Janet Hegman Shier is Director of the U-M Residential College German Program, where she teaches intensive German and German Theater. She is founder and director of the RC Deutsches Theater, a multi-media theater company that has staged over 25 multi-media German language performances since 1985. Hegman Shier gives theater, art and journalism workshops and speaks on interdisciplinary education and learning styles.
She has received a Public Goods grant, a YoHA award (Year of the Humanities and the Arts) award, an Interdisciplinary Faculty Associates Award, grants from Arts at Michigan, and numerous grants for linking overseas study with the curriculum from the Center for Global and International Studies and from the International Institute at the University of Michigan.
Hegman Shier has led annual theater and arts trips to Munich and Berlin for students since 2002. She developed and taught an interdisciplinary first year seminar. In Berlin, her students have worked closely with a non-profit community organization in Neukölln that is dedicated to tutoring at-risk children. In Summer 2014, students from RC Deutsches Theater did a dance performance with children in Berlin under the choreography of Jacalyn Carley (Founder of Tanzfabrik in Berlin). In Fall 2014, as part of the 30th Anniversary celebration of RC Deutsches Theater, Hegman Shier’s students worked with TanzTangente dance company from Berlin, who were Artists in Residence in the Residential College. This kicked off a series of RC Deutsches Theater Alumni-led dance and theater master classes that were spread over the 2014-15 year and open to all students in RC German. The Program has also brought Jazz Improvisation artist, Liz Magnes, and artists such as Rolf Wojciechowski to work with students.
In Winter 2009 and 2010, Hegman Shier began offering a new course “Crossing External Borders: The “Wall” and the “Wall in the Head”, through which students traveled to Berlin for short term study programs. In May 2016, students will participate in the most exciting study program to date, which will focus on history, art and theater and will take place in Munich, the Alps, Fürth, Nürnberg, Dresden and Berlin and will be co-led by Canadian artist, Kristyn Watterworth and Hegman Shier. Individuals interested in learning more about the RC German Program are referred to the program’s Facebook page, the RC Deutsches Theater page on Facebook, and recent study trip blogs.
Contemporary German Theater
Intensive German I and II
RC Hums 333: Cultures in Dialogue: Crossing External and Internal Borders