The U-M educational theatre company, or UMetc uses educational theatre to inform, enlighten and teach new students about many of the social, academic and personal issues that they might encounter during their college years. UMetc performs throughout the academic year, creating sketches for use in orientations in classrooms and at special events.
UMetc partners with the College of Engineering to present an interactive theatre sketch on working in effective teams to first-year engineering classes, and UMetc also partners with the U-M Depression Center on presentations about college student mental health in residence halls. UMetc presents full length shows during orientation for incoming first-year, transfer and international students.
The company creates and performs vignettes, to actively engage the audience about selected topics, such as community living, mental health, alcohol safety, sexual health and safety, conflict resolution, and transition issues. The vignettes are designed to be open-ended and thought provoking in order to encourage students to reflect upon the nature of their personal transition into the U-M community. Other topics UMetc has explored include academic ethics, race dialogues, public health, community building and global engagement.
UMetc creates theatre that not only tells the stories of our community, but also seeks to find the connections between all of our stories. In this way Educational Theatre helps us create the dialogue of our community. UMetc is composed of undergraduate students who serve as actors, stage managers and assistant directors.
UMetc Director Amanda Grace Ewing
As the Director of the Educational Theatre Company, Amanda provides artistic direction to UMetc as well as works closely with colleagues in Student Life to situate UMetc as a consultation and training resource to enhance the skills and efficacy of peer facilitators across campus. Through this work Amanda helps build inclusive campus communities. Amanda is a theatre artist with a focus on cultural memory and community engaged performance. Amanda has worked regionally with the Wharton Center, Heritage Works, Ann Arbor Dance Works, A Host of People, Tipping Point Theatre, Matrix Theatre Company, Puzzle Piece Theatre, and the Michigan Equity Theatre Alliance; and internationally with the London-based production company, Turtle Key Arts. Amanda has a Master of Arts from King's College, London in Theatre & Performance Studies and a Bachelor of Arts from Alma College in Theatre and English. In addition to Director of UMetc, Amanda is also the Artistic Director of BoxFest Detroit.
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