AWED Theater supports ADVANCE’s unique and impactful approach to leadership education, departmental climate change, and bias interventions through the development and presentation of research-based interactive theater. Plays are enacted by professional actors and post-dialogue discussions, led by an experienced faculty developer, and are structured within a highly interactive curriculum.
This sustainable, interactive, educational theater program is geared towards addressing the multicultural intersectional identities that are characteristic of FIU, Hispanic-serving institutions, and the region as a whole. This theater program has been incorporated into the Bystander Leadership Program.
AWED Theater held performances at the American Society for Engineering Education for 200 Engineering Deans, which helped promote ADVANCE activities and to raise awareness of diversity and inclusion issues in general. As a result, Steiger was asked to bring AWED theater to various institutions nationally, including West Virginia University, FAMU-FSU College of Engineering, and Oregon State University. AWED Theater also held a commissioned workshop on harassment and bystander intervention for the New World Symphony in Miami, Florida in September 2019.
Jeffrey Allen Steiger is the Creative Director of AWED Theater, which is based on research findings from FIU ADVANCE. Steiger has presented AWED theater performances nationally for ADVANCE programs and STEM conferences. He is also the Artistic Director of The New Theater of Medicine, an Adjunct Instructor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the George Washington School of Medicine and Health Sciences, and founding Artistic Director of the CRLT Players. He presented on his educational approaches to over 100 academic institutions including Harvard, Stanford and the University of Nagoya, Japan.
ON THE LINE is a performance and workshop focused on a living case study that interactively engages participants on ways they can mitigate bias and equity in tenure and promotion practices. In the first half of the workshop, professional actors portray a subtle and complex scenario involving a department's executive committee formally discussing whether one of their junior colleagues should be awarded tenure. Post-show interaction, guided by a facilitator, allows audiences to unpack issues and practice interventions. Most recently, ON THE LINE was presented as a plenary for deans as part of the American Society for Engineering Education Equity, Diversity, and Inclusions Conference in New Orleans (April, 2018). Each curriculum is fine tuned for the specific audience and goals.
BYSTANDER INTERVENTION draws on principles of performance and research to explore bystander dynamics and mediation strategies in the context of micro (individual) and macro (departmental) communication, policies, and processes. Attendees have the opportunity to witness subtle, dynamic scenes as a method to examine the bystander experience in real-time. By exploring their own reactions through interactive dialogue and reflective tools, observers can “enter” scenarios and practice strategies for addressing moments and subtle aspects of departmental climate. In addition to multiple presentations at FIU, the AWED Theater Bystander Intervention workshop (a component of the AWED Bystander Leadership Project) is scheduled to tour to West Virginia University in August.
CLUSTER HIRING is a workshop in development (available 2020).