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Penn State Laureate William Doan to visit Berks

from Penn State Berks

Sep 18, 2019

Professor of Theatre brings “Anxiety Project” to campus

WYOMISSING, Pa. — William J. Doan – Penn State Laureate for the 2019–20 academic year, professor of theatre in the College of Arts and Architecture, and artist-in-residence in the College of Nursing – will bring “The “Anxiety Project” to Penn State Berks on Monday, September 30, at 12:15 p.m. in room 121, Gaige Technology and Business Innovations Building. This presentation is free and open to the public.

Doan’s work explores the intersections of art, science, and health through interactive experiences that address issues of living with anxiety and depression. His presentation will draw from “The Anxiety Project,” which includes over 400 drawings, four graphic medicine publications in the Annals of Internal Medicine, and a live performance. He will explore what it’s like to live with anxiety and depression, using a combination of personal experience and research into the complex world of mental health.

Doan is a past president of the Association for Theatre in Higher Education and was recently inducted into the College of Fellows of the American Theatre. In addition to articles in scholarly journals, Doan has co-authored three books and several plays. He has created solo performance projects at a variety of venues across the United States and abroad. His current work includes a new performance piece, “Frozen in the Toilet Paper Aisle of Life,” part of a larger “The Anxiety Project.”

Doan discusses his work in “The Anxiety Project” in this short video:

“The intersections of art, science and health are the spaces in which I make performances and graphic narratives, often blending the two into live performances with drawings,” explained Doan. “For me, it is in these spaces where critical questions of aesthetics, ethics and representation lead to sustained collaborations with other artists, scientists, health care professionals and audiences. … Whether these questions have to do with class, race, gender, education, the environment or, most recently, living with anxiety and depression, my commitment to a collaborative approach to making innovative work is what activates me.”

Doan notes that his current position as artist-in-residence in the College of Nursing has considerably expanded his opportunities for cross-disciplinary collaboration and that he will build on those opportunities in his laureate year through work with nursing programs at Commonwealth Campuses.

About the Penn State Laureate

An annual faculty honor established in 2008, the Penn State Laureate is a full-time faculty member in the arts or humanities who is assigned half-time for one academic year to bring greater visibility to the arts, humanities and the University, as well as to his or her own work. In this role, the laureate is a highly visible representative of the University, appearing at events and speaking engagements throughout the Commonwealth. Doan succeeds 2018–19 Penn State Laureate John Champagne, professor of English and chair of the Global Languages and Cultures program at Penn State Erie, The Behrend College.


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