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Professor and Student Represent ISU at AATSP Conference

July 24, 2023

Following the success of last year's graduate Spanish seminar titled "Theatre and Performance in Latin America," led by Dr. Marin Laufenberg, the Department of Global Studies and Languages collaborated with the School of Performing Arts to study José Rivera's play, Marisol

Spanish Master's students immersed themselves in the production, analyzing various elements such as the director's interpretation, lighting, sound, audience reactions, and the online streaming experience. Their deep understanding of the absurdist tradition in Latin American theater allowed them to connect Marisol to other works in the genre.

The students' involvement in the live show on October 14, 2022, was not limited to being audience members. They actively participated in a talk-back session with members of the production, who provided valuable insights and together they engaged in meaningful dialogue. 

The production of Marisol proved to be highly successful, receiving numerous national awards and further establishing Idaho State University's reputation in the field. Professor Laufenberg´s seminar will be offered again in the upcoming fall 2023 semester, continuing to provide students with immersive learning experiences related to Latin American theatre and performance.

Building on the success of the seminar, Dr. Laufenberg recently traveled to Salamanca, Spain, to present a paper titled "Behind the Scenes, Through the Screen: the Virtual Teaching of Theatre" at the 2023 Conference of the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese (AATSP). Her presentation was based on her experience teaching the seminar and highlighted the innovative approaches used in virtual theater education. In addition to live-viewing Marisol, her graduate students also undertook create activities such as short playwriting exercises, and composed and presented mini-performances in the style of documentary theatre, among other praxis-oriented projects.

At the AATSP conference, Julia Phelps, one of ISU´s Spanish Master's students, also made an impact by presenting her work on "La metodología de la enseñanza de español para la salud mental" (The Methodology of Teaching Spanish for Mental Health). Phelps showcased her interdisciplinary approach, combining her Spanish and counseling degrees to create a purposeful connection between language instruction and mental health support.

At the conference reception, Laufenberg and Phelps proudly represented Idaho State University, promoting the university's online MA Spanish program. They engaged in conversations with academics and professionals in the field of Spanish education, showcasing the innovative initiatives undertaken by the Department of Global Studies and Languages. In recognition of her scholarly contributions, Dr. Laufenberg also received an esteemed AATSP award.


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