In the Media

  • 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.

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

  • Brock calendar packed with high school events

    Port Colborne High School students were taken on a tour of campus Tuesday, May 8.

    (excerpted from: Brock News Tuesday, May 08, 2018 | by 

    Now that Winter Term has come to an end, it’s high season for high school students on campus.

    Brock has been buzzing with activity over the past two weeks, with secondary students from across Niagara and the GTA taking tours, listening to presentations, participating in lab demonstrations and getting a taste for life on campus.

    That jam-packed lineup continues this week, with the addition of the popular Scientifically Yours event May 10 and 11, and the Ontario Classics Conference May 10 to 12.

    “For many high school students, University campuses can seem very intimidating at first,” said Jamie Mandigo, Brock’s Vice-Provost, Enrolment Management and International. “Some have never set foot on a University campus while others may be the first in their family to apply and attend University. Providing students with a welcoming first impression of Brock is critical to reassuring them that they will have a positive student experience during their time with us.”

    Included in the many high school events that have happened recently at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts are:

    • April 27 — Stamford Collegiate performed at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts (MIWSFPA) as part of In the Soil Arts Festival.
    • May 5 — The Department of Dramatic Arts held its invitational and weekend tours for high school students.
    • May 7 — About 500 students from the District School Board of Niagara rehearsed at the MIWSFPA for Music Monday, before performing at the Meridian Centre that evening.
    • May 8 — About 60 Grade 10 and 11 students from Thorold High School, Eastdale Secondary School and Port Colborne High School visited for campus tours, presentations and a Dramatic Arts activity with Professor Joe Norris and his improv students; The Grade 9 drama students from Holy Cross Catholic Secondary School performed their original self-produced children’s play in the Marilyn I. Walker Theatre for elementary and secondary school students of the NCDSB.
    • May 9 — Niagara Catholic District School Board students rehearsed and participated in workshops at the MIWSFPA for Music Day before performing at the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre in downtown St. Catharines.
    • May 10 — The Grade 9 drama students from Holy Cross Catholic Secondary School performed their original self-produced children’s play in the Marilyn I. Walker Theatre for elementary and secondary school students of the NCDSB

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    Categories: Events, Future Students, In the Media, News

  • Symposium to focus on depictions of animals in literature, art and society

    Visual Arts Professor Donna Szoke will be awarded with the Faculty of Humanities Award for Excellence in Research and Creative Activity at the HRI Spring Symposium on Tuesday, April 17. Szoke’s work with animals includes her current piece, Midst, which uses video projectors and fog machines to create animations of large animals on a wall of fog.

    (Source: The Brock News, Monday, April 09, 2018 by Alison Innes)

    The Elephant in the Room will be the topic of discussion next week at the annual Humanities Research Institute (HRI) Spring Symposium on Tuesday, April 17.

    This year’s theme, “The Elephant in the Room: Making Space for Animals in Our Research and Teaching” explores the use and depictions of animals in history, literature, art and society. Faculty members from the Faculties of Humanities and Social Science will share their work on critical animal studies and human-animal studies.

    Symposium organizer Associate Professor Keri Cronin hopes this year’s topic will bring together researchers from across the University to start important interdisciplinary conversations and make the work already being done more visible.

    “Brock is, in my opinion, the place to be for animal studies,” says Cronin. “But because those of us researching and teaching these topics are so spread out and scattered across campus, it’s hard to get a sense of just how deep this research runs.”

    These HRI events are essential to maintaining the Faculty of Humanities’ sense of community, says Michael Carter, Associate Dean of Humanities and Director of the Humanities Research Institute.

    “The symposia provide wonderful opportunities for interaction and mutual support of our diverse research and creative agenda,” he says.

    The HRI was created to encourage the development of research programs and initiatives within the Faculty, as well as to generate public awareness of the diversity of humanities research by faculty and graduate students.

    This year, Visual Arts Associate Professor Donna Szoke will be awarded the 2017 Faculty of Humanities Award for Excellence in Research and Creative Activity at the symposium. Szoke’s artistic work includes media art, interactive animation, installation and printmaking.

    Szoke’s multidisciplinary work has included creating a free smartphone app, “Invisible Histories,” which maps nuclear waste at the Niagara Falls, N.Y. Storage Site, where more than 270,000 mice used in radioactive experiments have been buried.

    More recent work by Szoke has included “Bold as Love,” a site-specific response piece at Rodman Hall Art Centre, and “Knitting Cigarettes,” an ongoing performance art piece of public knitting.

    The 2017 HRI Spring Colloquium will be held at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts on Tuesday, April 17. The full schedule is available online.

    What: HRI Spring Symposium, “The Elephant in the Room: Making Space for Animals in Our Research and Teaching”

    Where: Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts

    When: Tuesday, April 17, 1 to 4:30 p.m.

    Limited parking available on site. Members of the Brock University community and guests are welcome to park on a first-come first-served basis. City parking lots are available nearby.
    See www.stcatharines.ca/en/livein/ParkingLotsGarages.asp

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    Categories: Events, Faculty & Instructors, In the Media, News

  • Three exhibits this week for Visual Arts

    This is a busy week for exhibitions under Brock’s Department of Visual Arts (VISA).

    From April 2 to 6, students in the VISA department are presenting three exhibitions: CORESITE-SEER, and (un)hidden.

    Now open in the Rodman Hall Art Centre is the exhibit CORE. VISA students will have their smaller works in Rodman Hall’s Flex Space, which will be imagined as a larger site and a centre from where the work branches out to the other destinations in the show. CORE is open to view at Rodman Hall from now until April 13. Gallery hours can be found on their website and admission is by donation, but free for members and students.

    When visiting Rodman Hall be sure to see the Brock University Department of Visual Arts Honours Exhibition: just resting my eyes, on display until April 8.

    The second exhibit, SITE-SEER, is an extension of the first. SITE-SEER is a one-night exhibition being held Wednesday, April 4 from 4 to 9 p.m., where the downtown area of St. Catharines will serve as gallery space. Students from Donna Akrey’s Advanced Art Practices course are taking their creations from the CORE exhibit and dispersing them throughout downtown St. Catharines in hopes that their pieces will lure locals into seeing sites in a new way.

    Participating artists for both CORE and SITE-SEER include: Hani Ahmed, Jess Angelevski, Teresa Badgley, Jessica Bradley, Tom Denton, Isabella Domaradzki, Kylie Haveron, Emma Hutchison-Hounsell, Laura Levesque, Avery Mikolic-O’Rourke, Amanda Misale, Anna Podvalni, Victoria Reid, Kourtney Spadoni and Desiree Veino.

    Maps with more information about the artworks, their locations and times will be available at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts on Wednesday night when SITE-SEER is held.

    Change, a contemporary exploration of Hidden Mother photography. One of many polaroid emulsion lifts featured in the upcoming show (un)hidden by Amber Lee Williams.

    Change, a contemporary exploration of Hidden Mother photography. One of many polaroid emulsion lifts featured in the upcoming show (un)hidden by Amber Lee Williams.

    A third show, (un)hidden by Brock Visual Arts student Amber Lee Williams, opens in the Visual Arts Exhibition Space of the MIWSFPA on Thursday, April 5 with a reception from 5 to 9 p.m. Williams is both a student and a mother of two, who gave birth to her second child while preparing for this exhibit. She is now in the process of installing her show while carrying her two-month-old baby in a sling.

    In the (un)hidden exhibit, Williams presents photographs, sculptures and installations investigating motherhood, relationships within the family and loss. (un)hidden will be open at the MIWSFPA until Saturday, April 28. Regular gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 1 to 5 p.m.

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

  • Music@Noon season to end on high note

    Sherry Yu is one of six pianists who will perform in the last Music@Noon concert of the 2017-18 season on Tuesday, April 3.

    The curtain will close next week on this season’s RBC Foundation Music@Noon Recital Series.

    The final performance of the 2017-18 season takes place Tuesday, April 3, with first- and second-year Bachelor of Music piano students taking the stage at Cairns Recital Hall.

    Short videos of this season’s Music@Noon performances are available on the Department of Music Instagram page.

    The free recital series will return to the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre in late September.

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    Categories: Announcements, Current Students, Department/Centre News, Events, In the Media, News

  • Dramatic Arts students explore the theme of Expectation and Reality

    The popular One Act Festival is coming back to the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts this weekend. Pictured is the performance of All by Myself from the 2017 One Act Festival directed by Naomi Richardson, designed by Chelsea Wilson and featuring Rebecca Downing, Jessica Johnson, Alex Boychuk, Lauren Reed and David Poirier.

    The popular One Act Festival is returning to the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts this weekend.

    Students from the Dramatic Arts Directing II course (DART 3P54) have been hard at work developing their plays under the supervision and guidance of instructor Neil Silcox and teaching assistant Kevin Hobbs. The experiential course offers students practical and real-world experience as directors, dramaturges, performers, designers and theatre technicians, often for the first time.

    Silcox says “Brock does a great job of balancing out the theoretical and experiential aspects of dramatic arts” compared to the other programs he’s worked for.

    “Developing a strong understanding of theories and then being able to get on your feet and actually do it is the only way to learn to do performing arts,” Silcox says.

    Directing II students are responsible for selecting a script, auditioning a cast, rehearsing, designing the show and co-ordinating with the dramatic arts production team on all technical needs.

    This year, the festival is presenting six shows under the theme “Expectation and Reality.”

    Silcox says he discovered the theme “after reading through each of the students’ chosen acts side by side.”

    “We didn’t offer this theme to the students and make them try to select something,” he says.

    This process allows the students to have full control and individuality with their acts, but also challenges them to tweak their shows in a way that highlights the theme more.

    “Although it may seem cliché, audience members should expect the unexpected,” says Silcox.

    The shows range from century old to extremely contemporary, absurdism to strongly political, all exploring this year’s theme from a unique angle.

    Shows being presented this year include Articulation by Alicia Richardson, Your Mother’s Butt by Alan Ball, Echo by Joseph T. Shipley, The Little Stone House by George Calderon, The Lesson by Eugene Ionesco, and The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre by Allan Knee.

    All shows take place in the Marilyn I. Walker Theatre of the MIWSFPA on Saturday, March 24 and Sunday, March 25 starting at 7 p.m. each night. Admission is pay-what-you-can and limited paid parking is available nearby. For more information on the 2018 One Act Festival, visit the Dramatic Arts website.

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    Categories: Current Students, Events, In the Media, News

  • Art exhibit receptions to mark International Women’s Day

    The opening reception of “Silent Areas: The Spaces in Between,” Cat Stambolic and Sarah Martin, takes place Thursday, March 8 at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts.

    Brock’s arts community will mark International Women’s Day on Thursday, March 8 with two art exhibition receptions.

    On display at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts Visual Arts Gallery and student exhibition space, “Silent Areas: The Spaces in Between” features the work of third-year Visual Arts student Sarah Martin and recent Brock Visual Arts graduate Cat Stambolic (BA ’17).

    The exhibition, which initially opened Feb. 15 and runs until Saturday, March 24, explores the disconnect between mind and body, deemed ‘silent areas.’

    Exploring the theme separately through their previous work, the pair came together to create the exhibit, which investigates “connections between mind and body; specifically, what happens if and when that connection is interrupted,” explained Stambolic.

    Both women are strong advocates of mental health.

    “Our work hangs in conversation with each other’s,” Stambolic said, and is “truly representative of the open dialogue we need to create regarding mental illness.”

    Her work featured in the show is directly related to her own sensory experiences, which resulted in feeling a disconnect from her physical body.

    “The process of making these pieces was a way to resolve these sensations and emotions, re-envisioning them as tangible sculptures,” she said.

    Martin uses her photographs to create visual representation of “restlessness and unconsciousness, how feelings of anxiety can create out-of-body experiences and feelings of existentialism.”

    Her work in this exhibit depicts women exclusively in order to “refocus the narrative of women creating work featuring women, instead of from a male perspective,” she said. “Using the female figure in a powerful way reclaims ownership of the female body and creates a new narrative of empowerment and self-reflection.”

    Both artists will be at the exhibition’s reception to discuss their work on Thursday, March 8 from 5 to 8 p.m.

    Also that evening, from 6 to 8 p.m., is the opening reception of “Expressions of Today/Expressions d’aujourd’hui” at the Niagara Arts Centre, 354 St. Paul St.

    Featuring work from Brock’s Studies in Arts and Culture, and French Studies students, the exhibit explores contemporary expressions in art and literature, with pieces creating unusual stories mixing narrative and art-making.

    “Expressions of Today/Expressions d’aujourd’hui” will be on display at the NAC until Friday, March 16.

    For information on upcoming events, visit the MIWSFPA website.

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    Categories: Alumni, Current Students, Events, In the Media, News

  • Dramatic Arts offers three-day lineup of events

    Ruth Howard of Jumblies Theatre, Kerr Mesner of Arcadia University, and Lina de Guevara of Puente Theatre, will be part of three days of programming presented by Brock’s Department of Dramatic Arts from March 15 to 17.

    It will be a busy week for Brock’s Department of Dramatic Arts, with a theatrical performance, panel discussion and series of public workshops all lined up in a matter of three days.

    The programming, sponsored by the Walker Cultural Leader Series, takes place Thursday, March 15 to Saturday, March 17 at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts (MIWSFPA) in downtown St. Catharines.

    Kerr Mesner, of Pennsylvania’s Arcadia University, will kick-off the three-day lineup Thursday with the debut of In Transit: Artistic Interventions in Precarious Times. The one-person performance piece combines multimedia, live theatrical performance and audience engagement to create an evocative and thought-provoking dramatic experience. His autoethnographic theatrical piece explores the intersections of queer identities, Christianity’s contributions to anti-queer violence and the challenges of embodying transgender identities within current political contexts.

    Mesner weaves a story arc between live theatrical performances from his 2017 piece, In Transit, and multimedia excerpts from the film version of his 2014 play, Intervention, that was part of his doctoral dissertation.

    He performs in the Marilyn I. Walker (MIW) Theatre Thursday, March 15 from 7 to 9 p.m.

    On Friday, March 16, a panel discussion, “Tensions of Engagement in the Canadian Immigrant Theatre Context,” will take place in the MIW Theatre at 7 p.m.

    Ruth Howard of Jumblies Theatre, Lina de Guevara of Puente Theatre and Professor Yasmine Kandil of Brock University will discuss how applied theatre with immigrants and refugees in Canada has evolved over the past few decades. Moderated by Brock Professor Natalie Alvarez, the panel will examine whether the medium has had a positive and tangible impact on this community, and on settler Canadians.

    Kandil began her immigrant journey in Victoria, B.C., where she worked on multiple projects exploring celebration as a means for immigrant youth to claim a space in their new home. She is currently engaged in the second phase of devising a theatre piece that examines narratives of immigration and settlement for Brock students and local immigrants and refugees in relation to expectations, obstacles and assimilation.

    Beginning Saturday, March 17, Brock’s visiting scholars and theatre makers, including two panelists from the previous evening’s event, will present workshops about their work in the Dramatic Arts field.

    Howard, founder of Toronto-based Jumblies Theatre, explores her recent Four Lands touring project in a workshop held in Studio B of the MIWSFPA from 10 a.m. to noon. Her work on issues of diversity has won many awards. Jumblies Theatre is known for its work with minority groups, engaging non-artists and a larger spectrum of participants through community-based theatre.

    Following from 1 to 3 p.m. in Studio C will be de Guevara’s workshop, which examines the different tools used to research immigrant and refugee narratives. She was the first immigrant artist to establish a theatre company in Victoria that focused solely on promoting the narratives of immigration and settlement, with the purpose of bridging the gap between the minority group and predominantly white culture of Victoria. Her work has spread to other provinces in Canada since she began her Canadian journey almost 40 years ago.

    Admission to all three days of programming is free thanks to sponsorship from the Walker Cultural Leader Series, founded by Marilyn I. Walker. However, participants are asked to register for the March workshops in advance through Eventbrite.

    The Walker Cultural Leader Series brings leading artists, performers, practitioners and academics to the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts at Brock University.

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    Categories: Announcements, Department/Centre News, Events, In the Media, News, Walker Cultural Leader Series

  • MIWSFPA offers ticket promotion in honour of International Women’s Day

    Brock Dramatic Arts students Manchari Paranthahan and Meryl Ochoa in the production of Top Girls playing at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts March 2 to 10.

    (Source: The Brock News | Wednesday, March 13, 2018)

    The Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts is offering a special Top Girls promotion in honour of International Women’s Day.

    Tickets for the Brock production’s March 9 and 10 performances will be two for the price of one when buyers mention International Women’s Day.

    The promotion will be available in person at the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre box office or by phone at 905-688-0722. Box office hours are Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

    Top Girls, Brock’s second mainstage production of the year, is a contemporary play that takes a critical look at women and their relationship to power and success.

    More information on the show is available on the Brock News.

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    Categories: Announcements, Events, In the Media, News

  • Two new exhibits open at Rodman Hall, including the work of curator and alumna Emma German

    Always Vessels, an exhibit by nine contemporary Indigenous artists, runs Jan. 27 to March 11 at Rodman Hall. Pictured is Nadya Kwandibens’ work — Emergence Series: Sugar Bush Sessions.

    (Source: The Brock News | Friday Jan. 26, 2018 by Alison Innes)

    The works of nine Indigenous artists will be featured in one of two new exhibits opening at Rodman Hall Art Centre on Saturday, Jan. 27.

    Curated by Alexandra Kahsenni:io Nehwegahbow, Always Vessels features nine contemporary Anishinaabek and Haudenosaunee artists who express their art through a range of media, from beads to photography.

    Using a blend of traditional and modern approaches, the artists explore the processes of learning, making and analyzing how knowledge is transferred and made. The work, informed by contemporary translation of traditional knowledge, offers insight into the range of skills, techniques and knowledge unique to Anishinaabek and Haudenosaunee cultures.

    The exhibit explores how belongings and possessions are meaningful objects that have the ability to carry, hold and transmit memory across time and space.

    Nahwegahbow will speak about the exhibit Saturday at 2:30 p.m. as part of Rodman’s Hot Talk series.

    Also opening on Saturday is Up close and in motion, an exhibit from Rodman’s permanent collection of nearly 1,000 works dating back three centuries. Curated by Brock alumna Emma German (BA ’14), the year-long, regularly changing exhibit will highlight the collection’s purpose as a tool for research, study and interpretation.

    The first installation of this exhibit focuses on recent acquisitions of contemporary Canadian art, many of which will be displayed for the first time.

    What: New exhibits opening: Always Vessels and Up close and in motion.

    Where: Rodman Hall Art Centre

    When: Saturday, Jan. 27, 2 p.m.

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    Categories: Alumni, Events, In the Media, News