University of Minnesota
College of Liberal Arts Office of Undergraduate Programs
612-624-8675


College of Liberal Arts Office of Undergraduate Programs

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Nanette Hanks
Assistant Dean for Curriculum

612-624-4801
nhanks@umn.edu
115 Johnston Hall
101 Pleasant St SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Live Theater: Creating and Expressing Community (TH 1901W)

Freshman seminar for Fall 2015

Presented by Sonja Kuftinec

Description from the Course Catalog

How is live performance sustainable in a digital world? When does theater help us feel connected? When does it provide a space to name and negotiate our differences? This seminar introduces non-theater (and potential) majors to the richness and diversity of small and mid-sized theater in the Twin Cities such as Penumbra, Mixed Blood, and Ten Thousand Things. We’ll use the rich cultural resources of the Twin Cities, supplemented by inclass discussions and conversations with professionals, to develop a critical language with which to look at, think, discuss, and write about live performance – particularly its relationship to who we are to ourselves and to each other. We’ll think together about how theater might forge a different kind of “commonwealth” and be a part of creating a sustainable community.


Sonja Kuftinec has been making and attending theater for 40 years (if you count her “original” first grade princess plays). Since then she has branched into creating theater with youth in the Balkans, Israel/Palestine, Afghanistan, and Minnesota. She has written about theater development with Chicano farmworkers, Israeli prisoners, North Dakota bartenders, and Guthrie audiences. She is fascinated by how theater helps us to forge, negotiate, and express community – whether we make it or watch it. When we exercise our imaginations together, we hone a muscle that’s essential for worldmaking.