For the "static" pages in the CRLT Players sub-site
The CRLT Theatre Program explores ways that the performance arts can offer insights into pedagogical practices, enhance teaching and learning, support diversity, and improve institutional climate at U-M. The program is funded primarily by the Office of the Provost, the College of Engineering, the College of LSA, and the U-M ADVANCE Program.
Using local professionals and student actors, the CRLT Players present provocative and interactive sketches, vignettes, and traditional theatre productions that fall under two main headings: teaching and faculty worklife. The teaching sketches address issues of pedagogy, diversity, and inclusion in university settings, ranging from classrooms to labs and clinics. Sketches about faculty worklife are developed in collaboration with ADVANCE and cover topics such as faculty hiring, career advising, and the tenure decision-making process. All CRLT Players scripts are based on a solid foundation of research on the experiences of students, faculty, and administrators at U-M and nationally. The Players perform at large, campuswide events (such as New Faculty Orientation); at workshops and retreats for academic departments, schools, and colleges; and at special events, such as a dinner organized by the dean of LSA for faculty serving on executive committees in the college. In addition, the Players are in demand nationally, performing for campuses and conferences around the country.
The Players are viewed as an on-campus resource skilled in encouraging critical reflection and facilitating strategy-focused dialogues about a range of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) issues. Throughout 2015-2016 they assisted units across campus in starting or deepening such conversations among members of their communities. The scope of assistance encompasses not only performances of sketches and facilitation of audience discussions, but also pre-performance planning dialogues adn post-event debriefs. A notable collaboration with the College of Engineering entailed the creation of a 'special topics' dinner series, at which invited faculty came together to collectively consider their responsibility for creating inclusive climates in different domains of their professional lives. One area explored in this series was role-appropriate ways instructors could support students facing mental health challenges, and the Players revisited this topic throughout the year with groups of GSIs, faculty, and campus leaders. Retrospective pre- and post- self-assessments indicate that participants left these sessions with a greater understanding of resources available to them and their students and increased confidence in their ability to navigate interactions of this kind productively. 
In Fall 2014, the CRLT Players Theatre Program received the U-M Distinguished Diversity Leaders Award for their serious and sustained efforts in improving campus climate and institutional equity over the past fifteen years. Throughout the 2014-2015 academic year, the Players continued their work in these arenas, supporting a range of college and departmental porgrams and customizing workshops to meet the particular needs of individual units. They also strategically expanded their repertoire to meet the identified needs of our campus population.
Answering faculty's call for skill-building around student mental health issues and building upon research conducted in 2013-2014, the Players developed a series of vignettes to seed conversation about instructors' responsibilities to students facing mental health challenges. This new material was presented in a series of previews in 2014-2015 to key university stakeholders, resulting in the creation of a session that aims to guide participants in proactively shaping their pedagogical practices with an awareness of student mental health concerns. Received positively in a spring pilot performance for GSI Coordinators, Distress Signals will be rolled out in CoE and LSA in 2015-2016.

After a jam-packed 2017-18 season (67 performances reaching over 4,000 participants), the CRLT Players are excited to kick off the 2018-19 year at U-M with three orientation performances of 7 into 15 for faculty, graduate student instructors, and academic leaders.

This season, the Players expand their repertoire with the addition of Moving the Needle: a performance focused on sexual harassment in the academy. Together, audiences discuss strategies to anticipate and respond to occurrences of sexual harassment, and to make cultures that resist harassment in the first place. In addition to a full schedule of classic sketches (such as 7 into 15, Cuts, and Tenure Decisions), the Players are researching and developing a new performance concerning the experiences of first generation college students in higher education.

In every session, the CRLT Players continue to prompt reflection on topics like social identity, campus climate, and belonging, and to prepare audiences to create more inclusive spaces at the University of Michigan and beyond.



In 2013-2014, several units consulted the theatre program about developing performances to address specific needs, ranging from mental health to unwelcoming climate. Attending to both particular contexts and larger trends across campus and around the country is resulting in the creation of work that both anticipates broadly felt needs and remains persuasive as it is shared with new audiences. For example, as units across campus grappled with climate issues raised in the wake of the fall 2013 #BBUM (Being Black at U-M) Twitter campaign, the theatre program was pleased to have a relevant new sketch available to help facilitate necessary, but difficult conversations within campus communities. Originally commissioned by and previewed in the Department for Afroamerican and African Studies (DAAS), Critical Differences was particularly timely.
Watching a group of students wrestle with a text that asks them to think critically about race, gender, and ability invites instructors to explore questions of how identities affect the ways students engage with course content, each other, and instructional methods. Premiered successfully at a DAAS faculty retreat in May 2014, the sketch is being requested by other departments for performances in 2014-2015.