In this presentation, Dr. López looks at the innovative ways theater studies is engaging with the new health humanities. She will begin by looking at plays created through community partnership as part of programming designed to instill awareness about issues of health, prevention, and treatment. Among the projects she will discuss: The Panza Monologues by Virginia Grise and Irma Mayorga (diabetes and obesity); St. Jude by Luis Alfaro (heart disease and elder care); Café Vida by Lisa Loomer (generational violence and poverty); and Bliss Point by Shishir Kurup (addiction and recovery). The presentation will conclude by looking at the methodology of Cornerstone Theater Company and the building of plays for their “hunger cycle” to advance conversations that might lead to increased awareness and behavioral change (for both individuals, practitioners and organizations) in the larger landscape of community health. What lessons for thinking about health and wellness might we take from theater artists? What specific lessons does one encounter within Latina/o theater?
Dr. Tiffany Ana López is Professor of Theatre, Film and Digital Production & Tomás Rivera Endowed Chair in the College of Humanities, Arts & Social Sciences. Her work focuses on issues of trauma and violence and the role of the arts in fostering personal healing and social change. As a theater artist she has collaborated on projects with The Mark Taper Forum, The Latino Theater Company, and Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Her work is published in numerous books and journals. Her recent essay on trauma and incarceration appears on-line at oppositionalconversations.org. She is an NEH grant recipient and collaborator with Dr. Juliet McMullin and Dr. Paul Lyons on the building of health humanities programming at UCR.