Thinking Beyond the Box: Creative Approaches to Building New Knowledge


Framed by ideas from adult learning theory, knowledge management, and applied improvisation, this opening session will get attendees moving around and thinking creatively.

Dr. Megan Alrutz demonstrates how storytelling, improvisation, and other creative strategies can foster an engaged community of practice, diversify thinking in the workplace, and develop new ways of engaging around core questions facing the field. This opening session actively challenges attendees to leverage experiential knowledge (stories) and relational practices (collaboration) to foster innovation and quality within and beyond their organizations.

Ultimately, this session offers a playful approach to serious work, supporting attendees to experience and engage with the conference from a fresh perspective!

About Dr. Megan Alrutz

Dr. Megan Alrutz is a professor at the University of Texas at Austin, where she heads the MFA program in Drama and Theatre for Youth and Communities. She works nationally and internationally as a theatre-maker, as well as an applied theatre facilitator and consultant. Dr. Alrutz’s research and practice focuses on the role of performance, storytelling (live and digital), and drama-based pedagogy in building intentional communities of practice. She leads interactive workshops and trainings in K-12 schools and higher education, as well as with organizations focused on community engagement, professional development, and curriculum innovation. Dr. Alrutz is the author of two books: Digital Storytelling, Applied Theatre & Youth: Performing Possibility and Playing with Theory in Theatre Practice (with Julia Listengarten and Vandy Wood). Her research has also been featured in journals such as Research in Drama Education, Youth Theatre Journal, Teaching Artist Journal, Journal of Community Engagement and Scholarship.