Rachel DeSoto-Jackson

Professor, Applied Theatre

Simulated Patient/Participant Actor Training
Theatre of the Oppressed and Theatre for Social Change
Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SOTL)

Contact Information

Office: Waller 206I
Phone: 724-357-2777

Courses Taught

  • THTR 261 Simulation Performance*
  • THTR 361 Performance of Caring*
  • THTR 362 Performance for Social Change*
  • THTR 486 Practicum in Applied Theatre (SPATE)*
  • THTR 161 Introduction to Theatre: Teamwork

*Applied Theatre and Performance Certificate


  • MFA, Performance Pedagogy, University of Pittsburgh, 2015
  • MA, Theatre and Performance Studies, University of Pittsburgh, 2015
  • MA certificate, Film Studies, University of Pittsburgh, 2015
  • B.Phil, Theatre Arts, University of Pittsburgh, 2010


Rachel DeSoto-Jackson currently serves as director of the Center for Teaching Excellence at IUP in addition to her teaching and research with the Department of Theatre, Dance, and Performance. As an educator, scholar, and theater practitioner, her work focuses on promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) through applied theatre methods. Rachel utilizes practices applied within nontraditional settings such as leading training for healthcare providers on empathetic communication and training actors to perform as simulated patients/participants (SPs) for a variety of disciplines. Rachel’s interdisciplinary work includes collaboration with a variety of fields, including nursing, speech-language pathology, nutrition and dietetics, education, psychology, and more.

Rachel is the past president of the Pedagogy and Theatre of the Oppressed organization and currently sits on the editorial board of the organization's journal. She is a member of the steering committee of the Latinx Theatre Commons. She has served on the education board for the Smithsonian Latino Center for the creation of the Molina Family Gallery.

Rachel has developed workshops, presentations, lectures, and course designs on various applications of applied theatre. She is a current member of the Association for Theatre in Higher Education and the Association for Standardized Patient Educators. Rachel has been a grant recipient for her research in simulation training.

Publications and Creative Research

  • DeSoto-Jackson, Rachel. “A Process-Oriented Approach in Applied Theatre Programming with Youth,” book chapter in Applied Theatre: Working with Youth: Education, Engagement, Activism, editors Lisa Brenner, Chris Ceraso, Evelyn Diaz Cruz, Routledge, 2022, 102-106.
  • Brandehoff, Robin and Rachel DeSoto-Jackson. “The Year in Review: 2020-2021 Letter from the Co-Presidents,” article in Pedagogy and Theatre of the Oppressed Journal, editor Mark Weinberg, University of Nebraska Press, 2021, Vol. 6, Article 13.
  • DeSoto-Jackson, Rachel and Reg Flowers. “The Year in Review, 2019-2020" article in Pedagogy and Theatre of the Oppressed Journal, editor Mark Weinberg, University of Nebraska Press, 2020, 1-2.
  • DeSoto-Jackson, Rachel and Paige Matzerath, Emily Ostrowski, Mimi Benjamin. “Teaching Teamwork Through Theatre: Interdisciplinary Collaboration in a General Education Course” book chapter in American Chemistry Society Books, editors Kelly Neiles and Justin Fair, 2020, 227-243.
  • Kemp, Rick and Rachel DeSoto-Jackson. “The Performance of Caring: Theatre, Empathetic Communication, and Healthcare” book chapter in The Routledge Companion to Theatre, Performance, and Cognitive Science, editors Rick Kemp and Bruce McConachie, Taylor and Francis, 2018, 291-303.

List of master class presentations available upon request.