There comes a time in most directing students’ careers when their focus necessarily narrows to all things theatrical, and a great deal of their lives is lived in a little black box. This course is designed to widen their horizons and reopen a dialogue with the world. Not only distinguished artists of the theatre – directors, actors, designers, etc. – but also distinguished “artists” in other fields – film, law, medicine, media, etc. – are invited to the class to share their world views. Private tours of the Metropolitan Museum and the Metropolitan Opera are conducted by respected representatives of those institutions. Response essays are written by the students, not to positively or negatively judge the guest or the guide but to assess the experience for its relevance to the individual student’s aesthetic and to implant in her memory what the experience can mean for her life and her art. The instructor assigns a non-theatrical text to inform the entire semester, and the students themselves “assign” shorter readings that reveal their sensitivities, capture their passions and form the basis of their proposals for Virtual Theatre Pieces that should reveal their mastery of the theatre art and its relevance to the world in which we live. Through all of these means this course is ultimately designed to “change” minds.

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