This rich collaboration has provided strong opportunities for exploring difficult issues and for utilizing live performance as a means to facilitate those explorations.
Cornerstone is a collaborative course that involves students from different majors across campus. As an enhancement to the annual course, theatre students come together to create and deliver a dramatic adaptation of a selected text. For many of the cornerstone students this is their first exposure to live theatre.
This collaboration has improved campus-wide visibility for the theatre program, and has led to increased funding (for development work), the fostering of working relationships with entities and groups we haven't had contact with before, and has led to benefits for our majors that they wouldn't have had without the projects.
The most prominent benefit to Cornerstone students is that the dramatizations have provided ways to particularize and deepen the characters in the books and make more visceral for the audience the humanity of those characters. By utilizing a live performance we can, after the students have experienced the book individually, foster the sharing of a communal experience of the same material.