Marlboro College

Academics Helen Deborah Lewis - Theater

 Helen Lewis has had the opportunity to work with a wide range of students during her years as a college instructor, and has fostered an understanding of the various ways that students learn (aurally, tactilely, visually) and the multiple ways students analyze and synthesize information.  She says that "a great deal of my teaching takes a relativistic approach.  I believe the society we live in often demonstrates an inability to handle a tension of opposites.  Criticism presents itself in polarized responses - thumbs up or thumbs down - that can diminish the complexity of any text or idea."  In her classes, Helen asks that students form opinions and ideas that possibly can be seen in shades of gray, rather than just black or white, and can have a complexity and multiplicity of thought that invites innumerable interpretations.

Teaching Philosophy

Helen states that "while my courses are designed to be challenging, they are not created to shut people out.  Even with students encountering drama and theater for the first time, I do not ask them to 'jump on the bandwagon' necessarily, but rather to think, analyze, consider, debate, question, and criticize using theater and film as a means to understanding the human experience: politics, social movements, and global zeitgeists."  Essential to Helen's teaching philosophy are inspiration, passion, and inclusion.  She says "I believe it is my duty to inspire my students to keep observing, thinking, and questioning, and to be passionate about the material they encounter, even if the reaction to what they encounter is negative."

Helen's classes are typically structured to create a dialogue within the classroom based on substantive information and leading questions intended to prompt discussions and engage students with the material.

B.A., Brandeis University, 2002; M.A., Tufts University, 2007; Ph.D., Tufts University, 2011; Marlboro College, 2012 -

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