Uncategorised

  • Brock project aims to improve long-term care for veterans and brain injury patients

    Brock University alumni now with Mirror Theatre perform a scene in Understanding person-centred care: Finding dignity within the shadows, a video series as part of a research project between Brock and Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre.

    (From: The Brock News, THURSDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2019 | by Dan Dakin)

    Two Brock University faculty members from seemingly unrelated disciplines have collaborated on a project aimed at improving the relations of those involved in long-term care.

    Associate Professor of Recreation and Leisure Studies Colleen Whyte, and Professor of Dramatic Arts Joe Norris, were at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto Wednesday, Oct. 2 for the premiere of Understanding person-centred care: Finding dignity within the shadows.

    Two years ago, Sunnybrook Professional Practice and Education Leader Leanne Hughes came to Whyte with a research idea about how to help staff and family deal with the challenges associated with two specific groups in long-term care: veterans living with dementia and patients recovering from traumatic brain injuries.

    “I’ve known Leanne for 15 years and we’ve done research together in the past,” Whyte said. “She came to me and said: This is an issue we have. How do you think we could look at researching it?’”

    “What we’re looking at are person-centred approaches,” said Hughes, referring to a growing emphasis in health care that invites patients and family members to be involved in decision-making and strategizing ways to care for individual patients from a wide-range of services. It’s a more collaborative care model than a traditional top-down medical approach to care.

    In the fall of 2018, Whyte led research that included focus groups of those working in long-term care at the Toronto hospital such as doctors and hospital staff, as well as families of those in care.

    Brock University professors Joe Norris and Colleen Whyte hand a USB drive to Leanne Hughes from Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. Brock and Sunnybook partnered on a research project that included a 20-part video around patient-centred care. Pictured from left are Brock alumni Nadia Ganesh, Candice De Freitas Braz and Mike Metz, Hughes, Norris, Brock master’s student Kevin Hobbs, Whyte and Brock alumni Bernadette Kahnert.

    “We interviewed people who are doing this every day,” Whyte said. “This research is about taking the principles of person-centred care and trying to see how they are translated on a daily basis, when all partners experience unexpected challenges.”

    With the focus group data in hand, Whyte then turned to Norris, Chair of Brock’s Department of Dramatic Arts, who worked with the student-run Mirror Theatre to translate the conversations into dramatic action, known as ethnodrama and applied theatre.

    “We took the focus group transcripts, read them, analyzed them and created dramatic scenes,” said Norris. “The purpose is to evoke conversations.”

    The result is a 20-part video series, each dealing with a different component of the long-term care experience. They range from something as simple the challenge of what to pack when a family member is moved into a new living situation to what to do when a patient whose mind no longer has much of a filter says something that crosses a line.

    “It’s all about answering the question of ‘How do we treat each other with respect in stressful situations?’” Norris said.

    He said the Dramatic Arts students who were acting the parts in the videos — including the patients who are represented as shadowed silhouettes rather than specific people — learned about more than just acting.

    “Many cast members say they don’t only get extra-curricular experience with theatre, they get the experience of dealing with a range of topics. It’s like an extra class for them,” he said.

    With the video series now complete, the next stage of the project is to create workshops for staff and families.

    “It gives staff some insight and helps them think, ‘If I’m in this situation, let me strategize and be thoughtful about what options I have,’” she said. “It will equip new staff with possibilities and allow existing staff to be reflective about their approaches.”

    Brock University alumni Nadia Ganesh, Bernadette Kahnert, Lindsay Detta and Candice De Freitas Braz interpret a scene from Finding dignity within the shadows at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto Wednesday, Oct. 2.

    Hughes said when the final videos were shown to those working with veterans suffering from dementia and patients dealing with brain injuries, the staff were impressed with how accurate they were in reflecting the situations they deal with.

    “It has been an absolute pleasure to see students take this data and enact it,” Hughes said. “We were in awe of their ability. They did a fantastic job.”

    The project, which was funded by a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Insight Development Grant and a Practice-Based Research and Innovation Seed Grant from Sunnybrook, will continue with the development of facilitator tools and training sessions. Those will be developed and led by Norris and Kevin Hobbs, a master’s student in Social Justice and Equity Studies, who directed the Finding dignity within the shadows series and incorporated the research into his master’s thesis.

    “They’re training videos, but not in the sense of, ‘Here’s how you give a needle,” said Norris. “It’s more of a dialogic conversation where our audiences are invited to comment on the scenes and add their own insights and stories.”

    Watch the full Understanding Person-Centred Care video below and individual scene videos can be found at this link

    Tags: , , , , , ,
    Categories: Alumni, Department/Centre News, Faculty & Instructors, In the Media, News, Uncategorised

  • The Italian Immigrant Experience Revealed, A Photography exhibition.

    The Italian Immigrant Experience Revealed, A Photography exhibition by Vincenzo Pietropaolo in conjunction with the Italian Canadian Archives Project.

    The exhibit of Vincenzo Pietropaolo has been developed for the Italian Canadian Archives Project, a national conference that will be hosted by Brock University for the first time and sponsored by Modern Languages Literatures, and Cultures (MLLC) running from Oct. 25 to 27, 2019.  For more information visit icap.ca/active-conference

    exhibition:   Oct. 4 to Oct. 27, 2019

    VISA Art Gallery and Student Exhibition Space,
    Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts,
    Brock University

    The gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday, 1 to 5 pm
    and for special events.

    Artist Talk – Oct. 26, 11:30 a.m. MWS 156
    Reception to follow.

    see the ExpBU calendar listing

    (From: The Brock Press, TUESDAY, OCTOBER 8, 2019 | by Emma Kirwin)

    The Italian Immigrant Experience, A Photography Exhibition by Vincenzo Pietropaolo in conjunction with the Italian Canadian Archives Project is an exhibition that was displayed at Brock’s own Marilyn I. Walker building. The exhibition celebrates Italian immigrants in Canada.

    This exhibition features 50 photographs from the books Ritual and Not Paved with Gold, by Vincenzo Pietropaolo. Many of the photographs pictured workers on construction sites and in factories. They are accompanied by 15 photographs of Italian immigrants working on the Welland Ship Canal. These photographs pay homage to the immigrant experience and showcases their hard work, religion and happiness.

    In Not Paved in Gold,  Pietropaolo writes “My father … would inevitably point out certain buildings or sites where he had worked as part of a construction crew. And, again, he would tell me yet another anecdote about the vast quantities of bricks he carried around that site; or the overtime they were required to do, pouring cement in the wintry dark days of November; and sometimes he remembered a job site where an accident occurred because of lax or non-existent safety regulations … I began to realize that my father was not merely a worker, but a builder of my new adopted country.”

    The dimly lit photographs of factory workers, both male and female, captured day to day life for Italian immigrants. The photos are from a sock factory and the workers were surrounded by towering stacks of plain white socks, reflecting the repetitive work immigrants were usually required to do.

    Along with factory workers, there were many photographs of construction workers. Men both young and old huddled around for photos, posing with their tools on their job site. Photos of railway work, steelwork and construction show the hard, labour intensive work immigrants were willing to do for their new country. Viewing these photographs reminded attendees of the importance and value of immigrant labour. Their hard work, and exploitation, has resulted in fruitful industrial sites like the Welland Ship Canal.

    Pietropaolo balanced these photographs of immigrants toiling with joyful photos showing the rich tradition of Italian immigrants. Young girls showing off their brace-filled smiles, laughing at each other and another picture of a senior couple smiling while dancing. The contrast of ages in this collection was striking and accentuated the multi-generational dynamics of immigration.

    Religion was also a featured theme in this exhibit. Many of the photographs were filled with swarms of people surrounding religious relics and crucifixes. Other photographs showcased people knelt in prayer. These pictures highlight the heavy religious importance in Italian culture, a value that they carried with them to their new home country.

    One photograph that encapsulates the exhibition is of a hand scribing a letter. The first lines read “Canada is a democracy, the govt (government) represents the people.” This captures the immigrant experience in Canada, reminding the audience of the political liberties Canadians enjoy that many others did not have in the past and are still robbed of today. Those seeking asylum often come to Canada in order to enjoy those democratic rights, as seen in the letter photographed.

    In Ritual, Pietropaolo writes, “… it is a chapter of working-class culture and immigrant history that has long been overlooked, sometimes dismissively, for its surface colour and ethnic flavour. But herein lies the power of photography: to help you bear witness, and in so doing, becoming empowered to write a history of one’s own.”

    This exhibition was a beautiful ode to Italian immigrants. Their labours that helped create Canada and the hardships that they endured to make a new life for themselves.

    “The Italian Immigrant Experience: A Photography exhibition by Vincenzo Pietropaolo in conjunction with the Italian Canadian Archives Project” will be viewable until Sunday, October 27,  2019 at 5:00 p.m. at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine & Performing Arts, VISA Gallery and Student Exhibition Space. An artist talk will take place on October 26 at 11:30 a.m. at this location.

    Tags: , , ,
    Categories: Department/Centre News, Events, News, Uncategorised

  • New for 2019 at the Department of Music! The Hugh and Marie Logan Jazz Series

    seen above: the first rehearsal of The University Jazz Ensemble: The Brock Big Band.Zoltan Kalman, Director.

    Through the immense generosity of Mrs. Norma Bassett, this new series offers jazz lovers three unforgettable evenings over the concert season: two end-of-term concerts by the newly minted University Jazz Ensemble, and a guest-artist concert in February. All concerts honour the memory of Niagara-based jazz enthusiast and amateur musician, Hugh Logan, and his late wife, Marie.

    Don’t miss the first concert on November 22, 2019!

    For more information see the event page brocku.ca/miwsfpa/music/hugh-and-marie-logan-jazz-series

    Tags: , ,
    Categories: Announcements, Department/Centre News, Events, Uncategorised

  • Meaningful Movements Reshape: Come to the Edge at Brock University and the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre

    (From: The Sound, THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 5, 2019 | by Kerry Duncan)

    Being invited into a space not built by you, or for you, offers the inherent need for trust and vulnerability. When audiences entered into the Come to the Edge Cafe on August 24/25 at the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre, audience members were transported to a land of imagination built by, and for, wheelchair users with Cerebral Palsy (CP). This evolving storyscape replaced the traditional confines of theatre with an unlimited creation of shape and space, prioritizing the communication options for performers and participants with CP. The team working on this production aimed to foster an empathetic and reflective space for participants to sit in a potential level of unknown, discomfort, and to ultimately trust that they could not necessarily know the answers to questions like ‘Where are we? What’s it like to not know exactly what’s happening around you? What’s it like when you have to re-evaluate the things that don’t exactly apply?’.

    Come to the Edge is a collaborative development of immersive theatre, creating a new understanding of performance through dance, play, and improvisation. The central performance elements built by and for the Imagining Possibilities Leadership Team, made up of automatic and manual wheelchair users with CP. The group has been working with St. Catharines based creative collaborators from the March of Dimes Canada and the Brain Injury Community PET (Personal Effectiveness Training) Re-Entry Program to welcome audiences to trust in the idea that ‘not knowing’ is an opportunity for learning and empathy. The performances are supported by facilitators Jenny Jimenez and Stephen Sillett from Toronto-based organization, Aiding Dramatic Change in Development (ADCID), as well as a much broader team of musicians, artists, and support workers.

    With a long-standing history in St. Catharines, the ADCID has been working with the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine & Performing Arts (MIWSFPA) since 2016 with the first iteration of Imagining Possibilities, the precursor to Come to the Edge. As a facility that was built under the universal standards of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) for inclusive physically spaces, this began a longstanding partnership for reshaping how St. Catharines builds and understands performance theatre. Professor David Vivian, Director of the MIWSFPA and an ongoing collaborator with ADCID explained that “Inviting the lead artistic team to join us and local artists in our first spring season at the MIWSFPA theatre was one of the highlights of our inaugural year in 2015-16. Come to the Edge is a long term project that has continued to develop over the years and bring together artists in a number of Ontario communities”.

    The development of the show over the past several years has taken this community and discussions about it global with performances and workshops in Toronto, Belgium, Prague, Hamilton and St. Catharines. Connecting with the Imaging Possibilities Movement through the Engaging Possibilities project at Brock University in 2015, Kris Daunoravicius has been involved with the growth and evolution of this project ever since. A local to St. Catharines and core member of the Leadership Team, Daunoravicus travelled with the ADCID team to Belgium in 2017 for a week of Envisioned Scenography workshops for the disability-focused Huize Eyckerheyde Residence. In speaking with Daunoravicus and Elaine Drover, another member of the Leadership Team, both utilized a range of augmented technology, body movement, facial expressions, and sound to showcase the range of experiences and stories that were being brought into the creative process during the years of work it took to create the latest version of this production.

    In speaking with Come to the Edge performer and ADCID collaborator, Frank Hull and long-time Leadership Team member Laura Leskur, they shared how the creation of this show was rooted in growing one another’s understandings of the other performers, and building a movement vocabulary unique to each performer and each moment of interaction. With a long-term career as a professional wheelchair dancer, Hull spoke to the multiple layers of relationality and equity between those involved in the show, “there has to be those moments where we are becoming equal together, regardless of how my ability may be different from Laura’s. But if we are moving together, we need to find a way to move together and not overpower one another”.

    As a verbal CP performer, he explained that “my world is very instant when I communicate. What I’m learning with this group is I’m facing my own ableism. It got me thinking about how from my role I have not been patient enough, not just with this group”. He elaborated on his reflections of needing to be more cognizant of not finishing other people’s sentences, but instead, learned to give people time to communicate within their abilities in order to share and explain their perspectives on the situation. Utilizing her Bliss Board system, Leskur also elaborated on these points, highlighting the necessity for patience as to “not miss the magical moments” and the necessity of utilizing body movements and the range of abilities in each performers arms and legs to construct meaningful exchanges.

    In discussing the necessity of moving towards an inclusive way of facilitating theatre for the performers, Sillett explained that “we created the processes with the community of those who are non-verbal in mind. There’s a lot of routes we could take which would be much easier to get an impact in the short-term, but it wasn’t our aim to go there. Our aim was to try and work honouring the deep engagement. The idea of re-establishing the relationship between the audience, and what their journey is going to be, the community making it”. Hull asserted that his role in adding the movement and dance elements to the show has been “a dream come true to work with manual and power wheelchairs to create movement together,” emphasizing the liberation of spaces focused on the lived experiences of the team rather than a more traditional methodology of prioritizing the audience.

    In reflecting on his work with the Imagining Possibilities Movement, Vivian explained how “my specific interests in working with the company lie in aspects of accessibility, universal design and the development process of improvisational, immersive performance spaces under very specific conditions. It has been a very humbling learning experience that we will adapt for my university course development and professional practice”. Breaking from the expected traditions of theatre development, the broad range of creative in communities in St. Catharines can take the fundamental ideas of change to expand who is in the audience, who is on stage, and how can we expand the experiences and interactions between these world.

    [Laura Leskur’s communication board is a bespoke system created at Bloorview and expanded upon over the years by adding words with numbers. Elaine Drover and and Christine Jimenez use the Blissymbols of the  constructed language conceived as an ideographic writing system called Semantography, consisting of several hundred basic symbols, each representing a concept, which can be composed together to generate new symbols that represent new concepts. Blissymbols was published by Charles K. Bliss in 1949 and found use in the education of people with communication difficulties. (source: wikipedia) Elaine and Christine are both on the Board for Bliss Canada. See blissymbolics.ca for more information.

    The creators and producers of Come to the Edge wish to thank the Department of Dramatic Arts of the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts, Brock University, for the generosity of their support by providing rehearsal space and technical support in the studios and the MIW Theatre through July and August 2019.

    The article was edited for accuracy and reprinted with permission.]

    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,
    Categories: Department/Centre News, Faculty & Instructors, In the Media, News, Uncategorised

  • Colourful new mural reflects Brock’s international connections

    Fourth-year Visual Arts student Chardon Trimble-Kirk completed the new International Centre Global Commons mural over 240 hours this summer.


    (From: The Brock News, TUESDAY, AUGUST 27, 2019 | by Mike Morrison)

    Before graduating from Brock University next year, Chardon Trimble-Kirk hoped to leave a vibrant mark on campus.

    And after committing more than 240 hours of work to a project at Brock’s International Centre this summer, the fourth-year Visual Arts student has done just that.

    Trimble-Kirk was drawn to a request for proposals posted in April that sought someone to create a mural in a commonly used community space within the centre. She had an idea, which she named “Connections,” and submitted a scaled-down version for review.

    Fourth-year Visual Arts student Chardon Trimble-Kirk worked from June to August to complete the new mural in Brock’s International Centre.

    Her vision featured chrysanthemums flowers, which are “symbolic of friendship and well-wishing,” she said. “Connecting them to a variety of countries intends to showcase the friendship that can be found in individuals regardless of their country of origin.”

    Leigh-Ellen Keating, Director of Brock International, said the design chosen for the project had to meet certain criteria, including being reflective of the entire Brock community, including faculty, staff and students from more than 100 countries around the world. It also needed to highlight the importance of internationalization and globalization, a key part of the University’s new Strategic Plan.

    After careful deliberation by a committee of Brock University representatives, Trimble-Kirk’s design was selected for the project and she began the painting in June.

    The newest symbol of Brock’s growing international community now stands more than 15 feet wide and nine feet tall in the Global Commons, a student lounge inside the International Centre that’s home to events and activities open to the entire Brock community.

    It is by far the largest project that Trimble-Kirk has ever worked on. Her previous record was four six-by-three-foot paintings for a third-year class.The experience led to a number of firsts for the artist.“

    I used scaffolding for the first time to complete the higher sections,” Trimble-Kirk said. “I had also never painted directly on brick walls and found myself learning to work with the texture rather than fight it.”

    The mural will be officially unveiled during Brock International’s Open House on Wednesday, Sept. 4 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the International Centre.

    Trimble-Kirk, who will continue doing freelance paintings after she graduates, plans to apply to a Master of Fine Arts program in the coming years.

    Tags: , , , , , ,
    Categories: Current Students, In the Media, News, Uncategorised

  • Tier 2 Canada Research Chair (CRC) in Indigenous Art Practice

    Brock University’s Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts (MIWSFPA) invites applications for a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair (CRC) in Indigenous Art Practice at the rank of Assistant or Associate Professor.

    The CRC in Indigenous Art Practice will be appointed to one or more of the School’s academic units, depending on the successful applicant’s area(s) of knowledge and expertise. We recognize that in Indigenous art there may be no formal divisions between visual, theatrical, and musical art forms. Brock embraces diverse perspectives and pedagogical practices; it is hoped that the CRC in Indigenous Art Practice will help foster new collaborations across academic units and assist the School and university to move towards Indigenization. The CRC will be welcomed into a tight-knit, friendly, and dynamic community of artists, scholars, staff, and students that respects, promotes, and actively engages with Indigenous arts and culture within the University and Indigenous communities.

    Review of applications will begin on October 31, 2019, and will continue until the position is filled.

    For more information see the complete posting at brocku.wd3.myworkdayjobs.com/brocku_careers/job/St-Catharines-Downtown-Campus/Canada-Research-Chair—Tier-2—Indigenous-Art-Practice—Assistant-Associate-Professor-Tenure-Track_JR-1002413

    Tags: , , , , ,
    Categories: Announcements, Faculty & Instructors, News, Uncategorised

  • We are hiring!

    Two positions available:

    Marketing and Communications Officer

    full-time, this position includes full comprehensive benefits coverage, including tuition waiver.
    closing on August 24. see https://brocku.ca/careers/
    direct link: https://brocku.wd3.myworkdayjobs.com/brocku_careers/job/St-Catharines-Downtown-Campus/Marketing—Communications-Officer_JR-1004102

    Communications Assistant (Coop student position)

    full-time, 9 months, beginning September 2019
    tailored for Brock students in Marketing and Communications but other disciplines should apply
    closing on August 17 or until filled. see https://careerzone.brocku.ca

    Tags: , , , ,
    Categories: Announcements, News, Uncategorised

  • Fundraising campaign launched for Brock Humanities grad impacted by shocking tragedy

    Carla Chambers Jeffreys (BA ’16, MA ’19)

    A recent Brock University master’s graduate was moving her family from Vancouver to St. Catharines this week when tragedy struck.

    Carla Chambers Jeffreys (BA ’16, MA ’19), was travelling in an SUV near Oyen, Alberta with her husband and three children when it was involved in a collision with two transport trucks on Wednesday, Aug. 7.

    Tragically, the couple’s 11-year-old son was killed in the collision. The other two children suffered serious injuries and were taken to Alberta Children’s Hospital, where they remain. Carla Chambers remains in a Calgary hospital with serious injuries.

    A GoFundMe campaign has been launched by a family friend, and in the first 24 hours it raised nearly $30,000.

    After completing her bachelor’s degree at Brock in 2016 in Studies in Arts and Culture, Chambers graduated at Spring Convocation in June with a Master of Arts in Studies in Comparative Literatures and Arts.

    A trained opera singer, Chambers has been an example of student success in the Faculty of Humanities and, specifically, at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts.

    “With her opera-trained voice and her master’s-level scholarship, Carla was a soaring spirit of trans-disciplinary and creative inquiry and performance during her time at the MIWSFPA,” said Director David Vivian. “She launched remarkable new initiatives of community engagement for her colleague students and faculty.”

    David Fancy, who was Chambers’ thesis supervisor for her recently completed master’s said, “the community is reeling at the very difficult news of the loss of one of Carla’s children, and of her grave injuries and those of the rest of her family.

    “As an artist and scholar, Carla’s extensive qualities of insight, persistence, passion and generosity will certainly help sustain her during this exceptionally difficult time. All our thoughts are with Carla and her family now,” said Fancy.

    Catherine Parayre, Director of the Centre for Studies in Arts and Culture ​and of the graduate program in Studies in Comparative Literatures and Arts said Chambers is known for her “enthusiasm, her commitment and the brilliance she brought to both programs.”

    “Our thoughts are with her and her family. We grieve the cruel loss of her child and hope with all our hearts that she, her companion and her two other children will recover,” she said.

    Anyone interested in donating to the family can find the GoFundMe campaign at gofundme.com/f/k7uj84-support 

    (Source: The Brock News, Friday, August 9, 2019 | by Dan Dakin)

    See these articles:

    Friends rally around family whose child was killed after SUV struck by tractor-trailer

    COMMUNITY DONATES MORE THAN $57,000 AFTER FAMILY TRAGEDY

    Boy, 11, dies in crash as family was heading to Niagara to start a new life

    Boy, 11, dies in crash as family was heading to Niagara to start a new life

     

    Tags: , , , , ,
    Categories: Alumni, Department/Centre News, In the Media, News, Uncategorised

  • Enter to win FREE King Ubu Tickets

    Enter the Marilyn I Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts social media contest for your chance to win one pair of free King Ubu theatre tickets, valid for any event date from March 1-9 !

    Details:

    • Share a picture of your favourite fictional theatre character to your Instagram story by midnight on Thursday, Feb. 28
    • Must include the hashtag #KingUbuContest and tag @miwsfpa
    • You must follow the @miwsfpa or have a public account to be entered
    • We will select one winner at random from all valid entries to receive two complimentary King Ubu tickets. Winner can use their two free tickets for one performance of King Ubu between March 1-9, provided ticket has been validated in advance of the showtime.

    Eligible showtimes:

    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

    Winner will be chosen from all eligible entries and contacted on Friday, March 1 with details on how to redeem their two free tickets.

    No purchase necessary. Odds of winning depend on number of entries received.

    Contact miwsfpa@brocku.ca for more details.

    Categories: Announcements, Events, News, Uncategorised

  • King Ubu coming to Marilyn I. Walker Theatre

    Cast and crew members of the upcoming mainstage production King Ubu have been busy preparing for opening night on Friday, March 1. Tickets are on sale now for the production, presented by Brock University’s Department of Dramatic Arts.


    (From The Brock News, February 13, 2019 | By: Sarah Ackles)

    Alfred Jarry’s controversial classic King Ubu will bring audiences face-to-face with the absurdity of modern life when the production comes to Brock University’s Marilyn I. Walker Theatre starting Friday, March 1.

    Presented by Brock’s Department of Dramatic Arts (DART), the show is an avant-garde and hilarious commentary on human folly and the dangers of unchecked political ambition.

    Director and Associate Professor David Fancy said Ubu’s references to populism and the blurred lines between celebrity culture and politics are fitting themes for our current climate. Although first performed in 19th century France, King Ubu, he added, offers “an invitation to look critically at, but not disengage with, the current moment in time.”

    The play centres on Ma and Pa Ubu’s bloodthirsty quest to become the new king and queen of a fictionalized version of Poland.

    Between their continuous bickering, Pa, an egotistical and inept tyrant who wields an enormous toilet brush while speaking nonsense, and Ma, his enabling and devious wife, scheme to take over the world through a series of antics that play out like a reality show gone wrong.

    To emphasize the theatrical nature of Ma and Pa Ubu’s political exploits, the show features puppets, karaoke numbers and a giant puppet head that eats half the cast.

    Although the production stays true to the absurdist spirit of Jarry’s original work, Fancy said there is also a layer of introspection that exists beneath all the silliness.

    “On one side we’re being playful, irreverent and sarcastic like Jarry, but on the other side there are also lots of heartfelt moments,” he said. “We can use laughter on some level to celebrate, criticize and escape, but we will also be forced to confront the fact that these are real people having difficult experiences. We question what caused them to become such trainwrecks — and whether we need to have compassion for these people who are perhaps not so different from us.”

    The show’s gender-bending lead role selection also provides a unique twist.

    Ubu admonishes supremacy logic in all of its forms and casting a woman as Ubu helps heighten the critique of patriarchy. At the same time, this casting points out that anyone, given the right context, can engage in human folly,” Fancy said of the distribution of roles across genders. “Everybody can behave like a dangerous fool.”

    All these aspects of the production, combined with intense and moving performances, make for an entertaining experience, he added.

    “I think a big part of it is tapping into the creative possibility of what theatre can be as an art form,” Fancy said. “The experience gives our cast and crew the creative confidence to respond to the world around them, like Jarry did, using their own, creative voices.”

    King Ubu is translated by David Edney and directed by David Fancy, with costume design by Jo Pacinda and scenography and scenography by James McCoy.

    The production showcases the talents of students in the DART undergraduate program, including Ash McEachern, Avery Delaney, Chris Murillo, Emma McCormick, Jackson Wagner, Jasmine Case, Juan-Carlos Figueroa, Lauren Reid, Leah Eichler, Rachel Frederick, Samuel Donovan, Taylor Bogaert and Tsipporah Shendroff.

    Brock students, staff and faculty members of the creative and production team include Kristina Ojaperv (Assistant Director), Jordine De Guzman (Stage Manager), Alicia Bender (Assistant Stage Manager), Meryl Ochoa (Assistant Lighting Designer), Trevor Copp (Choreographer), Holly Kurelek (Wardrobe Supervisor), Diego Blanco and Molly Lacey (Dressers), Brian Cumberland (Production Manager), Gavin Fearon (Technical Director), Ed Harris (Shop Supervisor), Dawn Crysler (Theatre Technician), Danielle Wilson (Shakespeare Coach) and Roberta Doylend (Head of Wardrobe).

    King Ubu runs from Friday, March 1 to Saturday, March 9 at the Marilyn I. Walker Theatre at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts in downtown St. Catharines. Showtimes are March 1, 2 and 9 at 7:30 p.m., March 3 at 2 p.m. and March 8 at 11:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m.

    Tickets for the show are $18 for adults and $15 for students and seniors. A group rate is also available. Tickets are available through the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre box office at 905-688-0722 or on the PAC website.

    Tags: , , , , ,
    Categories: Current Students, News, Uncategorised