EDUCATION: Professor launches new theater course
By Viviana Tellez
Bridge contributing writer
Published Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2022
Although COVID-19 temporarily closed the curtains for theater performances, TAMIU launched a new course to get the show back on the road.
Academic Cooperative, the new course, began this Fall for anyone who wants to work on a theater production.
Instructional Associate Professor of theater and communication Gilberto Martinez Jr. held auditions for the upcoming show in early September. Martinez expects the performances to occur Nov. 3 to 5.
“The first day of class, I kind of gauge who is in the class, who wants to do what and then I choose a play off of that,” Martinez said.
Martinez’s techniques stray from the norm as he takes a student-centered approach to theater.
“I like to give students the opportunity … if they want to act—they act, if they want to do costumes—they do costumes and if they want to direct—there are opportunities for that,” Martinez said.
Texas A&M International University alumnus Jorge Salinas took most of the theater classes TAMIU offered.
“[Theater class] is not just a regular course where you sit down, take notes and take a test at the end of every couple of weeks,” Salinas said. “You’re actually learning and doing things yourself. Theater courses in general are a lot more fun because they’re hands-on.”
Martinez selects plays to specifically fulfill the theatrical mission for students at TAMIU: to learn through experiential learning.
“The main goal of theater isn’t to make a student want to work in that business per say,” Martinez said. “But it really is to help them become a better team communicator.”
Martinez believes putting on a play teaches people to depend on each other for teamwork.
“As an actor, it really helped me develop my love for theater,” Salinas said. “As a student, it helped me figure out different ways of learning things. It’s given me more opportunities to learn how to communicate with people a lot clearer and be more open.”