The Empathetic Classroom

Created by Steven Stack

Why should you take a class on empathy? And why is theatre the perfect vehicle for empathy?

Empathy, the more sought-after and inclusive cousin of sympathy, is the experiencing of someone else’s experience in the world. What it would be like if you were wearing their clothes, their life?

Teaching students to understand the clothes that they’re putting on, the characters and their lives teaches students not how to act but how to be. It allows the students to feel what someone else feels and experiences, which can and should translate to their fellow actors and peers away from the stage. It will lead to a stronger class connection, stronger performances and stronger students who will seek out understanding instead of isolation and fear.

Lesson 1: Introduction 13:29 FREE PREVIEW
An introduction to the course, including the instructor's inspiration for building an empathetic classroom.
Lesson 2A: The First Link 13:55 FREE PREVIEW
This lesson covers the first link of the empathetic classroom - yourself, ourselves, the you.
Lesson 2B: The First Link 19:44
This lesson covers activities that can help in forming the first link - students connecting with themselves.
Lesson 3A: The Second Link 15:58
This lesson focuses on the second link in the empathy chain, a link with others.
Lesson 3B: The Second Link 14:15
This lesson continues to introduce activities focused on building links with others.
Lesson 4: The Third Link 20:20
This lesson focuses on the third link in the empathy chain in which students connect with their characters.
Lesson 5A: The Fifth Link and Troubleshooting 16:36
This lesson discusses the fifth link - between ourselves and the outside world, and how students can make all links stronger.
Lesson 5B: The Fifth Link and Troubleshooting 12:42
This final lesson wraps up the course and completes the discussion on troubleshooting issues you may encounter.

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