An associate professor of Dramatic Arts is being remembered today for her tenacity and passion for theatre.
Marlene Moser, a Brock professor since 2000, mentored students who went on to found local theatre companies. As one-time department chair, she fought for new academic positions and undergraduate programs in her department. She provided “leadership and love” to Dramatic Arts colleagues and students.
Moser died on Dec. 21 after a lengthy battle with cancer. She was 47.
Moser was tough and passionate about her work, said David Vivian, associate professor of Dramatic Arts.
“She challenged you to reach very deep down and investigate what was most honest and authentic about your intelligence and creative compassion,” he said.
She came to Brock in 2000 as an assistant professor. She was promoted to associate professor in 2005.
She held a BA, MA and PhD from the University of Toronto. Her research focused on Canadian drama and theatre, studying the construction of identities, especially as related to performance, narrative and spectatorship. She had a particular interest in Canadian playwrights Judith Thompson, Margaret Hollingsworth and Djanet Sears. She was also interested in theatre praxis (the merger of theory and practice). In 2004, she directed Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest at the Sean O’Sullivan Theatre.
She was important in the growth of the department, which is part of the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts.
“Her mentorship of five colleagues through tenure and promotion is but one facet of her legacy to the future of research, pedagogy and community,” said a statement posted to the Dramatic Arts website today.
David Fancy, current Dramatic Arts chair, recalls meeting Moser at a Canadian Association for Theatre Research conference. She immediately struck him as “a strong, witty and incisive person as well as an able leader and scholar.”
When he last saw her, she was quite ill, he said, but “she still spoke in energetic terms about the needs of the department, and of our collective vision as a location of research, creative and teaching excellence.
“We will miss her terribly.”
Deanna Jones is one of nine Brock graduates who founded the St. Catharines theatre company Suitcase in Point. Moser has sat on the board since 2006.
“She’s always been there as a mentor and supporter and friend,” said Jones, who describes her former professor as “warm, funny and extremely smart.”
Derek Knight, director of the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts, said he is “deeply saddened” by the news.
“Marlene was an extraordinary colleague, friend and mentor who touched the lives of many in her capacities as teacher, scholar and artist,” he said. “For those of us who knew her personally, she will always be remembered by the dedication and passion for the discipline that she loved and gave so much to, as a champion of all our causes, and as a deeply devoted friend whose grace, wisdom and warmth will always be cherished.”
Moser fought a five-year battle with cancer, and was working to create new performance-related therapies for cancer survivors. She is survived by husband Philip Toms and her daughter Cecilia.
The department will host a memorial event in the new year, with details to come. Funeral details will be posted as they become available.
• Marlene Moser — Humanities Research Institute profile
• Dr. Marlene Moser — faculty page
5 comments on “Dramatic Arts professor remembered”
Marlene was my favourite professor at Brock. She was an inspiring teacher and a lovely woman. I feel fortunate to have known her.
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if you wish to submit a comment or share a memory about Marlene please use this online form:
Information about the visitation and an upcoming celebration on January 4th, 2011 is found in the obituary in the Hamilton Spectator:
Here are the details:
Family and friends may gather at the BAY GARDENS FUNERAL HOME, 1010 Botanical Drive, BURLINGTON, on Tuesday, December 28th between 2-4 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. A celebration of Marlene’s life (reunion) will take place on her birthday, January 4th at the Royal Botanical Gardens at 2 p.m.
There is also an online Book of Condolence at the above obituary webpage.
The department will host a memorial event in the new year, with details to come.
see the Department web pages for information about a celebration of Marlene on January 4, 2011.
In Marlene’s honour we have established the Marlene Moser Memorial Scholarship. To contribute to the Scholarship fund please send donations to Norm Bradshaw, Faculty of Humanities Gifts Officer, Brock University. The cheque or gift should be made out to Brock University and indicate ‘Marlene Moser Memorial Scholarship’ – written in the memo of the cheque, for example. All funds donated will be matched by a contribution from the provincial government.