Rachel DeSoto-Jackson arrived at IUP from the University of Pittsburgh where she received her MFA in Performance Pedagogy and MA in Theatre and Performance Studies. Rachel has previously been appointed fellowships as a Jim Rye fellow with the International Performing Arts for Youth organization, a K. Leroy Irvis diversity fellow, a Hot Metal Bridge post-baccalaureate fellow at the University of Pittsburgh, and a Young Ambassador with the Smithsonian Latino Center. Her areas of research and teaching include Applied Theatre, Theatre of the Oppressed and social justice theatre, Latinx theatre and performance, healthcare simulations and interdisciplinary communication. Rachel currently serves on the Steering Committee for the Latinx Theatre Commons and as an elected member of the Board of Directors for the Pedagogy and Theatre of the Oppressed organization for which she is also on the Editorial Review Board of the organization’s journal.
Through her work on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion using Applied Theater methodology with interdisciplinary groups, Rachel has developed workshops, presentations, lectures, and new course designs. She is a current member of the Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE) and the Association for Standardized Patient Educators (ASPE) and a grant recipient for her research in simulated patient training and the development of a Teamwork Minor course at IUP.
In addition to her academic work, Rachel has taught locally in Pittsburgh as a teaching artist for several youth organizations including Pittsburgh International Children’s Theater, Saltworks Theatre Company, Alabaster Children’s Theatre, City Theatre Company Young Playwrights, and Pittsburgh Center for the Arts.
TEACHING BOAL, INSPIRING CHANGE: APPLYING THEATRE OF THE OPPRESSED IN THE CLASSROOM
MFA Thesis, University of Pittsburgh Theatre Arts Department, 2015
CHICANO POWER!: GENDER POLITICS AND HISTORICAL REVISIONISM IN HBO’S WALKOUT (2006)
MA Certificate Thesis, University of Pittsburgh Film Studies Department, 2013
AN EXAMINATION OF PLAYWRIGHT MARIA IRENE FORNES THROUGH THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION OF DIRECTING HER PLAY: MUD
B.PHIL Thesis, University of Pittsburgh ETD, 2010
“Come Closer!: Unlocking Trust and Intimacy with Boal’s Columbian Hypnosis” (Southeastern Theatre Conference, March 2015)
“Just Lupe: Race, Gender, and Class in Lupe Velez’s Performance of Latinidad” (Association for Theatre in Higher Education, 2014-Latino Focus Group Debut Panel Award)
“Re-Shaping the Tragic Chorus: Aztec Myth and Performance in Cherríe Moraga’s The Hungry Woman: A Mexican Medea” (Drama, Theatre, and Performance Regional Conference, March 2012)
“Re-Imagined Bodies: Emergent Queer Identities in Chicana/Latina Performance of Migrant Narratives” (ASTR working group, 2011)
Education & Training
- MFA - Performance Pedagogy, University of Pittsburgh, 2015
- MA - Theatre and Performance Studies, University of Pittsburgh, 2015
- MA Certificate - Film Studies, University of Pittsburgh, 2013
- BPhil - Theatre Arts, University of Pittsburgh, 2010