Theater specialist Leslie Bentley to speak at Goshen College Umble Master Class Jan. 25

Lecture: Roy H. Umble Master Class Keynote Address – Leslie Bentley, president of Pedagogy/Theatre of the Oppressed

Date: Tuesday, Jan. 25

Time: 7 p.m.

Location: Umble Center

Cost: Free

GOSHEN, Ind. — Leslie Bentley, president of Pedagogy/Theatre of the Oppressed, is the Roy H. Umble Master Class in Theater lecturer and teacher and will speak at Goshen College on Jan. 25 at 7 p.m. in Umble Center on “The Courage to Be Happy: Augusto Boal and Democratizing Theatre.” A reception will follow.

Bentley will also speak in the Jan. 26 convocation at 10 a.m. on “Theater for Social Change,” and she will lead a workshop on Jan. 29 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in Umble Center Room 132 on “Forum Theater” using improvisation to address a community problem or issue. The public is invited to all of these free events.

Goshen College Professor of Theater Doug Liechty Caskey said, “Leslie is committed to working in theater as a means of improving society and interpersonal relationships and she couples this with a very down to earth, engaging teaching style that will be appreciated by those in the audience of her presentations, classes and workshops.”

Bentley, of Albuquerque, N.M., is the current president of Pedagogy/Theatre of the Oppressed (PTO), an international organization of artists, teachers, scholars and other professionals from many walks of life. A former professor who developed and directed her own theater program, Bentley currently facilitates theater workshops for schools, colleges and community centers. She has trained in Theatre of the Oppressed methods with its Brazilian founder, Augusto Boal, and in Hope Is Vital techniques with creator Michael Rohd. Bentley earned a master’s degree in performing arts from Emerson College (Boston) and a doctorate in theater from Bowling Green State University.

Bentley will lead other workshops for theater and communication classes at Goshen from Jan. 24 to 29.

For more information contact Doug Liechty Caskey at 535-7393 or

Previous Umble Master Class teachers have included Kerry Strayer, Renee Vincent, Daniel Charles, Richard Walters, Clella Jaffee and Egla Birmingham Hassan, with each year rotating between a specialist in communication and theater.

The Roy H. Umble Master Class brings nationally known practitioners and experts in communication and theater to the Goshen College campus annually for events and activities that enrich and inspire students, faculty, the broader campus and local and church communities. It was established with gifts from Goshen College alumni who had benefited from Roy’s teaching and inspiration. An initial gift from Janette Brunk in 1994 served as a tribute both to Roy and her parents, Perry and Fern Brunk, who developed an appreciation for theater because of their daughter’s involvement in it. In 1996 alumnus David E. Yoder, one of Roy’s many former students and admirers, initiated a fund-raising effort to build an endowment to support a master class.

Roy H. Umble (1913-1996) dedicated his life as a faculty member to Goshen College and its heritage. He had a deep commitment to the Mennonite Church and expressed his faith to many generations of Goshen College students through his involvement in speech and theater.

Goshen College, established in 1894, is a four-year residential Christian liberal arts college rooted in the Anabaptist-Mennonite tradition. The college’s Christ-centered core values – passionate learning, global citizenship, compassionate peacemaking and servant-leadership – prepare students as leaders for the church and world. Recognized for its unique Study-Service Term program, Goshen has earned citations of excellence in Barron’s Best Buys in Education, “Colleges of Distinction,” “Making a Difference College Guide” and U.S.News & World Report’s “America’s Best Colleges” edition, which named Goshen a “least debt college.” Visit

Editors: For more information, contact News Bureau Director Jodi H. Beyeler at (574) 535-7572 or