Jessica Alexander

A photo of Jessica Alexander

Professor of Applied Drama (TIPED), Director of [email protected]

School of Communication, Media & Theatre Arts; Office of Academic Service Learning; Jewish Studies

203 and 203D Boone Hall

734.487.6570

[email protected]

Biography

Jessica ‘Decky’ Alexander is a professor of drama/theatre education at Eastern Michigan University and  Director of [email protected], an office whose mission is to cultivate community and university collaboration. Both as a performer and as a faculty member, Decky has used the mediums of theatre and performance to foster voice with underserved and underheard individuals and communities.  

Alexander’s current creative and scholarly endeavors include the use of theatre for faculty development; community performance, and community-based learning. Through [email protected], the Family Empowerment Program, a supportive services program in affordable housing, and the Prevention Theatre Collective,  a high school theatre program, which creates  theatre to assist in the prevention of substance abuse and use.

Recent projects include: Homebound, a podcast on intergenerational dialogue between seniors and young people during COVID 19;  ReGen An Intergenerational Storytelling Experience in partnership with Generations United and Vital: A Fugue on Aging, An Ethnographic Performance on vulnerable seniors and caregivers commissioned by the  Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation. All projects are situated in and with Limelight, a theatre consulting company and collaborative.  

Recent publications include:A Tale of Telling Some Truths to Power in  Applied Theatre with Youth (Routledge 2021);  Disrupting a Disruption or Live Everything, in Community Engagement 2.0? Dialogues on the Future of the Civic in the Disrupted University, and Addressing the Student Debt Crisis: Steps Universities Can Take for Academic Leaders (2019) and the forthcoming Applied Theatre & Youth compendium published by Routledge.

Education

  • MFA, Drama and Theatre for the Young, Eastern Michigan University, 1996
  • BA, Theatre and Sociology, Lawrence University, 1991

Courses

  • CTAR 323/657 Improvisation
  • CTAR 324/504 Performing Youth Literature and Oral Interpretation of Children's Literature
  • CTAR 522 Applied Theatre
  • CTAR 541 Performance, Text and Context: Narrating the Self
  • CTAR 565 Studies in Educational Drama: Community Based Performance
  • Academic Service-Learning Seminar

Publications and Presentations

  • A Tale of Telling Some Truths to Power in Applied Theatre with Youth (Routledge 2021)
  • Disrupting a Disruption or Live Everything, in Community Engagement 2.0? Dialogues on the Future of the Civic in the Disrupted University,  and Addressing the Student Debt Crisis: Steps Universities Can Take for Academic Leaders (2019)

Advising

  • Applied Drama, MA and MFA
  • Children's Literature and Drama/Theatre for the Young, Interdisciplinary BA
  • CMTA Comprehensive, BA, major and minor
  • General Education

Grants, Honors and Awards

  • Ronald Collins Distinguished Faculty Award for Service
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Honor Award, 2008
  • Alumni Teaching Award, 2007
  • ACLU Washtenaw County, Civil Liberties Champion Award, 2007
  • Institutional Values Award for Diversity, Multicultural and Human Dignity, 2005
  • Division of Enrollment Services Faculty Award, 2002
  • Gold Medallion Outstanding Faculty Award, 1998

Professional Affiliations

  • Imagining America
  • Higher Learning Commission
  • Michigan Campus Compact
  • American Alliance for Theatre in Education

Additional Information

Websites