EDR4200EN - Ethnodramatology in Global Cultures

Course description

Every culture has a unique worldview that shapes their inner beliefs and outer expressions, and in this course students examine how culture affects drama form. Students discover a culture’s drama forms and analyze them in light of their cultural worldview. Using video presentations, readings and discussions, students discover the richness of dramatic expression found around the world, and explore how to use these expressions in Christian communication.

How this course benefits students

Drama is a powerful communication medium. In order to have full understanding of a message, it is important to speak the language of the target audience. Students learn that there is no one universal form of drama. This course gives tools to the student to discover or create dramas that are in the language and style of the people to whom they are ministering.

Why this course is important

There are two serious potential problems when drama is inappropriately used: One, the message may be misunderstood and the style of presentation may cause offense and, two, surface considerations, such as a desire to be a part of Western culture, may result in a superficial response. Both problems strike at the effectiveness desired by missional workers in communicating the gospel of Christ. This course gives a framework for discovering and developing culturally-appropriate dramas based on a culture’s worldview, shape and substance (such as clothing, gestures, values, and so on), that enable the message of Christ, and other change-messages, given through drama to reach to a core level.

Credit hours
3 hours
Subject area
Educational level
Learning type
Upcoming terms
* Schedule subject to change. Please contact the Registrar's office with schedule questions.
Dr. Julisa Rowe, Senior Professor of Ethnodramatology

How this course relates to missional core values

Biblically based

God is a God of creativity as seen throughout the Bible. Scripture uses story and other creative means to reveal God’s truth. Against this backdrop, this course examines how drama is a full-body expression of spiritual and biblical truth.

Missionally driven

This course encourages the use of drama to bring the gospel of Christ to people around the world at a deep core level, in a creative, dramatic language that speaks to the heart of a culture.

Contextually informed

It is necessary to understand the culture and its artistic forms and languages in order to effectively contextualize the message of Christ when using drama as the tool of communication.

Interculturally focused

Students gain a culturally-based perspective where indigenous forms of drama are understood and practiced. Students conduct analyses of diverse cultural theatrical styles and traditions and develop performance through coursework, research and development.

Practically minded

This course gives a practical framework for how to discover and create dramas in indigenous forms, or forms that are appropriate to the culture of service and equips students for intercultural missional work, development and communication.

Experientially transformed

Theatre is inherently experiential. Studying and watching dramas from different cultures, and creating scenes in different styles helps students appreciate and apply cultural expressions of theatrical performance in their local churches and missional assignments.