Teaching Chinese Culture through Children's Theater

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Arts and Humanities | Theatre and Performance Studies


Kaarin Johnston, Theater


While in China for six weeks as a part of the Summer 2009 Research Exchange Program, Jennifer Richter conducted research focusing on Chinese history and culture, especially through analyzing traditional Chinese children's folk tales and stories. Returning to the College of Saint Benedict/Saint John's University, she continued her research and focused on the use of theater as pedagogy. She then created a scenario for an improvisational drama to be performed for young people who would actively participate in the piece with the ultimate goal of helping Minnesota children learn about Chinese culture. Richter then served as the director/team leader for a group of six college actors who performed the interactive theater piece at local elementary schools in October 2009.