The Theater & Dance course (THTR 194A) performs under the ensemble name Nuestra Voz (Our Voice) and operates as a multicultural creative writing and performance program that partners underserved Isla Vista teenagers with UCSB undergraduates to create community-based theatre. Conceived in 2004, Nuestra Voz represents a unique and visionary model of curricular innovation. Nuestra Voz fosters a habit of community service by UCSB students and cultural participation by Isla Vista teens. We embrace a model of university-community partnerships that sees “outreach” as a bi-directional process that mutually benefits all participants.
Nuestra Voz performed for the tenth time on July 26th, 2013 to a delighted full house of performers’ families and friends as well as UCSB students. Our performance presented the world next door to our university through the eyes of a population that is often ignored or not heard. Isla Vista, notorious for its college-party culture, is now being recognized nationally as a haven for imaginative and innovative arts programming, as well as a fertile environment for citizen-scholarship. In Isla Vista, two disparate populations live side-by-side with rare interaction or collaboration: underserved families and UCSB students.
In addition to bringing UCSB students into partnership with IV teens, many of whom have lived in IV all of their lives, Nuestra Voz strives to confer “ownership” of the university on them. UCSB is a public university, and as such has a serious obligation to throw open its facilities to the adjacent community. Nuestra Voz does this by bringing the teens to campus each day to work in university drama studios with access to a 100-seat theater, costume shop, scene shop, and light and sound booth.
For the Summer of 2017:
Group Studies in Acting and Directing (SUMMER COURSE SESSION A)
Consider taking Group Studies in Acting and Directing, a six week class that focuses on the intersections of theatre, education, and community. Working in a camp like atmosphere for the majority of the course, students lead local youth through the process of writing and performing an original play. Emphasizing personal empowerment and community building through creative practice, this course offers a unique hands-on learning environment.