“Working with the next wave of artists is the most rewarding part of my work. I can think of no better way to spend the summer than a shared three-week immersion in the process and context of Chicago theaters,” says Heidi Coleman, the University of Chicago’s Director of University Theater, and Director of Undergraduate Studies in Theater and Performance Studies. Coleman has worked professionally as a director and dramaturg in New York City, San Francisco as well as Chicago, and has collaborated with Anne Bogart, Andrei Serban, Tina Landau, Frank Galati, and Tony Kushner, but she remains dedicated to sharing her expertise in and commitment to the development of new theater and crafting ensemble performances with students. In addition to participating in Steppenwolf’s First Look Series, Coleman has curated University Theater’s New Work Week, co-curated The University of Chicago Presidential Fellows in the Arts Program, and initiated University Theater’s summer arts residency program, Summer Inc, as well as the TAPS Commissioning Project. Coleman can think of no better place than Chicago’s back stages, rehearsal rooms, and opening nights as a training ground for emerging theater artists. “Chicago is the current nexus for new work development. Innovations through ensemble-generated performance are creating contexts for an active audience experience,” as opposed to more traditional notions of theater-goers as passive consumers. Through her Intensive course, students will learn how to carry these innovations forward in the work that they develop and perform in this course and beyond.