Alumni

  • King Ubu tickets on sale now!

    Tickets for our spring mainstage presentation of King Ubu, presented by the Department of Dramatic Arts, are on sale now!

    The show runs from March 1 to 9 at the Marilyn I. Walker Theatre.


    King Ubu

    Written by Alfred Jarry
    Translated by David Edney
    Directed by David Fancy
    Set and lighting by James McCoy
    Costumes by Jo Pacinda

    Alfred Jarry wrote King Ubu in the 1890’s in large part to poke fun at the idiocy, capriciousness and vanity of political and personal power. it is almost like its author could see into the future and predict the very political climate we are living in today.

    The character of King Ubu is a complete fool who talks about poop, loves himself a lot and kills everybody around him whenever he feels like it. He is a patriarch, a racist and a megalomaniac.

    His wife, Ma Ubu, is very much like Shakespeare’s Lady Macbeth and pushes King Ubu to increasing feats of violence and narcissism. When they are not bickering or having food-fights, Ma Ubu demands King Ubu kill off their adversaries and take over the world. They spend the show chasing their enemies all over a fairy-tale-like Poland before sailing off into a sunset.

    In short: the Ubus are the ultimate reality TV show gone wrong.

    Read more about the performance.

    PERFORMANCES:
    Friday, March 1, 2019 @ 7:30 PM
    Saturday, March 2, 2019 @ 7:30 PM
    Sunday, March 3, 2019 @ 2:00 PM
    Friday, March 8, 2019 @ 11:30 AM
    Friday, March 8, 2019 @ 7:30 PM
    Saturday, March 9, 2019 @ 7:30 PM

    Tickets:
    $18 Adult
    $15 Student/Senior
    $12 Group (10+) each
    $5 EYEGO Highschool Student (with Valid ID upon ticket Pick-Up)

    General Admission seating.

    Performance location:
    The Marilyn I. Walker Theatre
    Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine & Performing Arts – downtown campus – Brock University
    15 Artists’ Common, St. Catharines, ON

    Tickets for all performances are available online through the Box Office of the First Ontario Performing Arts Centre. by email at boxoffice@firstontariopac.ca, or in person in downtown St. Catharines at 250 St. Paul Street, St. Catharines, ON, L2R 3M2.

    Open Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (Holiday and summer hours may vary).


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    Categories: Alumni, Announcements, Current Students, Department/Centre News, Events, Faculty & Instructors, News

  • Brock grad returns to MIWSFPA for first solo exhibition

    Brock alumna Kylie Haveron (BA ’18) is hosting her first solo exhibition, Not Dark Yet, at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts (MIWSFPA) beginning Wednesday, Jan. 9.


    (From The Brock News, Thursday, January 3, 2019 | By: Sarah Ackles)

    As Martin Luther King Jr. once famously said: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.”

    His message encapsulates the inspiration behind the first solo exhibition of Brock alumna Kylie Haveron (BA ’18), opening at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts (MIWSFPA) this month.

    Running from Jan. 9 to 26, Not Dark Yet reflects on the dichotomy between lightness and darkness and the struggles we face in our daily lives.

    The exhibition is on at the VISA Gallery and Student Exhibition Space at the MIWSFPA, with an opening reception on Thursday, Jan. 10.

    “I look at how we believe day can bring a purpose, a connection and sense of certainty, while nightfall can bring anxiety as it signals the end of the opportunity for the day and a sense of waiting for the light of the next day to bring us answers,” Haveron explained.

    Haveron’s exhibition consists of a combination of drawings, sculpture and installations that explore the way that physical lightness and darkness can impact the lightness and darkness we experience within ourselves.

    She said the timing of the show is ideal, as the lack of sunlight during the winter months can trigger symptoms of depression in some individuals, often known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

    While many of her pieces are gritty and gloomy, the Brock grad hopes her work will inspire viewers to “let the light into their lives.”

    “Although I look at how extended periods of darkness can make us feel the darkness inside of us, I do have some pieces that give us ways to find the light,” she said. “We must not let the darkness determine our fate and our life, because the light can bring opportunity to have better outcomes.”

    Haveron is also looking forward to returning to her alma mater to showcase her first professional exhibition.

    “Hosting a solo show is a good learning experience and I’m happy I get to do it at Brock, where I have a lot of friends and am part of a supportive community,” she said.

    Not Dark Yet runs from Jan. 9 to 26 in the VISA Art Gallery and Student Exhibition Space at the MIWSFPA. The gallery is open to the public Tuesdays to Saturdays from 1 to 5 p.m.

    An opening reception, also in the gallery, will be held Thursday, Jan. 10, from 5 to 8 p.m.

    This event is free and open to the community.

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    Categories: Alumni, Events, News

  • Give back this holiday season through on-campus initiatives

    Second-year Business Administration Co-op student Danielle Hynes places a donated toy under the holiday tree in the Campus Store. Community Care’s Adopt an Angel program is one of many charitable initiatives happening on campus during the holiday season.


    (From The Brock News, Wednesday November 28, 2018)

    As the snow continues to fly and the temperature drops, the Brock community is ramping up opportunities to give back during the holiday season.

    Students, staff and faculty are invited to donate food, clothing, toys, time or money to any of several initiatives on campus.

    Donate Food

    Badgers food drive
    The Brock Badgers are collecting non-perishable food items for Community Care of St. Catharines and Thorold at several upcoming Brock Badgers hockey games at the Seymour-Hannah Sports and Entertainment Centre:

    • Thursday, Nov. 29 — Women’s hockey vs. Guelph at 7:15 p.m.
    • Friday, Nov. 30 — Men’s hockey vs. Guelph at 7:15 p.m.
    • Saturday, Dec. 1 — Women’s hockey vs. Waterloo at 2:15 p.m.

    Student-athletes are encouraged to participate and help spread the word. The athletic team that raises the most food will receive additional Badgers 4 Badgers points.

    Food bins
    Community Care food bins will be located at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts and Walker Sports Complex Welcome Desk.

    Suggested non-perishable food items include:

    •  peanut butter
    •  canned fish, meat, fruit and vegetables
    •  juice boxes and large juice containers
    •  pudding cups and apple sauce
    •  nut-free granola bars
    •  baby formula and cereal

    Special thanks to Brock Recreation’s intramural sports teams who recently completed a canned food drive for the 28th consecutive year.

    Donate Clothes and Toys

    Warmth tree
    Brock Recreation is collecting new or gently-used mittens, gloves, hats, scarves and socks at a tree located at the Walker Sports Complex Welcome Desk. Donations will be directed to the Salvation Army and Community Care.

    Clothing bins
    The Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts is collecting gently used clothing for St. Andrews Church. Donations can be dropped off at the bin located next to School’s Campus Security office until Friday, Dec. 21.

    Toolbox Project
    The Brock community is being asked to contribute essential ‘tools’ such as toothbrushes, soap, socks, snacks and first-aid items to give to homeless men during the holiday season. The initiative is for Toolbox Project Niagara, a community initiative founded by Brock alumnus James Symons (BRLS ’11). Donations are being accepted until Friday, Dec. 14 at bins located at the Student Life Innovation Commons in Mackenzie Chown A 204 and the Walker Sports Complex Welcome Desk.

    Campus Store tree
    The Brock Campus Store is collecting new, unwrapped toys and stocking stuffers for Community Care’s Adopt an Angel program. Children’s names and ages adorn the trees to help donors chose gifts. Toy and monetary donations will be accepted until Tuesday, Dec. 18. Anyone who donates before Friday, Nov. 30 will receive $5 in Campus Store cash.

    Donate Time

    Holiday parades
    Volunteers are needed to walk with Brock at the Niagara-on-the-Lake Christmas Paradeon Sunday, Dec. 8 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. A Brock float featuring a festive holiday scene will be the centrepiece of the University’s efforts and will be surrounded by warmly dressed volunteers at each event. Register to walk on the SignUp.com website.

    Home for the Holidays hosts
    Brock International is looking for Brock faculty and staff interested in hosting international students over the holidays. The time invested can be as little as a couple of hours participating in a winter activity like ice skating or enjoying a festive dinner.

    Prince of Wales Public School Holiday Extravaganza
    Volunteers will visit Prince of Wales Public School for the annual Holiday Extravaganza on Wednesday, Dec. 5, spreading seasonal cheer to about 150 kindergarten to Grade 8 students. The day will include holiday-themed activities, crafts and special guests. Learn more.

    Community partners
    If Brock students, staff or faculty are interested in volunteering with community organizations this holiday season, Kristen Smith, Brock’s Manager, Community Outreach Programs, can help connect them with community partners. For more information, email Smith at ksmith2@brocku.ca or call x3545.

    Donate Money

    Brock University Annual Fund
    Monetary donations to Brock’s Annual Fund will help support students through awards and scholarships, a student emergency fund and investments in learning spaces such as the Goodman School of Business and the Rankin Family Pavilion. Donate online.

    Socks for change
    Monetary donations are being collected for the Socks for Change project, which will donate a new pair of socks to the Toolbox Project for every $2 raised. Socks for Change collection containers (in the shape of mannequin legs) are positioned around campus.

    United Way Niagara
    Brock University’s United Way employee fundraising campaign is still underway, with a goal of raising $145,000 by the end of December. Gifts to United Way will help move people out of poverty, encourage children to reach their full potential and enhance the quality of life for adults living in crisis or with disabilities. Faculty and staff are encouraged to return their pledge forms to Human Resources or donate online.

    If there is a holiday fundraiser, clothing or food drive missing from this Brock News list, email campusnews@brocku.ca  to have it added.

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    Categories: Alumni, Current Students, Faculty & Instructors, News

  • Zine- and button-making session to kick off new MIWSFPA Wellness Series

    Following a successful zine-making workshop in October, artist Christine Cucciniello will return to Brock to lead a drop-in workshop on Dec. 12 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in ST231 of the James A. Gibson Library.


    (From The Brock News, Wednesday December 5, 2018 | By: Sarah Moore)

    The Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts (MIWSFPA) is offering a creative way to help ease stress associated with upcoming exams.

    As part of the new MIWSFPA Wellness Series, a zine- and button-making workshop is being hosted at Brock’s main campus on Wednesday, Dec. 12.

    Workshop facilitator Christine Cucciniello will host the drop-in session in the Matheson Learning Commons of the James A. Gibson Library.

    The event will run from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and everyone is welcome to attend.

    Workshop facilitator Christine Cucciniello, left, helping Catherine Parayre, Director of the Centre for Studies in Arts and Culture, and Lesley Bell (BA ’88), former Learning Commons Co-ordinator at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts, in the creation of their own zines.

    MIWSFPA Director Elizabeth Vlossak said the initiative promotes mental wellness and brings a taste of the events happening at the Walker School up to main campus.

    “I participated in the last zine-making workshop that Christine hosted as part of our Walker Cultural Leaders Series and found the exercise to be fun and extremely therapeutic,” said Vlossak. “Christine’s style is very inclusive to everyone on campus — with or without an artistic background — so we’re encouraging everyone to de-stress and get creative with us.”

    Attendees can combine various materials to make their own creation during the session. There will also be holiday-themed items on hand for those who want to make a few last-minute Christmas gifts or decorations.

    Cucciniello is a multimedia artist, photographer and former Outreach and Spoken Word Co-ordinator at CFBU Brock Radio.

    Her work challenges dominant modes of production and representation as it relates to media and art and she is passionate about bringing people together through community building and collective art projects.

    “I enjoy hosting zine workshops because they allow for the creation of a unique piece of self-expression,” said Cucciniello. “Zines, hand-made and self-published, are an incredibly powerful method of sharing stories and communicating ideas not covered in mainstream media.”

    The workshop will kick off a series of similar events happening both on Brock’s main campus and at the MIWSFPA in downtown St. Catharines.

    The next event will take place Jan. 16 with Brock Kinesiology student Chance Mutuku joining members of the MIWSFPA and local community health and wellness groups in a discussion about the positive mental benefits of engaging in the arts. The presenters will also touch on the accessibility of the arts to everyone — even those who don’t consider themselves to be artists. Interactive demonstrations will take place during the event, held in the MIWSFPA Theatre, and a free lunch will follow.

    Next week’s zine- and button-making workshop will be held in room ST231 in the Learning Commons hallway.

    All materials are included and there is no cost to participate.

    More information is available on ExperienceBU.

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    Categories: Alumni, Current Students, Events, News

  • Antigone explores modern ideas through classic Greek tragedy

    Students in the DART undergraduate program have been rehearsing for months to bring the classic Greek tragedy Antigone to life on stage with a run beginning Oct. 26


    (From The Brock News, Friday Oct. 15, 2018 | By Sarah Moore)

    Sophocles’ Antigone may be more than 2,500 years old, but its relevance to the #MeToo and civil rights movements of today makes it resonate as strongly now as when it was first written.

    The new mainstage production from Brock University’s Department of Dramatic Arts (DART) tells the story of a woman rebelling against patriarchy and the establishment — a woman who is willing to sacrifice everything to stand up for what she believes is right.

    Antigone’s tragic protest against King Creon’s prohibition of mourning her dead brother makes the audience question what choice we have when our personal beliefs conflict with the laws of the state. The play also examines the effects that gender inequality and unbridled power have on society.

    DART faculty member Mike Griffin, who adapted and directs the production that will run at the Marilyn I. Walker Theatre, said the classic Greek tragedy was the perfect fit for the first mainstage performance of the 2018-19 season.

    “Antigone is one of the oldest examples of a powerful, independent female character in theatre and literature,” he said. “It is eerily unfortunate that this ancient world, in which she was born, has many similarities to the one we currently live in, and through that I think the play really speaks to today.

    “I also think it’s a fantastic challenge for my students to dive into a story that is really valued as such an influential, classical text.”

    Adam Rappold, Assistant Professor in the Department of Classics, worked with Griffin and the cast to dissect the Greek text and highlight major themes of the play pertinent to today’s audiences.

    “It is a work which manages to be, at once, both bewitchingly alien while still also familiar enough that it could have been ripped from today’s headlines,” Rappold said. “More pressingly for our current moment, it is likely the voice and personality of Antigone herself who continues to speak to audiences — a powerful and decidedly female scream of rage against iniquity and oppression, which, even after more than two centuries, refuses to be silenced.”

    With a contemporary approach to an ancient story, this production blends classical text with movement and image-based storytelling and explores a rich score of ensemble choral voices. The adaptation explores a shattered world touched by both contemporary and ancient times through a collage of poetry and physical theatre.

    “My vision is to paint Antigone as a strong woman, with the caveat that a strong woman should not be a stereotype but a norm that we are very familiar with,” Griffin said. “Hopefully her presence in standing up for what she believes in is something that can potentially propel audiences forward to feel confident in thinking that ‘when injustice happens to me, I will stand up for what’s right.’”

    The set and costumes for Antigone were designed by Brock Dramatic Arts Instructor Kelly Wolf, lighting was designed by Chris Malkowski and sound designed by Visual Arts Media Resource Co-ordinator Max Holten-Anderson (BMus ’10).

    The production showcases the talents of students in the DART undergraduate program. Student performers include Catherine Tait, Tristan Holmes, Alexandra Chubaty Boychuk, Matt Burt, Taj-Alexander Crozier, Tyler Simpson, Colin Williams, Mae Smith, Grace Martins, Samantha Rideout, Katie Cole, Diego Blanco, Heather Janser and James Dengate.

    Other student crew members include: Avery Delaney (Dresser), Peter Herbert (Stage Carpenter), Molly Lacey (Dresser), Sid Malcolm (Sound Operator), Heidi Nickel (Lighting Operator) and Jackson Wagner (Props Runner).

    Antigone runs Oct. 26 and Oct. 27 at 7:30 p.m., Oct. 28 at 2 p.m., and Nov. 2 and 3 at 7:30 p.m. There will be a high school matinee on Nov. 2 at 11:30 a.m. The evening performance on Nov. 2 will include an American Sign Language interpreter for members of the deaf and hard-of-hearing community.

    The production will run at the Marilyn I. Walker Theatre at Brock’s Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts in downtown St. Catharines.

    Tickets for the show are $18 for adults and $15 for students and seniors. There’s also a $10 group rate and a $5 eyeGo high school program rate available. Tickets are available through the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre box office at 905-688-0722 or on the PAC website.

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    Categories: Alumni, Announcements, Current Students, Faculty & Instructors, News

  • Dramatic Arts grad’s road to success was paved at Brock

    Jacelyn Holmes (BA ’08) is set to release her debut album this winter and credits her success in the arts to her start in Brock’s Department of Dramatic Arts.


    (From The Brock News, Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018 | by Sarah Moore)

    Among many things, Brock University taught Jacelyn Holmes (BA ’08) to defy her anxiety and be fearless.

    The Dramatic Arts alumna learned to harness the confidence she embraced in University and now uses it each time she takes the stage to sing.

    With the 10th anniversary of her graduating class set to be celebrated at Brock Homecoming this weekend, Holmes couldn’t help but reminisce about her artistic journey and how her Brock degree helped her achieve her career goals.

    “It’s been an interesting ride so far and it’s funny to recount where I am and what I’ve done,” said Holmes, who studied at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts before its move to the new downtown St. Catharines facility.

    After graduating, Holmes was involved in theatre productions and was cast in various television spots before realizing that her true passion was in the music industry.

    She has since landed gigs playing for the Toronto Jazz Festival, Canadian Music Week, the Niagara Grape and Wine Festival as well as booking international tours and showcases in Europe, Central America, the Caribbean, Asia and the U.S. She will be releasing her debut album in February, with a Christmas album to follow later next year.

    “Now that it’s all coming together, I’m excited to continue honouring my commitment to learning through art and creativity and discovering myself as an artist,” she said.

    An actress since childhood, her lifelong dream had always been to work in theatre and film — making the Dramatic Arts Department at Brock a perfect fit.

    “It was an amazing education,” she recounted. “At Brock, you spend four years constantly putting it all out there, learning to be vulnerable and available to failure in an environment where you can thrive with help from acclaimed professionals. It’s quite a beautiful thing.”

    Although her passion for the craft was evident, struggling with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and anxiety made focusing on schoolwork extremely difficult.

    “When I got to university, it became very apparent that I was not working at the same level as other people,” she recalled. “That brought out insecurities, shame and questions of why I was even there. I felt like I was drowning.”

    Holmes credited the support she received from Brock’s A-Z Learning Services for helping her overcome those barriers.

    “Feeling empowered to go and ask for the help that I needed or extra time on tests really allowed me to excel,” she said. “The staff at the Learning Centre were patient and taught me how to apply all that I had learned to my schoolwork and in the real world.”

    Her grades went up, she was awarded scholarships and would even receive the Spirit of Brock Award — given to the student who embodies the spirit of Maj.-Gen. Sir Isaac Brock, by inspiring other students — in 2008.

    Department of Dramatic Arts Chair Joe Norris congratulated Holmes on all of her success and her ability to channel the skills she developed with her degree to find success in the arts and life overall.

    “Professors in the Department of Dramatic Arts aspire to inspire students in the entire range of their creative endeavours,” he said.

    Holmes agreed that her theatre background has been key to her success as a performing vocalist.

    “It was because of my theatre background that I am able to perform; it taught me to be fearless,” she said. “Some people would think that someone with anxiety would have a hard time getting up on stage, but it is my escape — and that feels awesome.”

    Shelley Huxley, Brock’s Director of Alumni Relations, said she is always pleased to hear of student successes.

    The Brock University Alumni Association works diligently, she adds, “to keep alumni informed about what’s happening at the University, and we work to connect alumni with each other for personal and professional gain.”

    “As the largest constituency of the University, alumni are our most loyal supporters and our best ambassadors,” she said. “We want our alumni to care about the University long after they’ve graduated. Engaged alumni benefit both the University and each other, but more importantly, engaged alumni help raise the reputation of Brock, and by virtue, the reputation of their degree in the marketplace.”

    This year’s Homecoming celebration takes place from Friday, Sept. 21 to Sunday, Sept. 23 with a variety of activities happening on campus and in the community.

     

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    Categories: Alumni, Department/Centre News, News

  • Brock prof and alumna explore circus performance in joint publication

    Associate Professor of Dramatic Arts Karen Fricker and MA graduate Hayley Malouin at the conference Circus and its Others II in Prague this past August. The two have recently published a special double issue of Performance Matters, titled “Circus and Its Others,” exploring questions around circus performance and gender, difference and dis/ability. (Photo by David Konecny)


    (From The Brock News, Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2018 | by Alison Innes)

    For many people, the circus is a place of mystery and wonder, filled with the extraordinary, unusual and strange.

    But what does it mean to be different and what does it mean to perform those differences?

    For Associate Professor of Dramatic Arts Karen Fricker and Brock alumna Hayley Malouin (BA ’15, MA ’17), these questions have led to a joint publication in the emerging field of circus studies.

    The pair launched a special double issue of the journal Performance Matters, titled “Circus and Its Others,” Aug. 28 in Prague at the similarly named Circus and Its Others II conference.

    Inspired by the inaugural Encounters with Circus and its Others conference organized by Fricker with assistance from Malouin in 2016, the publication features contributions from established scholars, graduate students and circus artists from around the world. Many of the contributors were in Prague to participate in the second conference and celebrate at the launch.

    The conference series brings together scholars from around the world to explore questions about the place of difference and “otherness” in contemporary circus.

    “We’re asking questions about circus in a way that allows people who have been working at these questions from different perspectives and different places to jump on board,” says Fricker.

    Malouin, who has an undergraduate degree from Brock in Dramatic Arts, explored ideas of public performance, political protest and public performance of the grotesque as part of her MA in Studies in Comparative Literature and the Arts.

    “Circus is an interesting cultural touchstone because it reflects societal norms about people, community and politics. This is in contrast to the image of circus – which circuses themselves cultivate – as existing on the margins of society,” says Malouin.

    The special issue of Performance Matters was her first foray into academic publishing. In addition to co-editing the issue with Fricker, Malouin worked with other circus scholars, including Brock student Taylor Zajdlik (BA ’15, MA ’17), on a section of the journal exploring questions of queerness and freakery in the circus.

    “It was a great experience to establish myself as someone with those skills,” says Malouin. “I really care about the work, I feel it’s important. It’s a substantial contribution to an emerging field.”

    The special edition also includes work by DART Associate Professor David Fancy on disability and the circus, making reference to a creative research project in which he participated involving intellectually disabled survivors of institutional abuse.

    The questions Fricker and Malouin are researching have application beyond the circus to culture as a whole.

    “What we’re looking at is how questions about difference and otherness play out in certain practices in the contemporary moment,” says Fricker. “And more broadly we’re asking, how do we work to make culture more inclusive?”

    The full issue can be read online for free.

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    Categories: Alumni, Events, Faculty & Instructors, News

  • Beloved Visual Arts staffer inspires Art History award

    Lesley Bell, right, sits with Visual Arts Chair Donna Szőke, one final time in the Learning Commons at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts before Bell’s retirement. The department marked her retirement with the creation of the Lesley Bell Award, to be presented to the Art History student entering third year with the highest average.


    (From The Brock News, Friday, Aug. 31, 2018 | by Sarah Moore)
    When you walk into the Learning Commons at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts (MIWSFPA), you are greeted by the always-smiling face of Lesley Bell.

    The long-time Co-ordinator enthusiastically helps students, staff and faculty alike on their quests for knowledge, is always eager to explain how a piece of software works and has no shortage of stories to share about art, the University or life in general.

    It is her passion for the work that she does, and for the people she works with, that inspired the Visual Arts Department to pay tribute to Bell’s legacy with a student award named in her honour.

    Created in recognition of her retirement at the end of August, the new Lesley Bell Award will be presented annually to the third-year History of Art and Visual Culture major with the highest average.

    Donna Szőke, Chair of the Visual Arts Department, said the award is a fitting way to recognize student accomplishment as well as Bell’s time with Brock, both academically and professionally.

    “Lesley has been an invaluable resource to our department,” she said.  “Her constant generosity of spirit, curiosity and kindness has touched the lives of the many students, instructors and staff of Visual Arts, as well as Brock as a whole. We celebrate Lesley with this award.”

    Bell, who has been employed with Brock for 34 years, is the longest-serving staff member in the Visual Arts Department.

    She remembers her journey through the ranks at Brock fondly, starting from her decision to enrol as a student in 1983.

    While working part time as a waitress, Bell would always share her love of the arts with her coworkers. As a mature student in her 30s, however, she was skeptical about going back to school.

    After some prodding from coworkers — and realizing there was a night class at Brock that she could attend which wouldn’t interfere with her work schedule — she decided to enrol.

    “I started an art history class with Sylvia Osterbind, a fine arts librarian who also taught the Art History course for a fledgling program in History and Studio Arts at Brock,” Bell recalled. “Sylvia was a formidable teacher. I sat at the back of the class and watched her stride in front of two projected images of ancient art in her sensible shoes, waving her pointer and lecturing with her succinct German accent.”

    From that point on, Bell was “hooked.” She would close down the bar, working until the wee hours of the morning, and then wake up for early morning seminars.

    “I suddenly noticed ‘classical’ architectural elements on the buildings on St. Paul Street when riding the bus home from Brock, and I met some people who are still important friends,” she recalls fondly. “I started Brock thinking I was not smart enough for university, but that course showed me that I had a mind that could ask questions, and I had eyes that could see the creative world around me.”

    After graduating with an Honours B.A. in Visual Arts from Brock University in 1988, Bell then continued her studies and earned a Master of Library Science degree from Western University in 1993.

    From there, she returned to the place where it all started and began working at Brock as a Visual Arts resource co-ordinator.

    Over time, her job would evolve to include oversight of the Brock University Art Collection and the former Sean O’Sullivan Art Gallery on the main campus.

    Bell would eventually conceive and help design the Learning Commons in the new MIWSFPA building in downtown St. Catharines, where her duties expanded to include managing the equipment kiosk and supervising student monitors. She constantly worked to develop opportunities for the space to further benefit students and the community, and never stopped striving to make it a more inclusive place to study and congregate.

    Bell is not one to boast about her accomplishments or bask in the spotlight, however. Especially, she says, when she was simply “doing her job.”

    But when it comes to the student award in her honour, she is proud that her legacy will serve to inspire future students to also pursue their passions.

    “I don’t know if I can say this emphatically enough: this award means more to me than the decades of service to Brock and is a legacy that actually stuns me,” she said. “We are all here because of the students that we train, nurture and mentor.  However, we seldom get a chance to know that we ‘make a difference.’ So, it is deeply significant to me to be given this gift from the department.”


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    Categories: Alumni, Department/Centre News, Faculty & Instructors, News

  • Sabina’s Splendid Brain opens at MIWSFPA Sept. 14

    Cellist Grace Snippe (BMus ’16), left, and Danielle Wilson bring the story of 20th century psychoanalyst Sabina Spielrein to life in Sabina’s Splendid Brain. The performance opens on Sept. 14 at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts. (Photo by George Enns.)


    (From The Brock News, Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2018 | by Sarah Moore)

    While Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung have become synonymous with psychoanalysis, the name Sabina Spielrein might leave you drawing a blank.

    The Stolen Theatre Collective hopes to change that by bringing the rarely told story of the Russian-Jewish psychoanalyst to life in a new production at Brock beginning next week.

    Sabina’s Splendid Brain, which opens Sept. 14 at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts (MIWSFPA), chronicles the life of the tenacious and passionate Spielrein as she struggles through the circumstances of her family, her education and her therapy, the professional barriers facing women and wartime anti-Semitism.

    Spielrein was often known in relation to her famous colleagues: first as a patient, then as a lover of Jung, and later as a student and friend of Freud. As a psychoanalyst in her own right, however, she moved beyond them both to become one of the great thinkers in 20th century psychology.

    Her work was all but wiped from the history books due to Joseph Stalin’s repression of intellectuals and the Nazi invasion of her hometown of Rostov-on-Don, where she and her daughters were killed. Her diaries were recently discovered, however, and her publications were re-examined to reveal the profound impact that her work had on her teachers and peers.

    “Sabina had to fight for her voice,” said Brock Associate Theatre Professor Gyllian Raby, the production’s Director. “She walks the boundary between genius and delusion, and this production invites the audience to experience her journey from a screaming teenager with spittle in her hair to the woman who wowed Freud’s intellectual Vienna Circle.”

    Scripted by Carol Sinclair, Sabina’s Splendid Brain is rendered on stage in sets by Nigel Scott, projections by Karyn McCallum and lighting by James McCoy (BA ’14), and features performances by Brock Assistant Theatre Professor Danielle Wilson and cellist Grace Snippe (BMus ’16).

    “This is a project that fully explores the interdisciplinarity between the arts that was the founding dream of the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts,” said Wilson, who is also the co-founder and co-artistic director of Stolen Theatre Collective. “Music, theatre and philosophy are a natural trio in this story of how psychoanalysis helped shape modern consciousness.”

    Fides Krucker, a Canadian interpreter, vocalist, opera singer and teacher, collaborated on the interdisciplinary production with Stolen Theatre. Her innovative vocal techniques and interdisciplinary work will be further highlighted later this month as part of the Walker Cultural Leaders Series on Wednesday, Sept. 19 at the MIWSFPA.

    Sabina’s Splendid Brain opens with back-to-back weekend performances Sept. 14, 15, 20, 21 and 22, all beginning at 7:30 p.m. Additional matinee performances will take place on Sept. 16 and 23 at 2 p.m.

    All performances are held at the Marilyn I. Walker Theatre in the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts, located at 15 Artists’ Common in St. Catharines.

    Tickets are pay-what-you-can-afford ($10, $25, $40 and $55) and can only be purchased in advance through the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre box office.

    Limited paid parking is available on-site, but city parking is available within close proximity to the venue.

    For more information on the production, please contact info@stolentheatrecollective.ca

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  • Dramatic Arts grads in Toronto Fringe Festival spotlight

    (From The Brock News, Tuesday, August 18, 2018)

    Two plays featuring Brock Dramatic Arts graduates will be playing this week in Toronto as part of the Best of Fringe.

    First Dates, a play about love, loss and people aching to connect, is written and directed by Niagara Falls native and former DART student Wes Berger and features music by his brother, musician and Brock alumnus Aaron Berger (BA ’17).

    Also featured during the Best of Fringe event is Anywhere, the newest work by award-winning playwright Michael Ross Albert starring Brock alumna Cass Van Wyck (BA ’13). The thriller, set in an Airbnb, follows a cordial relationship between strangers that escalates into a tense battle for control.

    Anywhere and First Dates were both selected as 2018 Patron’s Picks at the Toronto Fringe Festival.

    “On behalf of the department, we want to congratulate Wes, Cass and Aaron,” says Professor Joe Norris, Chair of the Department of Dramatic Arts. “As always, we celebrate our students’ successes and are pleased their hard and talented work is recognized in the Ontario theatre community.”

    The Toronto Fringe Theatre Festival provides opportunities for emerging and established artists to share their productions with the community in an affordable and accessible way. The Best of Fringe remounts selected productions at the Studio Theatre, Toronto Centre for the Arts to give patrons a second chance to see the shows.

    Also in July was the Hamilton Fringe Festival, which showcased another production filled with Brock talent. September Songs was directed by Colin Bruce Anthes (BA ’14) and featured five Brock grads. The show will be coming to the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre Nov. 1 to 3.

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    Categories: Alumni, Events, News