“Technologies for Social Change: Theatre, Media, and Representation”


Media & Studio Arts Symposium

Inventing Oneself Through Art and Technology

Technologies for Social Change: Theatre, Media, and Representation

(Using new media and technology to take your storytelling in a digital direction)

February 21, 2020 | 6:30 PM – 7:30 PM

José Casas & David Forsee

Description: José Casas and David Forsee talk about their experience with socially engaged theatre and digital media. Case studies will include their experience creating pieces like the University of Michigan’s Flint documentary theatre piece, which was also performed in the Duderstadt Video Studio. In addition they’ll be showcasing practical ways theatres can start utilizing digital media and technologies for representative, reparative, and inclusive practices that include accessibility initiatives and community-engaged projects. Through live video demonstration and real-world examples, they’ll make the case for theatres and theatre makers to invest in both local communities and technology infrastructures.

Presenter Bios:

José Casas is a playwright and Assistant Professor who heads the Playwriting Minor in the Department of Theatre & Drama at the University of Michigan. He is a member of the Dramatists Guild as well as a Board Member of Children’s Theatre Foundation of America. He has a BA in Theatre Arts from the University of California, Santa Barbara, an MA in Theatre Arts from California State University, Los Angeles, an MFA in Playwriting from Arizona State, two years of graduate coursework in Drama and Theatre for Youth and Communities (DTYC) at the University of Texas at Austin. His plays include ‘La Rosa Grows Beyond the Wall’, ‘All brown All Chingon’, ‘aDoBe’, a ‘Million Whispers All At Once’, the ‘Vine’, ‘La Ofrenda’ and ‘Somebody’s Children’ and ‘Flint’. His work has been included in a number of anthologies such as ‘The Bully Plays’, ‘Ethnodrama: An Anthology of Reality Theatre’, and ‘Theatre for Youth II: More Plays With Mature Themes’. His published work includes ‘La Ofrenda’, 14, ‘Somebody’s Children,’ and Palabras del Cielo: An Exploration of Latina/o Theatre for Young Audiences. His plays, ‘La Ofrenda’ and ‘Somebody’s Children’ were awarded both the Bonderman National Playwriting Award and the American Alliance of Theatre and Education’s Distinguished Play Award. His most recent project is a Documentary Theatre piece titled ‘Flint’ which examines the current Flint Water Crisis.

David Forsee is a Senior BFA InterArts Performance major who works at the intersections of performance, research-as-practice, and transdisciplinary collaborations. He has previously designed projection for the University of Michigan mainstage’s Flint, as well as directed other works at UM and through fellowship at the University of Georgia, the Kennedy Center, and the Horizon Theatre in Atlanta. He devises, directs, and writes new theatre work that integrates new media through transdisciplinary collaboration and novel research into disenfranchised histories. His previous work spans from solo integrated-projection performance to large-scale collaboration on producing new work festivals; for his senior thesis, later this year he will be facilitating a speculative, audience-participatory archaeological “excavation” performance of the history of American mass media.