For AU tutor Anne Nothof, all the world truly is a stage. A tutor and academic with Athabasca for the past 25 years, Dr. Nothof is a specialist in the history of drama, and she has presented conference papers on theatre in such far-flung places as England, Russia, Israel, and Mexico, to name a few.
Although she first came to the university as an editor, theatre has always been her prime interest, and she explains that ?it was my research specialty when I did my PhD.?
In her role as a professor with AU’s Centre for Language and Literature, she has developed many new courses that have reflected her own interests and also rounded out the centre’s offerings. Specifically, She’s developed courses in ?some important areas that hadn’t been covered before,? such as post-colonial literature and women in literature, which she has also tutored.
Although teaching theatre via distance education has its challenges, Anne believes it also offers many benefits.
?The main advantage,? she explains, ?is it enables so many people wherever they are to at least become acquainted with [theatre]; that they develop an interest in it and then they might pursue it by going into more theatre studies or going to more plays. It opens up the possibility for them of experiencing theatre. It also helps them to know what to look for or how to approach it or how to be more receptive to it so that the experience becomes richer for them, because they’re an informed audience then.?
Along with developing new courses, she enjoys the interaction with students.
?Whenever I develop a new course,? she says, ?I always want to tutor them to make sure they’re working okay and also because I want to see how the students are responding to them. I’m always curious about that.?
She also enjoys the ?cross-educational experience? of discussing theatre with students.
?I’m always asking students, particularly students in my drama courses,? Dr. Nothof says, ?whether they go to theatre, what they’ve seen, what they enjoy, so I find out that way what’s happening in the rest of the country and sometimes out of the country. That’s what I enjoy about tutoring as much as anything, is the diversity of students and how I tend to get ones from around the world, so they tell me what’s happening in theatre where they are.?
Of her own theatre-going experiences, she says that the Royal Court Theatre in London, England, is her favourite ?because it does fairly recent productions of world plays.?
One stage that she has yet to visit is the Marionette Theatre in Prague, but she plans to remedy that soon. Her travels will take her to the Czech Republic, and the Marionette Theatre, she says, is ?something that I’m looking forward to investigating.?
If you’d like to find out more about Professor Nothof, or some of AU’s courses and programs in theatre and literature, visit the Centre for Language and Literature’s website.