After two years of viewing performances online, Brock University students learning the art of theatre criticism will experience indoor, in-person theatre at the celebrated Stratford Festival and Shaw Festival Theatre.
DART 3P94 Theatre Criticism is an online intensive Summer Term course run between July 11 and 22, bolstered by field trips to see live productions at Canada’s leading theatre companies.
Taught by Karen Fricker, Associate Professor of Dramatic Arts and theatre critic for The Toronto Star, the course introduces students to the practical craft of theatre criticism and dives into the theoretical background of the discipline.
Fricker said that after two years of running the course during the pandemic and having students review digital theatre exclusively, it will be thrilling to view live productions again.
“Both the Shaw and Stratford Festivals have full indoor seasons this year and I’m looking forward to bringing the course to shows there,” she said. “We’re setting up some post-show talks so that students will be able to ask questions about the productions they’ve seen with the artists who made them.”
Stratford Festival is welcoming back audiences beginning in May with a season theme of ‘New Beginnings’ and featuring plays such as Hamlet and Little Women and the musical Chicago. The largest classical repertory theatre in North America celebrates a its milestone 70th year in 2022.
Shaw Festival Theatre, in its 60th season, will feature 13 plays across three stages in Niagara-on-the-Lake. Productions include The Importance of Being Earnest, Everybody and The Doctor’s Dilemma.
After seeing productions, students will write and discuss responses to them and learn about alternative, digital, performative and visual forms of critical response, while engaging with theatre culture.