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May 20 , 2005
CONTACT: Carol Anderson

734.487.4400
carol.anderson@emich.edu

EMU, Ypsilanti High School student theatre production explores diversity

YPSILANTI - Learning from peers can be a powerful tool. Finding personal similarities can help students understand differences in one another.

"Perspectives: Looking Out, Looking In," is a first-time collaborative theatre production between Eastern Michigan University and Ypsilanti High School designed to help high school students understand gender, cultural and social issues they may face in school.

Eastern Michigan University's Jessica "Decky" Alexander, assistant professor of communication and theatre arts, and two EMU students worked with the Ypsilanti High School theatre troupe "Diverse By Design" to produce the one-hour show. It will be presented at noon May 23 in the Ypsilanti High School auditorium.

"This production uses theatre to explore differences," said Alexander. "We worked with these (Ypsilanti) students to create an original piece that reflects their community."

The performance is 10 vignettes of outreach theatre starring high school students who discuss various topics, including black male stereotypes, said Alexander, of Ypsilanti.

"The vignettes are open-ended. To start a dialogue, we will look at why issues were explored in one way as opposed to another," said Alexander. "You never know how students will react."

Following the performance, Alexander and two EMU students, Gayle Lavictoire, of Flint, and Keri Sizemore Adkins, of Whitmore Lake, will conduct brief question and answer discussions in the high school English classes.

Alexander said she hopes to reach all 1,500 Ypsilanti High School students.

"We will perpetually be involved with the students and hope to do this type of theatre (with them) on an annual basis," said Alexander.

For more information, e-mail Alexander at jessica.alexander@emich.edu or call 734.487.3179.

Eastern Michigan University is a public, comprehensive university that offers programs in the arts, sciences and professions. EMU prepares students with the intellectual skills and practical experiences to succeed in their careers and lives, and to be better citizens.

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Eastern Michigan University is a public, comprehensive university that offers programs in the arts, sciences and professions. EMU prepares students with the intellectual skills and practical experiences to succeed in their career and lives, and to be better citizens.

Editor's Note: Looking for an expert source for a story? Check out EMU's Eastern Experts online at www.emich.edu/univcomm/easternexperts.


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