Tour. International Journal of Designs for Learning, 12(1), 171–180.
Designing for Learning in a Pandemic
Author Biography

Gustave Weltsek, Indiana University

Gustave Weltsek is an assistant professor at Indiana University in the School of Education, Department of Curriculum and Instruction, Arts in Education Program. He teaches undergraduate courses in drama and theatre in and as education as well as graduate courses in artistic inquiry as critical pedagogy. His research includes anti-racist curriculum design, youth identity, and the arts as social activism and inquiry.