When students enact the lives of the people they are studying, they develop a greater understanding of them.
Legends of the West - Folk tales of Outlaws and Heroes of the American West
In 2013 CSDC staged four stories told through dance of various legendary characters of the American West. In an exploration of the Turner Thesis that the western lands and the "frontier" between European-Americans and Amerindians were what formed the American character, students enacted stories of Billy the Kid, Annie Oakley, Jesse James and others.
The prominence of gun usage in these stories prompted fruitful discussions of the prominence of violence in American history and controversies surrounding the second amendment in contemporary society. Partly through the development of this performance students engaged with the concept of gun violence historically, as well as the ways in which that history continues to inform politics today.