Current Students

  • Youths to get taste of the arts at Brock summer camps

    Young artists have the opportunity this summer to explore art and drama through day camps hosted by Rodman Hall Art Centre and Youth University. Both organizations will be hosting art camps at MIWSFPA for the first time.

    (from The Brock News, Monday, June 18, 2018 | by  )

    Young artists will have the opportunity to experience fine and performing arts through Brock University this summer.

    Youth University and Rodman Hall Art Centre will both be hosting summer programming at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts for the first time.

    “This is a great opportunity for youth to discover the school and meet faculty, staff and members of the artistic community as they start to formulate ideas about their aspirations for study after high school,” says MIWSFPA Director David Vivian.

    Students who are entering Grades 5 to 9 in September can choose from Youth University camps in arts media, performing arts, or performance props and effects, which run at various times in July and August.

    Young artists will be encouraged to get messy and creative each day using media such as charcoal, splatter painting, clay, mixed media and paper making.

    Youth interested in theatre can develop their voice and acting techniques while exploring what it means to be on stage and how to leave an impression with an audience, or explore costume making, performance make-up, lighting, and prop and set designs using a variety of materials.

    “Our camps offer a balance of adventure, creativity and innovation, and key to this experience is the relationship they develop with our Brock student mentors,” says Michelle Leone, Program Manager of Youth University.

    “We are grateful to have developed a partnership to bring Youth University camps downtown this summer. The MIWSFPA is a stunning and inspiring facility for our young artists.”

    The camps are also an opportunity for Brock’s arts students and recent graduates to develop key professional skills as they take on instructor roles, says Vivian.

    “This is a meaningful way for the students to develop important professional and mentoring skills that will assist them in their longer-term plans for studies and professional work in the arts, culture and educational sectors.”

    For more information on the Youth University camps or to register, visit brocku.ca/kids

    While Rodman Hall Art Centre has been offering arts camps for youths for years, the art centre is also hosting digital and textile arts camps at MIWSFPA for the first time in 2018.

    Participants in the digital drawing camps, which run in July and August, will use the school’s state-of-the-art computer labs to transform traditional drawings into digital artworks.

    “This will provide our campers with the opportunity to engage with the arts in our community, in new and innovative ways,” says Camp Co-ordinator Kylie Mitchell. “I am very excited to now provide our campers with the chance to engage with a modern art practice that will allow them to experiment and explore the world of digital art.”

    Youth ages 13 to 17 also have the opportunity to experiment with textile art with artist Nancy Nigh, learning embroidery basics and weaving, and creating their own artwork using wool felting processes.

    For more information about Rodman Hall’s arts camps or to register, visit brocku.ca/rodman-hall/learn/camps

    Tags: , , , , , ,
    Categories: Announcements, Current Students, Future Students, News

  • Student completes music degree started 18 years ago in Mexico

    Mexico’s Luis Gerardo Molina will graduate from Brock Friday with a degree in Music.

    (from The Brock News,  Tuesday, June 05, 2018 | by )

    For 20 years, Luis Gerardo Molina worked his way up the corporate ladder of a growing computer software firm in his home country of Mexico.

    After high school, he had made what he viewed as a responsible decision to choose a stable career in technology over a fragile one as a classical pianist, but his love of music kept pulling at him like a magnet.

    Eventually, he gave in, and on Friday, June 8, at the age of 48, his career change will be official when he graduates from Brock University with a degree in Music.

    “It means everything,” said Molina. “That was a dream that I always wanted to make happen and I really struggled to get it.”

    Born into a family of talented musicians, Molina grew up around choirs and instruments, and by the age of six it was obvious he had a gift. At nine, he started working with a piano teacher and for eight years he attended a specialized school of music that turned his hobby into a craft.

    “I finished my high school and I had that dilemma many people face — should I devote my life to music? Is that a safe path for the rest of my life?” Molina said. “I decided to follow an alternative career. I always really liked the maths, so I decided to choose engineering.”

    A literal flip of a coin at the age of 17 made Molina choose computer engineering over civil engineering, and that set in motion a software career that lasted 20 years.

    But while his career progressed to the point of becoming a manager, so did his ongoing love of music. Having never truly given up his dream of being a professional pianist, Molina went back to the University of the Americas part time in 2000, completing two years of a four-year degree before realizing the workload wasn’t sustainable.

    Luis Molina’s music career has taken him to competitions and performances around the world.

    “It was just too much,” he said.

    But an invitation to an international piano competition in Paris in 2003 ramped up his duelling interests. After beating out nearly 100 competitors from 35 countries to win the contest, he was invited to more international performances and competitions, leading to the production of his first album of live recordings.

    “I got very good support from the company I was working for. The owner was a kind guy who was also involved in music and he always felt proud to tell them he had an employee with this background in competition and music,” said Molina, who traveled to the U.S., Germany, Russia, Poland and elsewhere over the years.

    “After doing all that, I decided the music is calling me more and more,” he said. “The company I was working for was growing and every day it was getting more complicated to do both things together.”

    Finally in 2015, the door opened to make music his full-time endeavour. He was hired as a pianist with a philharmonic orchestra in Mexico and went back to university for his third year of music school.

    Then, in 2017, a trip to Canada to visit friends in Niagara led to another big change.

    “I loved the Niagara region so I thought, if I’m going for my passion in music, I found the perfect place to do it,” he said.

    A tour of Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts and a meeting with Associate Professor of Music Karin Di Bella confirmed that Brock was where Molina would finish his degree.

    “I fell in love with what I found here. And now that I’m almost done, I feel very lucky to have had this great opportunity in this great country and at this great University,” he said.

    Di Bella called Molina “the real deal.”

    “He possesses a rare combination of drive, discipline, musical maturity, technical facility, innate musicality and a true flair for performance,” she said. “Despite his many accomplishments, he is very humble and always eager to learn, making him a true joy to work with.”

    After graduating Friday in the final day of Brock’s Spring Convocation, Molina will move on to do his master’s in musical literature and performance at Western University.

    From there, a PhD and potentially a teaching career are in his sights.

    “I’ve been performing for more than 30 years and I want to continue doing that, but I’d like to share my perspectives and teach others,” he said.

    Molina credits his wife, Marcela Lagunas Burgos, herself a talented musician who plays the cello, as playing a major role in his career success.

    “We’re definitely on the same frequency. She has supported me with everything and all the decisions.”

    Tags: , , , , ,
    Categories: Alumni, Current Students, Department/Centre News, Future Students, In the Media, News

  • New book explores the art of animal advocacy

    Associate Professor of Visual Arts Keri Cronin examines the role of visual images, such as Edward Landseer’s A Distinguished Member of the Humane Society (exhibited 1838), in animal activism in her new book,  Art for Animals: Visual Culture and Animal Advocacy, 1870-1914.

    (Source: The Brock NewsTuesday, May 22, 2018 | by )

    It was while searching for a set of lantern slides many years ago that Keri Cronin inadvertently found inspiration for her latest book.

    The slides never materialized but what Cronin, an associate professor in Brock’s Department of Visual Arts, did find was an abundance of material on animal advocacy.

    That material has helped to form her latest publication, Art for Animals: Visual Culture and Animal Advocacy, 1870-1914, which explores the use of visual art material in campaigns for animal advocacy.

    Art for Animals cover

    Art for Animals: Visual Culture and Animal Advocacy, 1870-1914 is the latest book by by Associate Professor Keri Cronin.

    Influenced in part by authors who looked at visual culture in other social justice movements, such as suffrage and civil rights, Cronin’s book explores how animal advocacy images were created, circulated and consumed, and the impact that had on ideas about the humane treatment of animals.

    “Visual culture played an important role in defining campaign goals, recruiting membership, raising funds, and, ultimately, sustaining and challenging dominant ideas about nonhuman animals,” writes Cronin.

    Her biggest challenge has been locating archival material to piece together the stories of animal advocacy.

    “For so long, the history of human-animal relationships was not a particularly valued area of research, and archival collections often reflect this,” says Cronin, who hopes the book will lead people to recognize relevant print material they might have in their own collections.

    The cheap, mass-produced pamphlets created and distributed by animal advocacy groups in the late 19th and early 20th century often weren’t considered valuable enough to save.

    The field of animal-human relations, however, has recently seen an explosion of interest both within the University and the broader public. Cronin notes that although her book deals with historical material, many of the key points have relevance for how images are used in animal advocacy today.

    “It is high time we turn our attention to how animals have always been part of our stories, histories, labour and societies,” she says.

    Art for Animals asks us to think about the ways in which visual images can both shape and challenge dominant narratives about non-human animals.”

    A public book launch will be held for Art for Animals on Wednesday, May 23 from 4 to 6 p.m. at Mahtay Café, 241 St. Paul St. in St. Catharines.

    Tags: , , ,
    Categories: Announcements, Current Students, Department/Centre News, Events, Faculty & Instructors, In the Media, News

  • Brock hosts 28th annual national CITT/ICTS RENDEZ-VOUS

    The Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts of Brock University and the Meridian Centre extend a generous warm welcome to our professional colleagues, researchers, producers, specialist manufacturers, distributors, technicians and students from across the country for the:

    CITT/ICTS 28TH RENDEZ-VOUS ANNUAL CONFERENCE & TRADE SHOW

    CITT/ICTS holds an annual RENDEZ-VOUS every mid-August.The conference offers three days of sessions, workshops, backstage tours, trade show, social events and networking opportunities. The location varies from year to year to allow members from different regions of Canada to more easily attend.

    The Meridian Centre is located adjacent to the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts of Brock University

    CITT/ICTS RENDEZ-VOUS 2018
    Annual Conference & Trade Show
    in St Catharines, ON
    at the Meridian Centre and the
    Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine & Performing Arts (MIWSFPA)

    August 15 – 18, 2018
    Opening night: Wednesday, August 15
    Pre-conference: Tuesday August 14 to Wednesday August 15

    #citticts @CITTICTS

    on Facebook: www.facebook.com/CITTICTS
    website: www.citt.org/annual_conference

    STUDENT VOLUNTEER PROGRAM!
    Get INVOLVED
    Be CONNECTED
    Live the EXPERIENCE

    CITT/ICTS Annual Conference and Trade Show Rendez-vous has been held for over 25 years. During that time, student volunteers have played a key role in guaranteeing its success. Whether they assist in mounting the trade show, setting up the social events, or helping out at the registration desk, the student volunteers contribute in making our annual event a tremendous hit!

    During the conference, student volunteers are assigned various task, which includes setting up and tearing down the Trade Show, troubleshooting technical problems such AV projectors, sound equipment, etc. helping out with hospitality, giving a hand at the registration desk, and more… !

    for more information about the Student Volunteer Program

    CONFERENCE LEARNING opportunities include:

    2-day ETC Ion Xe Console Training
    CITT/ICTS along with the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine & Performing Arts (MIWSFPA), have arranged with ETC to hold a 2-day Ion Xe console training course prior to the CITT/ICTS Annual Conference and Trade Show. ETC’s Ion Xe lighting console provides simple and approachable programming and control for conventional systems as well as fully integrated lighting rigs. Join us to learn more about the features and functions of this amazing control system.

    ERD Certified Pyrotechnics Safety and Legal Awareness Course
    CITT/ICTS and AirMagic Special Effects are partnering to present a ERD Certified Pyrotechnics Safety and Legal Awareness Course with Mark Fine prior to the CITT/ICTS Rendez-vous 2018. Completion of the Pyrotechnics Safety and Legal Awareness Course is mandatory prior to certification as Pyrotechnician – Fireworks/Operator by ERD.

    Foliage – Past and Present Painting Techniques
    Jenny Knott from Rosco and Wendy Waszut-Barrett from Historic Stage Services LLC are returning to Rendez-vous for a third workshop, Foliage: Past and Present Painting Techniques.
    Explore a variety of painting techniques for foliage painting. Learn how to use historic techniques for contemporary applications, as well as some short cuts to make your job easier.

    for more information, registration and schedules

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

  • Dramatic Arts TA recipient of multiple awards

    Brock’s Three Minute Thesis winner Kaitlyn Kerridge, and award winners Shasha Hu and Jonathan Brower all spoke at the Graduate Student Awards and Donor Recognition Celebration on Thursday, May 10.

    (adapted from: The Brock News Monday, May 14, 2018 | by )

    It wasn’t until he started at Brock University that Jonathan Brower was able to marry his passions: theatre, LGBTQ2 studies and spirituality.

    During the Graduate Student Awards and Donor Recognition Celebration held on campus Thursday, May 10, the Master of Social Justice and Equity Studies student spoke about how the University and its donors have made a difference in his life.

    An actor, playwright and producer, Brower told the more than 100 guests in attendance about how support from donors allows him to focus on his research and continue artistic pursuits, without having to worry about financial pressures.

    “For research to truly be enriched, you need to be able to immerse yourself in it completely,” he said. “Support from donors allows me to focus my creative energy on academia, rather than having to worry about how my bills are being paid. Every layer of support I have received lifts me closer to success.”

    Brower was the recipient of multiple awards at the celebration: a Bluma Appel Graduate Entrance Scholarship for Excellence in Social Sciences, the Scotiabank Graduate Award and a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council CGS Master’s Scholarship.Hosted by the Faculty of Graduate Studies, the awards event celebrated student success and thanked donors for their generous support of graduate students.

    Brower came to Niagara from Calgary, where he co-founded and ran a queer theatre company and wrote and produced a play, oblivion, about the struggle to reconcile faith and sexuality. The production toured Canada over three years, visiting major cities including Vancouver, Calgary, and Toronto, with a stop in St. Catharines last year.

    Starting his master’s at Brock seemed a fitting next step for the student researcher, whose work explores “queer religious agency through narrative inquiry and applied theatre.”

    “My own experience as a queer person in the Christian faith was marginalized, which led to the creation of oblivion,” Brower said. “This thesis project takes things a step further using collective theatre creation to bring the experiences of queer individuals from different faith backgrounds into conversation.”

    In 2017-18 Brower was a teaching Assistant in the Department of Dramatic Arts for the courses DART 1F91 Introduction to Theatre and Performance (Dr. Jacqueline Taucar, Instructor) and DART 4F56 Advanced Studies in Theatre (Professor Gyllian Raby).  He recently collaborated on WE WHO KNOW NOTHING ABOUT HIAWATHA ARE PROUD TO PRESENT HIAWATHA as part of the Rhizomes for the 2018 In The Soil Festival.

    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
    Categories: Current Students, Faculty & Instructors, Future Students, In the Media, News

  • Students exhibit at Die Bäckerei in Innsbruck, Austria UPDATED

    We are very excited to announce an exhibition by the students of the MIWSFPA in Innsbruck, Austria!

    see photographs from the exhibition, below.

    Geographies of Process

    presented at …

    Die Baeckerei

    13 June – 6 July 2018 (Opening 13 June 2018, 19:00)

    Learning is process. Students in Visual Arts at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts, Brock University, Canada put together a series of paintings to illustrate the process of abstraction at work in referencing urban, industrial, domestic, and natural landscapes. Students in Arts and Culture and French Studies continue the process of abstraction through the creation of written texts responding to their peers’ paintings.

    Curators: Catherine Parayre and Shawn Serfas

    With the generous support of the Canadian Studies Centre, University of Innsbruck

    Geographien als Prozess

    Lernen ist ein Prozess. Studierende der bildenden Kunst der Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts an der Brock University (Kanada) haben eine Reihe von Bildern zusammengestellt, um den Prozess des Abstrahierens zu illustrieren, der abläuft, wenn auf städtische, industrielle, häusliche und natürliche Landschaften Bezug genommen wird. Studierende der Fächer Kunst, Kultur und Französisch setzen diesen Prozess fort, indem sie Texte verfassen, die auf die Bilder ihrer KollegInnen
    reagieren.

    KuratorIn: Catherine Parayre und Shawn Serfas (Brock University)

    Eröffnung: 13. Juni 2018, 19:00 Uhr

    13. Juni – 6. Juli 2018
    Bäckerei Innsbruck, Dreiheiligenstraße 21a, 6020 Innsbruck

    Geographien als Prozess / Geographies of Process / Géographies en formation

    Lernen ist ein Prozess. Studierende der bildenden Kunst der Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts an der Brock University (Kanada) haben ein Reihe von Bildern zusammengestellt, um den Prozess des Abstrahierens zu illustrieren, der abläuft, wenn auf städtische, industrielle, häusliche und natürliche Landschaften Bezug genommen wird. Studierende der Fächer Kunst, Kultur und Französisch setzen diesen Prozess fort, indem sie Texte verfassen, die auf die Bilder ihrer KollegInnen reagieren.

    Learning is process. Students in Visual Arts at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts, Brock University, Canada put together a series of paintings to illustrate the process of abstraction at work in referencing urban, industrial, domestic, and natural landscapes. Students in Arts and Culture and French Studies continue the process of abstraction through the creation of written texts responding to their peers’ paintings.

    Tout apprentissage est un processus. Des étudiant.e.s en Arts visuels de l’Ecole des beaux-arts et arts du spectacle Marilyn I. Walker à l’Université Brock au Canada assemblent une série de peintures illustrant un processus d’abstraction faisant référence à des paysages urbains, industriels, domestiques et naturels. Poursuivant cet enchainement vers l’abstraction, des étudiant.e.s d’Arts et Culture et d’Etudes en français répondent aux œuvres de leurs collègues par la création de textes.

    KuratorIn / Curators / Commissaires: Catherine Parayre / Shawn Serfas

    Mit der Unterstützung des Zentrums für Kanadastudien der Universität Innsbruck
    With the generous support of the Canadian Studies Centre, University of Innsbruck
    Avec le généreux appui du Centre d’Etudes canadiennes de l’Université d’Innsbruck

    KünstlerIn / Artists / Artistes

    Gianna Aceto
    Jessica Angelevski
    Elizabeth Angotti
    Denise Apostolatos
    Teresa Badgley
    Renz Baluyot
    Chris Belanger
    Marilyn Blanchette
    Brandon Boudreau
    Hannah Brown
    Andrea Caruso
    Maddy Cugini
    Thomas Denton
    Chelsea Dietrich
    Amy Doan
    Hannah Dobbie
    Isabella Domaradski
    Mariah Dubeau
    Amandine Faivre
    Alex Finlayson
    Dailia Frigault
    Jill Greer
    Stefanie Gugliucciello
    Kylie Haveron
    Gail Higenell
    Samantha Hilton
    Aimee Hu
    Syerra Jasmin
    Gabriella Jones
    Phuong Le
    Laura Levesque
    Brendan Long
    Craig Maltais
    Sarah Martin
    Jim Maunder
    Katie McGinness
    Kaitlyn Michie
    Avery Mikolic-O’Rourke
    Andrey Mintchev
    Jennie Montes
    Victoria Morinello
    Jaclyn Morse
    Lauren Mucciarone
    Michelle Nazari
    Alona Nyforovska
    Joseph Opara
    Lillianna Pagliaro
    Connor Playfair
    Anna Podvalni
    Jacob Primeau
    Brittany Reitzel
    Curt Richard
    Jessie Richard
    Cynthia Richards
    Keira Robertson-Worden
    Abby Rollo
    Kourtney Spadoni
    Samantha Stein
    Sophia Strachan
    Charlotte Tarr
    Evan Weins
    Zachary White
    Amber Lee Williams

    LISTEN to an interview (in German) by Sarah von Karger with Co-Curator Catherine Parayre for “KulturTon”, Freirad Radio, Innsbruck, Austria, 2 Juli 2018

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

  • New for 2018: the Marilyn I. Walker Textile Art Award

    Beginning in 2018 the Executive of the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts will be awarding the Marilyn I. Walker Textile Art Award.

    This award will be made to an undergraduate student who is graduating from the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts (MIWSFPA), Brock University; who is awarded, by vote of the Executive Committee of the MIWSPFA, the top prize for a piece of textile art produced and submitted by said student.

    As the award must be granted to a student for the purposes of his or her continuing education and or development, students must also submit an expression of their intention to continue this education and or development.

    For the purposes of this award, textile art is defined as a work of art that utilizes any and all forms of textiles, either natural or man-made, and in any form of original artistic expression.

    For the purposes of this award, continuing education or development is defined as any form of post graduate education and development which the student may wish to pursue whether at a college, university, by way of apprenticeship at a technical institute or at a research facility.

    We thank Marilyn I. Walker and her estate for the legacy of her generosity.

    See the article about the first recipient of the new award, Victoria Reid (Bachelor of Arts (Honours), Studio Art, with First-Class Standing, 2018).

    Tags: , , ,
    Categories: Announcements, Current Students, News

  • Brock students on Broadway

    Cast members from the student-run Mirror Theatre had the unique opportunity to perform in the heart of the New York City theatre district recently.

    On Wednesday, April 25, the cast members performed vignettes from their applied theatre work at the Marriott Marquis hotel.

    Mirror Theatre is a comprised primarily of Brock Dramatic Arts students that produce and perform interactive scenes on a variety of social issues. The group is coached by Dramatic Arts Chair and Professor of Drama in Education and Applied Theatre Joe Norris. It gives students the opportunity to apply the knowledge they learn in their courses in real-world situations. Through experiential education, the students develop life and learning skills that will prepare them for their careers and future studies.

    Mirror Theatre was invited to attend the Arts Based Educational Research (ABER) business meeting in New York City by the ABER Special Interest Group of the American Educational Research Association. At the conference, they presented “Employing Playbuilding Research and Pedagogy in Addressing Educational and Social Issues Facing Youth.” Their scenes addressed issues of academic integrity, seeking help, dealing with gossip, refusing unsafe working conditions, parental pressures and healthy eating.

    Regent cheque for Mirror Theatre

    Regent cheque presented to Mirror Theatre for $500.

    The trip was partially funded by the Regent Student Livings’ Dramatic Arts Student Independent and Outreach Projects fund. Recently, Mitch Allanson (BA ’16) presented Abby Rollo, Mirror Theatre’s President and Lindsey Abrams, Treasurer a cheque for $500. This award will be available to DART students each year and is part of Regent Student Livings investment in the success of the students at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts.

    Cast members of Mirror Theatre include, Lindsey Abrams, Dani Shae Barkley, Kaedyn Brouse, Candice De Freitas Braz, Aaron Drake, Nadia Ganesh, Rosa Moreno, Mike Metz, Abby Rollo, Sumer Seth, Dawson Strangway and Director Joe Norris.

    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
    Categories: Announcements, Current Students, Department/Centre News, News

  • Brock faculty, staff, students and grads performing at In the Soil

    (Source: The Brock News | Wednesday, April 25, 2018 by Alison Innes)

    It’s a festival born out of love for the local community and the arts.

    In the Soil, the three-day, multi-layered and multi-disciplinary festival in St. Catharines, is celebrating its 10th anniversary this weekend, and Brock has played an important role in its growth.

    The festival started as an idea sparked at a Centre for the Arts performance in Sean O’Sullivan Theatre, where Annie Wilson (BA’03), Joe Lapinski (BA’99) and Sara Palmieri (BA ’03) wondered how they help showcase Niagara talent. Three more former Brock students came on board to found the festival in 2009: Deanna Jones (BA ’02), Natasha Pedros (BA ’04) and Jordy Yack.

    They wanted to bring people together with local artists to create a shared experience and celebrate Niagara’s arts scene.

    Brock’s support of In the Soil has been important from the start, says Wilson, who studied Theatre and English.

    “To have the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts right in the downtown core is a dream come true and so is the opportunity to collaborate with so many incredible profs and friends over there,” says Wilson. “Brock University has supported In the Soil Arts Festival from day one and the ongoing investment in us has allowed us to grow it into what it is today.”

    Suitcase in Point Theatre Company, a theatre group founded by graduates from Brock’s Dramatic Arts program, took over organizing the festival in 2012. The group worked to sharpen the festival’s interdisciplinary approach and now has a tradition of showcasing the latest work in theatre, literature, music, film, comedy and site-specific installations.

    Many Brock students, staff, faculty, and grads are exhibiting and performing at this year’s festival in various venues around the downtown core, including:

    • Adrian Thiessen (BA ’10), president and creative head of Fourgrounds Media, will be showing his piece “Please Do Not Disturb the Grapes,” which gives a bird’s perspective of Niagara wine country as part of Rhizomes at Silver Spire United Church.
    • We Who Know Nothing, a theatre group centred in the Department of Dramatic Arts and led by Associate Professor Gillian Raby, will be performing a short piece on colonialism and First Nations histories.
    • Also at Rhizomes, Twitches & Itches Theatre, an ensemble made up largely of Dramatic Arts graduates, will be presenting emerging theatre voices in “The Comments Section,” a collaboration between young artists.
    • Arnie McBay (MA ’13), Visual Arts Facilities Technician at MIWSFPA, and English Professor Gregory Betts will be showing “Signs of Our Discontent” (The Textures of Our Solitude). The site-specific installation at the corner of St. Paul and Garden Park responds to the fading advertisements painted on downtown buildings.
    • Fourth-year Visual Arts student Amber Lee Williams video performance “Self Portrait As A Female Fountain” explores themes of identity and is an extension of her exhibition “Hidden Mother” on until Saturday, April 28 at the MIWSFPA.
    • Dramatic Arts student Matthew Beard is the founder of Big Chicken Improv, an improv group that includes various Brock students. They will be performing long- and short-form improv on Saturday evening.

    Prior to the festival, the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts will be hosting a special event on the evening of April 27 for students from Stamford Collegiate.
    The MIWSFPA is also a festival sponsor.

    What: In the Soil Arts Festival

    When: Friday, April 27 to Sunday, April 29

    Where: Downtown St. Catharines

    Tickets and event details: inthesoil.on.ca


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

  • Graduating students present gritty play about oil in Canada

    The cast of Lac/Athabasca takes the stage from April 12 to 14 in the Marilyn I. Walker Theatre for the last Dramatic Arts production of the 2017-18 season.

    For the final production of the regular 2017-18 season, Brock’s fourth-year Dramatic Arts students will tackle some hard-hitting Canadian issues.

    The DART 4F56 ensemble will present Len Falkenstein’s award-winning play Lac/Athabasca in the Marilyn I. Walker Theatre. The production, inspired by the Lac-Mégantic train explosion of 2013, tells the dark truth of the forces behind the disaster.

    Co-directed by Professor Gyllian Raby and student Mark Dickinson, the play premiered at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts on Thursday, April 12 and will continue nightly until Saturday, April 14.

    Production poster designed by Michelle Mohammed. click to download a PDF copy.

    Audiences follow the train filled with explosive fuel as it journeys across time and place, beginning with townsfolk sharing their experiences of the tragic event and lamenting for the lives lost. The crowd is taken to tour the magnificent Athabasca glacier and meets workers at the oil sand companies in Fort McMurray, witnessing Canada’s exploitation of its land and peoples from the 1800s to now. The beauty and terror of these encounters reveal a Canadian dream as twisted as the train tracks that stretch across it.

    The DART 4F56 students unanimously picked the play not only because of its Canadian roots, but also because “it’s about something that matters,” says Raby. The production tells the story of the train explosion, but audiences can also “expect to see a First Nations story play out,” she says.

    “We were fortunate enough to be advised by Adrienne Smoke of the Six Nations and William Constant, a Cree mentor, to make sure we were approaching the Indigenous story correctly.”

    On a daily basis, Canadians are reading about the problem of oil and the exploitation of natural resources. Lac/Athabasca is a deeply Canadian play that provokes reflection on corporate greed, environmental policies and the future transportation of oil.

    In addition to Dickinson, the 2017-18 Dramatic Arts fourth-year ensemble features cast members Mackenzie Kerr, Adrian Marchesano, Sarah Marks, Michelle Mohammed, Tarndeep Pannu, Naomi Richardson and Kaylyn Valdez-Scott. Set construction is by Helena Ciuciura, costume design by Samantha Mastrella, properties design by Rebecca Downing, sound design by Jillian Wardell, lighting design by Meryl Ochoa, and projections design and production management by Chelsea Wilson, assisted by guest instructor and Brock University Dramatic Arts alumnus, James McCoy. The production team also includes Allie Aubry as stage manager and Candice Burn as head of publicity.

    Lac/Athabasca plays Friday, April 13 and Saturday, April 14 at 7:30 p.m. at the MIWFSPA in downtown St. Catharines. Tickets are $5 (plus taxes and fees) from the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre box office at 905-688-0722 or online. Tickets will also be available at the door. Limited parking is available onsite.


    see the preview article by Mike Balsom on YourTV Niagara/Cogeco

    Tags: , , , , , , , ,
    Categories: Current Students, Events, Faculty & Instructors, News