Online learning brings new opportunities for students

The switch to online learning is offering Brock University’s Dramatic Arts students new ways of exploring their craft.

“We’re making some exciting changes to DART 1F01: Acting for Non-Majors,” says Professor David Fancy. “We’re using this opportunity to build a course that we can also share with students who have to work remotely in the future.”

The course, which Fancy describes as “extreme monologuing,” is designed to help students discover the underlying principles of acting. Students will explore the actor’s process, including awareness, stimulus, impulse, intention and action. Exercises will help students become aware of their ingrained habits and develop playfulness and vitality.

“We’ve drawn on expertise from actor trainers around the globe,” says Fancy, who has been working on a series of videos featuring professional actors being led through drama exercises.

The course is organized in a series of modules that students work through at their own pace and will run July 2 to 29.

Associate Professor Karen Fricker’s DART 3P94: Theatre Criticism course has also moved online. The intensive, 10-day course introduces students to theatre criticism. Students will watch productions, write and edit reviews, and explore alternate forms of criticisms. The course will run June 2 to 12.

While Fricker had hoped to take students on field trips to see live theatre, the pandemic situation has meant that students will be exploring theatre through video.

“There is an increasing amount of video-captured theatre performances available online, both through online subscriptions and packages that the Brock Library already holds, to theatres and festivals making some of their captured content available to the public,” says Fricker.

Students will be required to see a minimum of four productions. In addition to participating in online chats, students will also create digital critical responses to theatre and develop a summative criticism project.

“One of the interesting wrinkles of critiquing such performances is that you’re not reviewing live theatre but rather a recording of live theatre, and so questions of camera angles, cuts and actors’ relationships to each other and the camera come into play.”

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