Articles by author: dvivian

  • 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

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    Categories: Announcements, Current Students, Events, Faculty & Instructors, Future students, Visiting Artists

  • 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, 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.

    For more information about Marilyn I. Walker see: brocku.ca/miwsfpa/marilyn-i-walker

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

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    Categories: Announcements, Current Students, Future students, News

  • Breaking the Silence at In the Soil

    (Source: The Brock News | Wednesday, May 03, 2018 by Matthew Melnyk)

    Students from Stamford Collegiate took to the stage at the Marilyn I. Walker Theatre to present their original play, Breaking the Silence, as part of In the Soil Arts Festival on Friday, April 27. The public performance was sponsored by Brock University. The play — based on the stories of British Home Children who were torn from their families and sent to Canada for a ‘better life’ — earned Stamford the top prize at this year’s National Theatre School Drama Festival. Friday’s performance featured a quilt made up of historic photos of British Home Children.

    Stamford Collegiate at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts. Seen l to r: Colin Anthes, BA (Honours) Dramatic Arts and Psychology, Minor in Philosophy, 2014; MA Philosophy (Contemporary Continental Philosophy), 2016; Certificate in Public Law (in process) is an alumnus of Stamford Collegiate, an instructor at the Department of Dramatic Arts, Artistic Director of Essential Collective Theatre and founder of Twitches & Itches Theatre; Angela Menotti, program leader of Drama at Stamford Collegiate; and Ethan Yando, who has a placement at Stamford Collegiate as he completes his BA (Honours) Dramatic Arts, Minor in English Language and Literature, BEd Teacher Education – Intermediate Senior in 2018.

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    Categories: Events, Future students, News, Plays

  • 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

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    Categories: Current Students, Events, Faculty & Instructors, News, Performance Season, Plays

  • ONE ACT FESTIVAL 2018: Expectation vs. Reality

    Theatre students take charge in Brock University’s ONE ACT FESTIVAL 2018!

    Every year, Brock University’s Department of Dramatic Arts presents an exciting festival of one-act plays, directed, designed and starring the bright and talented students of the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts. This year’s ONE ACT FESTIVAL 2018 will be held at the Marilyn I. Walker Theatre on March 24 and 25, 2018, and promises an engaging and diverse variety of experiences for the theatre-going audience.

    When: Saturday, March 24 and Sunday, March 25 (NOTE: this represents a change from dates published in the Season Brochure)

    Time: 7:00 p.m.

    Articulation by Alicia Richardson
    directed by Jazmine Jeffrey

    Your Mother’s Butt by Allan Ball
    directed by Sumer Seth

    Echo by Joseph T. Shipley
    directed by Isaac Brown

    The Little Stone House by George Calderon
    directed by Colin Williams

    The Lesson by Eugene Ionesco
    directed by Kristina Ojaperv

    The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre by Allan Knee
    directed by Alyson Markov

    The Marilyn I. Walker Theatre | 15 Artists’ Common, St. Cathrines
    Admission: pay-what-you-can | Limited paid parking available
    brocku.ca/dramaticarts

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  • Dramatic Arts presents: In Transit: Artistic Interventions in Precarious Times

    featuring Dr. Kerr Mesner, Arcadia University (performer) with
    Dr. Stephen Low (Moderator, Discussant and Talkback Facilitator)

    Thursday, March 15, 2018 7:00-9:00 pm, in the MIW THEATRE

    In Transit: Artistic Interventions in Precarious Times is a one-person performance piece, combining multimedia, live theatrical performance, and audience engagement to create an evocative and thought provoking dramatic experience. This autoethnographic theatrical piece explores the intersections of queer identities, Christianity’s contributions to antiqueer
    violence, and the challenges of embodying transgender identities within our current political contexts. Mesner weaves a narrative arc between current live theatrical performances from his 2017 piece, In Transit and multimedia excerpts from the filmic
    version of his 2014 play, Intervention, that was part of his doctoral dissertation.

    This performance will be of interest to scholars, graduate students, practitioners, and activists working in such areas as arts based educational research, performance studies, transgender and queer studies, religion/theology, and anti-oppressive education.

    All events take place at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts
    15 Artists’ Common, St Catharines ON L2R 0B5
    A free community event!
    Tickets and registration not required. Limited parking available.

    Contact Dr. Joe Norris jnorris@brocku.ca for more information.

    Dr. Mesner is one of our Walker Cultural Leaders for 2017-18.  This series brings leading artists, performers, practitioners and academics to the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts at Brock University. Engaging, lively and erudite, these  sessions celebrate professional achievement, artistic endeavour and the indelible role of culture in our society.
    This education program is generously founded by Marilyn I. Walker. Please join us!

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    Categories: Announcements, Events, Visiting Artists

  • Dramatic Arts presents: Tensions of Engagement in the Canadian Immigrant Theatre Context

    featuring Lina de Guevara, founder of Puente Theatre (Victoria) and Ruth Howard of Jumblies Theatre (Toronto), with Dr. Yasmine Kandil of Brock University (Niagara)

    March 16 and 17, 2018

    A panel conversation and workshops on the theme of Tensions of Engagement in the Canadian Immigrant Theatre Context. This event will look at how theatre has been used to create collaborative opportunities with immigrants and refugees in Canada, and what struggles lay ahead of us to bridge the divide between settler Canadians and newcomers.

    All events take place at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts
    15 Artists’ Common, St. Catharines ON L2R 0B5
    A free community event!
    Registration required for workshops only.
    tensions-of-engagement-workshops.eventbrite.com
    Limited parking available.
    Contact Dr. Yasmine Kandil ykandil@brocku.ca for more information.

    PROGRAM:
    Friday March 16 7:00pm
    PANEL Discussion in the MIW THEATRE:
    Tensions of Engagement in the Canadian Immigrant Theatre Context

    This panel, moderated by Dr. Natalie Alvarez (Brock University), will feature three of Canada’s applied theatre artists who have devoted a large portion of their creative work towards working on issues of diversity, multiculturalism, and creating opportunities for immigrants and refugees to explore their narratives of settlement through theatre.

    This comes at a crucial time, as our society is witnessing an awareness of the insidious racism that exists in our country, as revealed by the Angus Reid Institute report of October 2016. Our panel will discuss how applied theatre with immigrants and refugees in Canada has evolved over the past few decades, and whether there has been a positive and tangible impact that this medium has had on this community, and on settler Canadians.

    Saturday March 17 10:00am – 3:00pm
    WORKSHOPS: STUDIOS B and C at the MIWSFPA

    Workshop STUDIO B (MW 247)
    10:00-12:00pm (Ruth Howard)
    This workshop will explore Jumblies’ recent Four Lands touring project, which brings together settler, newcomer, Indigenous residents of all ages and backgrounds in a gentle exploration of different perspectives on a place.
    jumbliestheatre.org/jumblies/about/staff/ruth-howard

    Workshop STUDIO C (MW 243)
    1:00-3:00pm (Lina de Guevara)
    This workshop will explore the different tools used to do research related to immigrant and refugee narratives: interviews, storytelling of personal stories, image creation, forum encounters, audience participation, etc. Lina will share the tools that she uses and those she avoids.
    linadeguevara.ca

    Registration required for workshops only.
    tensions-of-engagement-workshops.eventbrite.com

    PANELISTS:

    Lina de Guevara

    Lina de Guevara was the first immigrant artist to establish a theatre company in Victoria that solely focused on promoting the narratives of immigration and settlement with the purpose of bridging the gap between this minority group and the predominantly white culture of Victoria. Her work has spread to other provinces in Canada since she began her Canadian journey almost 40
    years ago.

    Ruth Howard

    Ruth Howard is the founder and Artistic Director of Jumblies Theatre, based in Toronto. Her work with professional artists and diverse communities has won her recognition and awards. Jumblies is known for its large-scale collaborative community-engaged theatre and interdisciplinary arts residencies, projects and productions, as well as its dedication to learning and mentorship in community arts.

     

    Dr. Yasmine Kandil

    Yasmine began her immigrant journey in Victoria, BC, where she worked on multiple projects exploring celebration as a means for immigrant youth to claim a space in their new Canadian home. She is presently 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.

     

    Our guests, Lina de Guevara and Ruth Howard, are two of our Walker Cultural Leaders for 2017-18.  This series brings leading artists, performers, practitioners and academics to the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts at Brock University. Engaging, lively and erudite, these  sessions celebrate professional achievement, artistic endeavour and the indelible role of culture in our society.
    This education program is generously founded by Marilyn I. Walker. Please join us!

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    Categories: Announcements, Events, Faculty & Instructors, Visiting Artists

  • TOP GIRLS: opens March 2!

    by Caryl Churchill.

    Directed by DANIELLE WILSON
    Set Design by NIGEL SCOTT
    Costume Design by KELLY WOLF
    Lighting Design by JENNIFER JIMENEZ
    Original Music by MAX HOLTEN-ANDERSEN
    Assistant Direction by MICHELLE MOHAMMED
    Dialect Coaching by JANE GOODERHAM

    When: March 2-10, 2018

    FRIDAY, MARCH 2 and SATURDAY, MARCH 3 at 7:30 pm
    SUNDAY, MARCH 4 at 2:00 pm
    FRIDAY, MARCH 9 at 11:30 am and 7:30 pm
    SATURDAY, MARCH 10 at 7:30 pm

    What would you sacrifice to get to the top?
    Top Girls opens at the MIWSFPA on March 2.

    TOP GIRLS, by celebrated playwright Caryl Churchill and directed by Danielle Wilson, runs from Friday, March 2, 2018 to Saturday, March 10, 2018 in the Marilyn I. Walker Theatre, at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts, 15 Artists’ Common, St. Catharines.

    Manchari Paranthahan as Nell, Meryl Ochoa as Win, in Top Girls at Brock University.

    The Department of Dramatic Arts, part of Brock University’s Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts, is proud to present an original production of this venerable play about women and power. First produced in 1982, last seen in Niagara at the Shaw Festival in 2015, this contemporary play tells the story of Marlene, a career-driven woman who is only interested in women’s success in business.

    The play is an exploration and critical look at women and their relationship to power and success. For the director, Professor Danielle Wilson, the main question at the heart of the play is “what would you sacrifice to get to the top?”

    The play follows the story of Marlene, who in 1980’s London has just been promoted to managing director of the Top Girls Employment Agency. With a magic realist twist we see Marlene celebrate her success at a dinner party with five women from history, literature, and art, and as the drink begins to flow, so do their stories of family, adventure, and loss which overlap in witty and humorous dialogue.

    Manchari Paranthahan as Nell, Meryl Ochoa as Win, Helena Ciurciura as Marlene, in Top Girls at Brock University.

    Throughout the play we also meet the real-life women in Marlene’s life at the office. They struggle to rise to the top of the corporate ladder but are held back by lack of opportunity and the harsh competitiveness of the business world.

    The themes and story of the play are extremely topical.  The play examines the challenges of working women who choose self-promotion and career over motherhood, family, domesticity. We learn of the cost of Marlene’s ‘successful’ life. Set during the reign of the British Prime Minster Margaret Thatcher, known as the “Iron Lady”, the play asks whether it was an advance to have a woman prime minister if we elected someone with policies like hers.

    TOP GIRLS highlights the contradictions between feminism and capitalism. A running theme throughout the play is the secrets that underpin Marlene’s success which in some ways serve to perpetuate the patriarchal structure common in many workplaces. We only learn of these secrets in the final confrontational scene with her closest family, Joyce and her daughter, Angie.

    The play is directed by Dramatic Arts faculty Danielle Wilson. Professional collaborating artists include set designer Nigel Scott, costume designer by Kelly Wolf, lighting designer Jennifer Jimenez and music composer Max Holten-Andersen. Jane Gooderham is the Dialect Coach.

    Helena Ciurciura as Marlene, Emma McCormick as Angie, in Top Girls at Brock University.

    TOP GIRLS showcases the talents of students in the Department of Dramatic Arts undergraduate program. Michelle Mohammed is the Assistant Director, Alicia Marie Bender is the Stage Manager, Whiney Braybrook-Byl is Assistant Stage Manager. Performers include: Helena Ciuciura, Emma McCormick, Samantha Mastrella, Meryl Ochoa, Manchari Paranthahan, Catherine Tait and Kristina Ojaperv.

    READ ALL ABOUT IT!

    Director Danielle Wilson discusses feminism, ambition, #MeToo and the unique challenge of mounting this play in a brief interview found at the bottom of this page.

    Fourth-year student and Assistant Director for the production, Michelle Mohammed, is writing about the development of the show in a dedicated blog: darttopgirls.wordpress.com and dartcritics.com

    The public presentation program of the Department of Dramatic Arts is an integral part of the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts’ mandate to contribute to regional cultural development and build community connections by engaging our audiences with the breadth of talent and creativity of the students, staff, guest artists and faculty of Brock University.

    The Department invites teachers and educators to bring their students to see this exciting production of TOP GIRLS.
    Read the Special Invitation to learn more.

    Marilyn I. Walker Theatre at the
    Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts
    Limited parking onsite.

    Purchase tickets at the FirstOntario PAC Box Office
    905.688.0722 or online firstontariopac.ca
    Tickets: $18 Adults|$15 Seniors/Students| $5 eyeGo | $12 Groups
    *Applicable fees and taxes are extra

    See the article in the Brock News.


    We asked the director of Top Girls, Professor Danielle Wilson, about feminism, ambition, and the unique challenges of mounting this play.

    What type of feminist beliefs does Top Girls draw upon?

    The play is an exploration and critical look at women and their relationship to power and success. For me the main question at the heart of the play is “what would you sacrifice to get to the top?” Something is always sacrificed, whether it be relationships, personal integrity, mental health, leisure time etc., in the pursuit of success. Top Girls looks specifically at women’s responsibilities and relationships with each other in a capitalistic and individualistic society. It tackles these issues in a broader political spectrum vs. it being about women overcoming their oppression. You can’t get away from being a woman in this play, no matter how hard these women try. What I understand is that the play was inspired by two streams of feminism: one which is about changing the economic situation for everyone which is more collectively oriented and one that accepts and supports an individual’s success over the collective gain. Top Girls examines an individualistic society in which the few thrive at the expense of many and one in which isolated female success overshadows the plight of the majority.

    How do you connect the feminism of the 1980’s portrayed in Top Girls to feminist movements and/or beliefs today? How do you think our students will understand the representation of feminist thought in your production?

    Fourth wave feminism, which we are seeing now, tends to be more collectively oriented. Social media started an entire #MeToo movement, which questions abuse of power. Top Girls discusses power and success in relationship to women. The main character in the play, Marlene, tends to use what one might call more ‘masculine’ tactics in the workplace. The entire corporate structure has been built on more masculine characteristics of leadership. When a woman is in a top position, masculine qualities can run contrary to what is expected of her gender, so she may be perceived as cold or distant or a bitch. Margaret Thatcher, who serves as an unseen character in the play was described as the ‘Iron Lady”, but no man who ruled in the way she did was ever called the ‘Iron Man’, he was just a man. She even had voice lessons to help her sound more masculine so that her cabinet would take her seriously. One of the characters in the play, Nell says that “an employer is going to have doubts about a lady, whether she’s got the guts to push through to a closing situation. They think we’re too nice. They think we listen to the buyer’s doubts. They think we consider his needs and his feelings.” We’re becoming aware that there is more than one way to lead and it is not an imperative to oppress or step on others in order to succeed.

    I think students will recognize the issues being debated between Marlene and Joyce as they each argue opposite political viewpoints. Today, there is definitely a more collectively oriented mindset as evidenced by the Occupy movement, Idle No More, and the #MeToo movement. There is resistance to the social and economic status quo. Young people, both men and women, are building strength through bonds with each other and challenging systemic abuse, racial profiling, and poor economic prospects.

    What is “the top”?

    I think it depends on the person. Success and reaching ‘the top’ is complicated and is defined by each person differently. For some it may be reaching the top over someone else, for others it may be reaching the top of one’s own potential.

    Marlene’s character seems to be the one striving for the “top” and stepping on anyone in her way, should we be feeling empathy for her? Should we like or dislike her? What should we be learning from her actions?

    I think ultimately it will be up to the audience to decide how they feel about her.  We learn a lot about her personal life in the third act and what she has sacrificed to get to where she is. Caryl Churchill, the playwright, has written a complex character who is flawed, but what human being isn’t? Some may admire and empathize with her actions. She did what she had to do. Others may not. We see both sides of the story in the final act in which she has a showdown with her sister, Joyce, who has taken a very different path in life. Ultimately, Churchill has written a play that involves more questions than answers, but that’s the beauty of it, you get to chew over these questions after the play is over. To me, that’s the mark of a great play.

    Are there significant challenges with this production that our audience would be interested in knowing about?

    The play involves a big dinner party at the very beginning. Caryl Churchill has written overlapping dialogue where people are talking over each other, like at a real dinner party. It has been challenging to choose what the audience hears and doesn’t hear.  Sometimes the audience will hear both and have to choose which to listen to. It has been both a challenge as a director and as an actor. Not only must the actors learn their lines, but they must also learn when they begin speaking in the middle of someone else’s line.

     

    February 17, 2018
    /dv

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    Categories: Events, Performance Season, Plays

  • The State of Our Art: Drama in Education and Applied Theatre in Ontario

    The Department of Dramatic Arts, Brock University and the Walker Cultural Leader Series presents:

    The Second Drama in Education and Applied Theatre Symposium.

    January 26 and 27, 2018

    Our world as we know it is rapidly changing, with scholars identifying present events as ‘post-normal’ (O’Connor and Anderson 2015). In this climate of anxiety and political uncertainty, how is the practice of drama in education and applied theatre a means to respond to and attempt to speak back to these times? The lectures and workshops will offer key insights into how our scholars use this practice to grapple with these issues.

    Featuring Julie Salverson (Queens University), Kathleen Gallagher (OISE), and workshops by by Professors: Kathleen Gallagher, Joe Norris (replacing Kathy Lundy as listed in the PDF), Julie Salverson, Larry Schwartz, and Belarie Zatzman.

    for more information download this PDF.

    Keynote: Friday, January 26 7:30pm
    Professor Julie Salverson, Queens University

    Marilyn I. Walker Theatre at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts

    All of us today, as scholars, artists and citizens, are challenged with listening to and telling forward the story of this home we call Canada. As we consider this task, where are the possibilities for change, for hope, and for honest listening – listening not to consume and extract (what scholar Dylan Robinson calls hungry listening) but to acknowledge and attend? I will talk about ways to think and feel about what it means to witness and respond to calls for justice as whole people who draw upon a rich variety of resources. How do all of us, individually and collectively, honour our own heritage, traditions and teachers? How do we bring these to the table and to how we live, work and attend? What do each of us offer to the conversation? This is about what it means to be “on the ground”, to negotiate the challenge to witness with the alarm and feeling of consequence that entails a meeting with a traumatized environment. I will draw on Karen Barad’s performative metaphysics, Donna Haraway’s “staying with the trouble” and E.V.Walter’s discussion of “places of experience” to re-imagine my ideas of foolish witness.

    Keynote: Saturday, January 27 9:00am
    Professor Kathleen Gallagher, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education

    Marilyn I. Walker Theatre at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts

    In this keynote, I will use a case study of one research site in Lucknow, India, in my current multi-sited, applied theatre research, Youth, Theatre, Radical Hope and the Ethical Imaginary: an intercultural investigation of drama pedagogy, performance and civic engagement (2014-2019) to consider how drama can ‘speak back to these times’ if we deem- as some social innovation theorists do- the social world as made and imagined. How have the students in India, and how might we in our various pedagogical and creating contexts, use theatre to understand social systems and imagine a progressive sociality? In India, using drama, performance and critical dialogues, the work is both deeply political and radically hopeful through the ways in which it reorients, redefines and revisions the social world. Their classroom practice follows from a 19th century feminist theatre history, I will argue, that enables a transformative ambition, just what is needed in these harrowing global times. As democracies thin under populist and neoliberal regimes across most nation states, the young people and their teachers in India have long understood the power of collective opposition as a social practice and political resistance, but they have also seized upon drama and performance as the most powerful means to this end. Social innovation scholars have suggested that by harnessing what they are calling “collective intelligence”, it may be possible to dramatically improve societies’ ability to tackle seemingly intractable social problems. The students at Prerna school in India have positioned theatre as a “language of care” and a central tool for understanding the political economy and deconstructing the forces of oppression. It is time for all of us to harness the unimaginable, in our classrooms, on our stages, and in the street.

    Workshops: Saturday, January 27, 2018
    DART Studio A workshops: Julie Salverson (10:30 am-1:00 pm) / Belarie Zatzman (2:30-5:00 pm)
    DART Studio C workshops: Joe Norris (10:30 am-1:00 pm) / David Booth (2:30-5:00 pm)
    DART Studio D workshops: Larry Swartz (10:30 am-1:00 pm) / Kathleen Gallagher (2:30-5:00 pm)

    Julie Salverson, Queens University.
    10:30 – 1:00, Studio A
    Who we are as witnesses
    I have facilitated a few sessions this year based on a Quaker practice of holding a question in the light. The question for this workshop is: how can we live together better? I will speak for a few minutes about the deep preparation I require to enter the thorny territory of witnessing, the heritage, traditions and teachings that inform my work, and what a response to these times means to me. I will then invite people in the room to speak to this. There will be no direct interaction or discussion, this is about witnessing and listening.

    Joe Norris, Department of Dramatic Arts, Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts, Brock University.
    10:30 – 1:00 Studio C
    Reexamining Canadian History through Story Circles, Picture Interpretation, Tableaus, Choral Speech and Writing in Role
    Award winner for his publications in his pioneering work in playbuilding as research, duoethnography, a form of dialogic research, and alternative forms of arts-based assessment, Joe also devotes considerable time developing and piloting units of teaching the curriculum through drama. While this workshop will focus specifically on the Klondike, the approaches used can be applied to many curricular topics.

    Larry Swartz, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE), University of Toronto.
    10:30 – 1:00 Studio D
    MORE THAN A PLAY
    This practical interactive workshop will demonstrate strategies for using minimal and dialogue scripts to enhance interpretation skills, to build community and to address social justice issues. Handout provided.

    Belarie Zatzman, Department of Theatre, School of Arts, Media, Performance and Design, York University.
    2:30 -5:00 Studio A
    Performing Objects
    In this workshop, we will consider participatory practices that can be used in history, art and drama classes, or in museum / gallery contexts. We will explore applied theatre strategies for examining and interpreting “performing objects” in order to help us construct our encounters with archival objects or artworks, from the present.

    David Booth, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE), University of Toronto.
    2:30 -5:00 Studio C
    A Novel Approach to Drama
    This workshop will explore the Young Adult novel as a source and inspiration for improvised role playing leading to dramatic scene building. This genre of contemporary literature is written especially for our students, and explores issues of coming of age, relationships, social justice, and identity. As teachers, we can use the themes and events in these texts as stimuli for interpreting, exploring and inventing situations and scenarios as a whole class, working in groups and partners, as we construct our scenes into a playmaking conclusion.

    Kathleen Gallagher, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto.
    2:30 -5:00 Studio D
    Verbatim Theatre: telling other people’s stories
    Physical, ethical, social, and artistic questions converge at the centre of Verbatim Theatre practice. This session will invite participants to explore and examine some of the techniques and practices that are currently in use, in the evolving genre of Verbatim Theatre. Part story-telling, part composite, part-mimicry, part invention, the work will invite critical discussion about the skills, the social value, and the creative impulses connected to this form of theatre-making. Extending its reach beyond theatre and performance, Verbatim has found a place, too, in social science research. Harnessed to ideas about power relations and ‘collaborative’, multi-vocal, qualitative research practices and forms of dissemination, this genre of theatre further opens up discussions about the ever-expanding defi nitions of research methodology.

    Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts, Brock University
    A free community event, please register for the workshops:
    the-state-of-our-art-symposium-workshops.eventbrite.com
    (Maximum 20 per session)

    for more information download this PDF.

    Please note that limited parking is available at the MIWSFPA for guests and presenters on a first come, first served basis.

    Due to multiple event programming on the evening of Friday, January 26 please allow ample time to find nearby parking.

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