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Diversity in American theatre

Lauren Friesen

Location: Kidron Bethel Village, 3001 Ivy Dr. North Newton, Kansas

Kaye Penner Education Center

· Mondays—March 18, 25 and April 1, 8 and 15.

· 10 am to noon

Course Cost: $50

Theatrical diversity in America began in the colonies and continues into our era. Those early ventures were very different from the origins in other countries, including women playing female roles, religious topics were avoided, and racial differences were acknowledged. The course will cover material from the Colonial Era to the late 1800s.

In this course you will learn to identify major playwrights, plays, important topics, notable actors and the controversies that frequently arose from theatrical ventures. Class sessions will include PowerPoint visuals, lectures and discussions. Questions will be welcome. The course is open to beginners and seasoned learners


Lauren Friesen is the David M. French Professor Emeritus of Theatre at the University of Michigan-Flint. He is the author of the Bethel College (North Newton, Kan.) centennial play, Bethel: House of God, and the Goshen (Ind.) College centennial play, Hawkfeather. He is a co-editor and contributor to Anabaptist ReMix published by Peter Lang, Inc. in 2022. Archway Publishers recently released Prairie Lands, Private Landscapes: Reframing a Mennonite Childhood. An anthology of his essays titled Theatre/Peace/Justice is forthcoming from Pandora Press. He is the recipient of the Kennedy Center’s Gold Medallion for Excellence in University Theatre. Friesen began his teaching career as Professor of Drama at Goshen College. Lauren and his wife, Janet, reside at Kidron Bethel Village in North Newton, Kan.

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