Faculty Profile: Georgina Hernández Escobar
Last Updated on March 30, 2020 at 12:00 AM
Originally published March 30, 2020
By UC Staff
The impact Georgina Hernández Escobar has made on The University of Texas at El Paso was on display this spring
Name: Georgina Hernández Escobar
Department/College: Department of Theatre and Dance, College of Liberal Arts
What do you teach? I teach playwriting, directing and other special topics.
How long have you been a teacher? I am a practicing playwright who has had the opportunity to lead writing workshops and classes in conservatory settings including at Milagro Theatre, the National Theatre Institute and Kingsborough Community College. This is only my second semester in this type of setting as a visiting professor of practice.
What’s your favorite classroom activity or teaching technique? I am invested in actively investigating ways to decolonize the classroom as well as the rehearsal rooms, meaning a more circular approach to sharing knowledge rather than the colonizing mechanism of “expert” teaching “inexpert.” In the arts, it is vital that we consciously push the envelope on our practice and the classroom is the laboratory of that type of long-lasting creation of new arts pedagogy. My favorite technique is that of the commons-based approach, whereas it uses models like commons-based peer production coined by Harvard Law School’s Yochai Benkler, but making it accessible for the arts as implemented by movements like the Latinx Theatre Commons, Climate and Performance Commons, and HowlRound Theatre Commons.
What background and experience do you have in your field of study that benefits your students? The true benefit I bring to my students is real-life experience and a national network of other professionals’ experience in this fickle and changing industry. I’ve been writing professionally for the last 11 years and have a prolific career in New York and nationally, and I hope that personal experience proves beneficial.
What do your students like best about your classes? Perhaps that I encourage the active application of critical thinking via the creation of new and re-imagined narratives. They feel empowered to tell their own stories, and through empowering them, they engage more critically with the work.
What do you love most about being a teacher? Co-creation and shared knowledge.
What are your hobbies? When you’re not teaching, grading or preparing for classes, what are you doing? I am fortunate to be a working playwright so when I am not attending to professor duties, I am writing. I also direct nationally and love doing that. On quiet days, I paint and play music on guitar and cajón, and try to see lots of theater. A true hobby of mine is horseback riding, but since I live in New York, that has been almost impossible. Maybe now that I’m back in the Southwest I can pick it up again!
What’s your favorite place on campus? The UTEP Dinner Theatre. I basically lived there as an undergraduate. I acted in 12 of their productions! It’s incredible what that tiny space can create as far as spectacle. It’s truly a magical space.
What’s your favorite UTEP event, and why? I used to be a program coordinator for Special Events at UTEP and so I think I selfishly love anything at the Union Cinema, Wednesday Music Café or the Union Gallery. I LOVE the Rubin Center too, so any art opening is a favorite.What advice would you give to an incoming UTEP student? Take control of shaping your own campus experience. Get a planner – a physical planner – and add your assignments to it as well as campus events. Feeling part of a community at UTEP will certainly make your college experience robust and rewarding. GO SEE SHOWS: art, music, theater, dance. GO TO ATHLETIC EVENTS. Take advantage of the live events happening around you. Gather a group of friends, share this time and then form a study group with them. Community is key.