New Performance Arts class takes over the Student Center with games

Students play games in Student Center to explore performance art in game play. Photo courtesy of Trevor Stone


The first floor of the Student Center was filled with laughter as students participated in a spontaneous set up of games. A performing arts class put on this event in order to explore performance art in the form of a game.

Games ranged from obstacle courses to group discussions to tongue twisters. Each game had the intention of engaging students in new ways, such as:

Partnered obstacle courses to simulate navigating challenges with a companion--dating partners, friends or family

Discussion groups made of strangers where questions started lighthearted and became increasingly challenging, asking participants to really think about their personal morals/values and then speak them out loud

Games that tested trust between strangers

Physical races that simulated the challenges of student life

Students wearing dunce hats and racing to read lists of made-up words

A game that transformed spectators into performance artists -- random moments of this game had EMU students acting like body builders falling out of an airplane, making tacos drowning in guacamole and pretending to be woodland fairies hitting on the first person they saw

Games of luck and chance

The partnered obstacle course was designed to simulate navigating challenges while not being able to speak with a partner. Students were drawn to this course by the encouragement of the performing arts students as they raced the clock in the game.

“I thought it was a lot of fun. I want to do it again and beat my time,” said Sasha Fox, a junior majoring in biology.


Students play games in Student Center to explore performance art in game play. Photo courtesy of Trevor Stone


Winners of the Performance Arts game session in the Student Center. Photo courtesy of Trevor Stone


Students play games in Student Center to explore performance art in game play. Photo courtesy of Trevor Stone

The games ran from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in the Student Center. Students had fun playing games and later received prizes or a certificate of “awesome skills” adding to the whimsical environment.

The students in the class were happy to be able to share the games they had been working on with other EMU students.

“I am often nervous or anxious approaching a class when we are going to execute our performances, but when I choose to take risks and step out of my comfort zone, I find the connections I make with others rewarding,” Bronte Dupuis said.

The performing arts class is new to Eastern Michigan University. This is the first semester the class has had enough students registered to be held. Professor Trevor Stone hopes that these games in the Student Center will help draw in some interest.

“EMU’s Student Center has been kind enough to let us perform there a couple times a month,” Stone said. “In this public space, many random EMU students have had a chance to participate, laugh and puzzle through life’s challenges in entertaining ways.”

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