By Alexander Huls, deputy editor, YFile
Professor Deanne Williams has introduced experiential education to two summer Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies courses – AP/EN 2140 Drama and AP/EN 3535 Shakespeare – by enabling students to see productions of the plays they are reading and studying.
For her first time teaching these courses in the summer, Williams wanted to try something different. Theatre trips with students have always been an element of Williams’ full-year courses, but they were typically dependent on chance – only possible when productions in the Toronto area happened to mirror the plays she was teaching in her syllabus.
In the fall of 2021, Williams first approached Tina Choi, who was then the English Department Chair, with an idea for teaching her Shakespeare and drama courses in the summer. “I proposed to teach them as experiential courses where the syllabus would be determined by plays that we could actually go and see live during the summertime, making use of the Stratford Festival, the Dream in High Park, the Soulpepper Theatre and more,” Williams says.