DART Mainstages in 2011-12:

Department of Dramatic Arts

DART Mainstages in 2011-12:

in ST 103 "Black" at Brock University

Shadows of a Toymaker,
a new play, starts April 11

the graduating students of DART 4F56 present the outcome of their year-long exploration in collective creation

April 11, 2012 - 7:00pm
April 12, 2012 - 7:00pm
April 13, 2012 - 7:00pm

Shadows of a Toymaker is written and created by the graduating students of the Department of Dramatic Arts, Brock University, inspired by the gothic stories of writers Edgar Allen Poe and Angela Carter.  This play explores the fictitious lives of the toymaker Mattel and his family, exposing their bizarre methods of survival as they confront the monsters lurking in the darkness within themselves and each other. Come join the madness as we search for the light!

This is the story of a house on a hill,
A house full of secrets sure to make your blood chill.
Nobody knows of what’s taken place,
In this house full of misfits all fallen from grace.
So take a peek inside these walls,
As the door swings open and the curtain falls.
For they are not enough to hide,
All of the madness that takes place inside…

Gather round everyone and open your ears,
I will tell you a story to quiet your fears.
We live in a world of darkness and sorrow,
But we have to believe in a brighter tomorrow.
Yes, there are monsters that live on this earth,
There were monsters before that had given them birth.
There have always been evils to put us to test,
But there have always been people to put them to rest…

Shadow poster




































in the Sean O'Sullivan Theatre at Brock University


Lion in the Streets

Written by Judith Thompson

Directed by Danielle Wilson
Designed by David Vivian

Lion in the Streets is a beautiful nightmare.
- Danielle Wilson, director

February 16, 2012 – 7:30 pm
February 17, 2012 – matinee 11:30 am AND 7:30 pm
February 18, 2012 – 7:30 pm

Adult $15 : Students/Seniors $12 : eyeGO $5 : Group Rates $10
Buy tickets at www.arts.brocku.ca

All DART Students receive ONE free ticket. 

Lion in the Streets is a play in which the obsessions of the characters erupt forth in heightened, surreal and imagistic language. The young protagonist, a Portuguese immigrant to Toronto named Isobel, is a ghost in a purgatorial condition. She deftly moves in and out of critical, extreme moments in each of the characters lives while searching for the man who killed her seventeen years prior. Twentieth century music underscores the critical moments in these characters’ lives animated with contemporary movement inspired by dance company La La La Human Steps. This unique mixture complements and elucidates surreal moments while revealing Thompson’s brilliant, sparkling humor. The production embodies our contemporary quest for faith, truth, and a ‘state of grace’ while contending with the absurdity of daily life.

Lion in the Streets is written by award-winning Canadian Playwright Judith Thompson.  Premiered at the Tarragon Theatre in 1990 the play won the Chalmers Outstanding New Play Award in 1991. Thompson’s plays embrace subconscious elements of human experience not often seen on stage, capturing audience’s attention across the country. Canadian theatre companies regularly perform her work, such as Soulpepper’s 2011 production of White Biting Dog at the Young Center in Toronto.Lion in the Streets continues to be one of Thompson's most known and most popular plays. High School students will be confronted with daring subject matter which could provide context and relevance to their lives. The play explores themes of repressed violence and sexuality, the search for identity and the powerful nature of love and forgiveness.  While the subject matter is dark, Thompson has crafted this exquisitely surreal play with moments of humor, hope and redemption or what she calls “moments of grace”.

Contemporary movement will be choreographed by Gerald Trentham, Artistic Director of Toronto’s Pounds Per Square Inch Performance company. Our production will showcase 8 second to fourth year Brock students, playing a total of 29 roles, with additional assistance from students studying the areas of production, stagecraft, design and directing.

With this production both Director Danielle Wilson and scenographer David Vivian look forward to honoring the wit and intelligence of our departed colleague, Dr Marlene Moser, a leading scholar of the oeuvre of Judith Thompson. Moser’s published thesis entitled “Postmodern Feminist Readings of Identity in selected works of Judith Thompson, Margaret Hollingsworth and Patricia Gruben” (Ph.D. Thesis, 1998. Graduate Center for Study of Drama University of Toronto) and the article “Identities of Ambivalence: Judith Thompson’s Perfect Pie” (Theatre Research in Canada, Volume 27 Number 1/ Spring 2006), explore themes of gender, narrative, identification of the subject and patriarchal abuse, dwelling upon their relationship to the stage, the language and how the audience will perceive them.

High School Teachers and Educators: please read this letter for detailed information about the production, curriculum ties, and student matinee booking.


Lion in the Streets: A Study Guide, is an introduction to our production, prepared by our Dramaturge and Third Year DART student, Erica Charles. Included are: 1) Collaboration, 2) Play Synopsis, 3) The Playwright: Judith Thompson, 4) Director’s Notes, 5) Designer’s Notes, 6) Isobel and her Lion, 7) Symbolism, 8) Images, 9) An Interview with Judith Thompson by Eleanor Wachtel, 10) Additional References, 11) List of Figures, 12) Endnotes and Bibliography.

Download your PDF copy of Lion in the Streets: A Study Guide
(PDF, 8.7 MB)

Buy tickets at www.arts.brocku.ca

Lion in the Streets invite card


Lion in the Streets article in The Brock News

Lion in the Streets article in The Brock NewsDramatic Arts play explores
the death of a young girl

see the article in The Brock News




Lion in the Streets poster link

download a copy of the poster
(PDF, 1 MB)















Orpheus Descending

Written by Tennessee Williams

Directed by Virginia Reh
Designed by Michael Greves

The tragedy of a closed society, destroying the 'other' within and without.
- Virginia Reh, director

November 10, 2011 – 7:30 pm
November 11, 2011 – matinee 1:00 pm AND 7:30 pm
November 12, 2011 – 7:30 pm

Adults $15 : Students/Seniors $12 : eyeGO $5 : Group Rates $10

All DART students receive ONE free ticket. 

Orpheus Descending is a modern version of the Greek myth in which Orpheus, the beloved musician of the gods, goes down to the underworld to rescue his dead wife Eurydice. Orpheus is forbidden to look at his wife until they are clear of the underworld, but he cannot resist, looks, and loses her forever. In Williams’ play, Valentine Xavier (Val), a guitar-playing stranger, comes into a small town in the U.S South and “rescues” an unhappy Lady Torrance. He breaks the rules of the tight society of the town, with catastrophic results.

The play was first performed on Broadway in 1957 and was adapted for the screen in 1959, starring Marlon Brando. With this presentation the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts is celebrating the 100th birthday of this great twentieth century American playwright. This is one of many productions from the Williams' canon to be seen this season, including The Night of the Iguana at Hart House Theatre in Toronto, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof at the Shaw Festival, Camino Real at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago and The Wooster Group's innovative rendition of Vieux Carré in New York.

Director Virginia Reh is delighted to have Brock alumnus Michael Greves design this production of Orpheus Descending. Since graduating from the Department of Dramatic Arts Greves has been involved in countless productions including the Shaw Festival and was seen recently on stage in Stray Theatre’s production of Les chaises at the Sullivan Mahoney Theatre. Our production stars 17 second through fourth year students supported by student colleagues in direction, dramaturgy, stagecraft and production.

High School Teachers and Educators: please read this letter for detailed information about the production, curriculum ties, and student matinee booking.

Orpheus Descending: A Study Guide, is an introduction to our production, prepared by our creative production team. Chapter titles include: Collaboration, List of Characters, The Plot, The Playwright: Tennessee Williams, Director’s Notes, Production History, Faith, Myth and Spirituality, Aunt Conjure and the Choctaw, Historical Content, Dramaturge’s Notes, Discussion Questions, List of Terms, List of Figures, Endnotes and Bibliography.

Download your PDF copy of Orpheus Descending: A Study Guide
(PDF, 2 MB)

selected press coverage:

Brock University's Orpheus Descending points spotlight at outsiders
see the article by Jonathan van Ekelenberg in The Niagara News

preview article and video in the St. Catharines Standard

Celebrating 100 years of Tennessee Williams in The Brock Press

 BROCK TV video: click to play

This year, the Department of Dramatic Arts at Brock University presents Tennesse Williams' Orpheus Descending directed by Virginia Reh. Features questions answered by Virginia Reh and actors, Trevor Ketcheson and Rebekka Gondosch. Video interviews from the series Artist Profiles by BROCK TV. click image to play.


Buy tickets at www.arts.brocku.ca


Orpheus Descending logo

 Orpheus Descending logoOrpheus Descending logo


Other Events at DART

Community Theatre Production
Production scheduled March, 2012
Time and Location TBA

DART 4F56 Collective Creation Production
Production scheduled April, 2012
Time and Location TBA

One Acts Festival
(showcasing student Directors from DART 3P54)

March 2012 - various times TBA
Location:  ST 107 "Studio Theatre" and ST 103 "Black"
contact the Department for Details

Gimme 2 Festival
(showcasing first-year performance students)

October, 2011 - first term
March, 2011 - second term
Location:  ST 107 "Studio Theatre"

Independent Productions

. . . check out the other performances in the Dramatic Arts community at Brock. To read about course-related performances, student and independent productions, please see the  DARTboard


Announcing $5.00 Fridays!
all holders of Brock ID cards - students, staff and faculty - are invited to take advantage of a special new price for the Matinee mainstage performance. Please present your ID card upon purchase of your ticket.

Tickets for all performances including the $5.00 Friday Matinees are available through the  Box Office of the Centre for the Arts
or  905.688.5550  905.688.5550  x 3257

For more information, please contact Marie Balsom, Co-ordinator of the School of Fine and Performing Arts, at 905-688-5550 905-688-5550 , ext. 4765; e-mail: mbalsom@brocku.ca

For a complete listing of upcoming events at the Centre for the Arts, click the logo below:

CFTA logo

Visiting High School students meet with members<br /> of the Ring Round the Moon company<br /> after the Schools' Matinee in November, 2006

Visiting High School students meet with members of the Ring Round the Moon company after the Schools' Matinee in November, 2006.