Brittney S. Harris and Al Evangelista, two new post-MFAs in the School of Performing Arts, join Nicole Dietze and Daniel Bird Tobin in the teaching of TA 2404, Applied Collaborative Techniques (I-ACT), the Pathways course developed by Center for Communicating Science director Patty Raun. Launched with one section for fall semester 2017, TA 2404 was offered through four sections last spring, and three full sections are underway this fall.
Harris comes to Virginia Tech from the University of Georgia, where she taught acting for non-majors and characterization. Her MFA in acting is from the University of Georgia, and she has an undergraduate degree in acting with a minor in communications from Old Dominion University. Harris has conducted workshops in race and performance as well as in solo performance development and has created works for and performed professionally at the Chrysler Museum of Art, Hampton University, the Aurora Theatre in Georgia, and the Virginia Stage Company. With areas of expertise in performance, cultural enrichment, and diversity and inclusion, she is a great addition to our team of TA 2404 instructors and to Virginia Tech.
Evangelista received his MFA in dance at the University of Michigan, where he taught both dance and performance. His bachelor’s degree in theatre is from the University of California, San Diego. An interdisciplinary artist, Evangelista is interested in the ways in which theatre and dance can “provoke and create” positive change. He has created works for and performed professionally at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Dance Exchange, Steppenwolf, and the Chicago Opera Theatre. Evangelista’s work in documentary play writing, direction, and choreography has provided opportunities for community reflection, collaborative problem solving, connection, and social action. His focus on collaboration, community, growth, and transformation will benefit TA 2404 students and the university greatly.
TA 2404 makes use of principles of collaborative theatre performance to help undergraduate students from across campus develop skills that will help them be effective collaborators in whatever field they enter. Students use practice-based approaches to effective interpersonal and small group communication, interdisciplinary team creativity, audience connection, and innovation through improvisation. They gain important skills in situational awareness, listening, effective storytelling, team conflict resolution, non-verbal communication, and connecting across difference.
Welcome, Brittney and Al!