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Volunteers discover power of playback theater to shift painful stories toward path of healing

When volunteers were solicited, nobody immediately stepped forward. It was a tough request: tell a painful personal story before an audience of maybe 40, many of them strangers to each other, and watch seven people trained in playback theater re-tell it through an impromptu performance. Yet Muhammad Afdillah—a visiting scholar with Eastern Mennonite University’s ...More

EMU senior Hattie Berg

Pain and stubbornness put Hattie Berg on a now-loved path through EMU

Her back pain began sometime during her sophomore year of high school. It wasn’t too bad at first, nothing out of the ordinary. Aches and pains are part of a basketball player’s life, especially when that basketball player plays as long and hard as Hattie Berg had. The sport had been her life for as long as she could remember: rec leagues, summer leagues, summer camps and eventually on to t ...More

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Student writes unflinching play, now staged, about 17-year-old dying of cancer

Two weeks before his senior thesis project due date, Eastern Mennonite University senior theater and writing studies major Michael Bodner decided on a path he’d never tread: He wanted to write a tragedy. “I’ve written a lot of comedy, satire and even horror, but I’ve never w ...More

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Book Publisher Merle Good Writes Off-Broadway Play

Returning to professional theater after a 30-years hiatus, Merle Good’s latest play – on the interactions between a female psychiatrist, two male pastors, and an estranged daughter – will be produced, directed and staged by veteran artists in the New York City theater scene. The visionary at the top of the production team for Good’s new play, ...More

Photo by Matt Cashore/University of Notre Dame

Cross-Cultural Sparks Doctorate on Former Gang Members in Guatemala

Bob Brenneman believes in the power of story. His own story moves from growing up in a rural church in southern Michigan to Eastern Mennonite University (EMU), Harrisonburg, Va., to Guatemala to Notre Dame (Ind.) University, where he completed a doctoral program in the sociology of religion. His dissertation has been published by Oxford University Press as the book Homies and Hermano ...More

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Make a Splash With the Arts

At EMU, a Christian university like no other, students are learning to use art for social transformation, service within their community, to deepen their faith, and more. Theater As a theater student, you’ll act, direct and design productions, exploring your gifts and getting hands-on experience while ...More

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CJP, Theater and VaCA Provide Collaborative Events

Two events at Eastern Mennonite University this week showcase the intersection between the arts and creating a more peaceful world. “The Feminine Divine: Embrace and Release” is a participatory dance workshop facilitated by Akiko Ishihara and framed by graphic posters designed by Chelsea Kight. It will be held Wednesday, April 11, 7-9 p.m., in the ...More

Bible and Religion class

Bible Students Explore Emerging Church, Set Future Foundation

Bible students are different now than they were in the 1990s when Peter Dula was a student at Eastern Mennonite University (EMU). Students now, says Dula, Bible and religion department chair, want to “experiment” with what it means to be church and “dig deep into the meaning of Anabaptism, ...More

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An “Art”istic Comedy

How much would you pay for a white painting? Would it matter who the painter was? Would it be art? These questions and more will be explored as Eastern Mennonite University’s (EMU) theater department presents, “Art,” by Yasmina Reza, Feb. 17, 18, 24 and 25 at 7:30 p.m. Directed by Julia King, Art will be performed in the Margaret Martin Gehman Art Gall ...More

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Theater Goes Biblical with J.B.

A performance that revolves around “unanswered problems of a man’s relationship to God in an era of cruel injustices,” J.B., will grace the Lee E. Eshleman Studio Theater as part of Eastern Mennonite University’s (EMU) theater departments ...More