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ACTR Program

Mission Statement: 

The mission of the Advanced Communication Training Resource (ACTR) program is to support development, training, and assessment for students and professionals in a variety of fields through developmental workshops and crafting simulated live encounters with authentic and meaningful role-playing experiences.  

ACTR applies high-level theatre skills—in developing creative thinking, empathy, teamwork, physicality, and improvisation—to move beyond the stage and into the realm of medicine, business, law, social work, and more. As part of this mission, it is committed to developing best practices through research, collaboration, and continuing education.  

What Makes Our Program Special: 

This program centers on drawing on the expertise of theatre, which encompasses a wide variety of techniques developed over centuries around the world, to create replicable and authentic simulated human interactions. Likewise, we use theatre techniques to help students and professionals uncover and develop their professional selves while learning to communicate their work with a wider audience.  

ACTR supports program development in various disciplines and institutions. We collaborate with these programs’ directors and coordinators to assess their needs and advance their objectives through research, case and scenario development, encounter setup, co-instruction, and more.  

ACTR Offers the Following Services, Among Others, to Accomplish These Goals: 

  • We work with departments to custom design simulated encounters to support a wide range of real world, field-specific educational and assessment challenges.  
  • We provide actors to play patients, clients, witnesses, and more within these structured scenarios, or work with simulators already established within the client units.  

  • We train actors to embody real-life patients, clients, witnesses, and more. This training draws from a variety of acting and theatre techniques that empower the actors to clearly and authentically portray physical symptoms, emotional and psychological states, and socio-economic backgrounds. This authenticity-driven balance between simulation and standardization, between scripted scenario and moment-to-moment improvisation, provides students and professionals with a meaningful experience that moves beyond theory, instructional manuals, textbooks, and course lectures.  
  • We train these actors to provide invaluable feedback in both written and oral form to assess student and professional learners. In this way, actors also function as educators in the development of each learner’s communications skills. 

  • We help the learners become stronger communicators, establish trust, and develop more effective and meaningful relationships with patients, clients, parents, colleagues and more. We do this through workshops on active listening, empathy, and physical awareness.   
  • We help learners to develop their professional personas, gain confidence in their professional and personal interactions, and effectively communicate their research to a wide audience.

Support us

We appreciate your financial support. Your gift is important to us and helps support critical opportunities for students and faculty alike, including lectures, travel support, and any number of educational events that augment the classroom experience. Click here to learn more about giving.

Every dollar given has a direct impact upon our students and faculty.