Articles by author: dvivian

  • Dramatic Arts mourns the loss of Katherine Oswald

    Katherine Oswald, a Dramatic Arts student passed away Monday after a battle with cancer. She was an inspiration to us with her dedication to her craft, her courage to live life to the fullest, and her caring nature towards all with whom she worked. The Department of Dramatic Arts and the Brock University community were enriched by her presence and we are fortunate that she chose Brock to share her exuberance for theatre and the performing arts.

    Katherine and fellow cast member Sarah Marks during preshow costuming and make-up for the production of “Gormenghast” in the dressing room at the Marilyn I Walker Theatre, November 2016. Seen in the mirror is student Nicole James, student Propsmaster for the 2016-17 season.

    Mike Griffin, faculty member and director of Gormenghast (MIWSFPA Theatre, November 2016) remembers:

    From the first moment I met Katherine at the DART Invitational she was a shining light. She beamed with excitement to be part of our Department. She was so full of energy and passion for theatre and her spirit was contagious to everyone she came into contact with. She wanted to do everything and was driven like no student I had ever met. She was an absolute pleasure to work with in Gormenghast. I gave her a role that was nothing like she had ever played before and she brought everything in her being to the part of Swelter because that is what Katherine did, everything she did she committed to with the fullness of her heart. In my Commedia class she was vibrant and hilarious. I will never forget her version of Pedrolino. Katherine was an incredible  woman, student, and performer. She was a model student in so many ways, truly inspiring to other students and to me. I feel incredibly lucky to have worked with her.

    Katherine performing the role of the mad butcher Swelter in the stage adaption of “Gormenghast” by Mervyn Peake, performed by students in the Marilyn I. Walker Theatre in November, 2016.

    Faculty and Technical Production Staff in the Department echo Mike’s comments: she will be  remembered as one whose presence lit up a room; a warm-hearted, beautiful and courageous human being, who brought humour, positivity, and determination to everything she did.  She greeted everyone in the hallways with a radiant smile.

    Katherine’s recent and courageous journey to health was documented here:
    www.gofundme.com/katherines-journey-to-health

    Her light went out far too soon.

    See the article in the Brock News.

    Funeral Services are being arranged at Paterson Funeral Home www.pattersonfuneralhome.com in Niagara Falls, at 6062 Main St.

    read the obituary

     

    Tags:
    Categories: Current Students, News

  • PANTALONE’S PALACE, DART’S First Mainstage for 2017-18, opens October 27!

    Pantalone’s Palace

    Love and power collide in this fun-filled, fast paced physical comedy.

    Written and Directed by Mike Griffin

    Set & Costume Design by: Kelly Wolf
    Lighting Design by Chris Malkowski
    Sound Design by: James McCoy
    Mask Maker: Gina Bastone
    Assistant Direction by: Helena Ciuciura

    Hardworking Columbina just wants to enjoy the majestic Wooers’ Woods in peace after a long day’s work, but the greedy business tycoon Pantalone is scheming. When Columbina discovers his plot to build the biggest casino in the world, she knows she must take action. Armed with her wits and her lovesick friends, she aims to set things right in this fun-filled, fast paced, physical comedy that explores the meeting of contemporary life and classical Commedia dell’Arte.

    When: October 27 – November 4, 2017
    FRIDAY, OCT. 27 & SATURDAY, OCT. 28 at 7:30 pm
    SUNDAY, OCT. 29 at 2:00 pm
    FRIDAY, NOV. 3 at 11:30 am & 7:30 pm
    SATURDAY, NOV. 4 at 7:30 pm

    The Department invites teachers and educators to bring their students to see this exciting new production of Commedia dell’arte.
    Read the Special Invitation to learn more.

    See the article in the Brock News.

    See the teaser video.

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

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    Categories: Events, News, Performance Season, Plays

  • Brock co-led research to study police training in mental illness

    Dr. Natalie Alvarez, an associate professor in the Department of Dramatic Arts

    (Source: The Brock NewsWednesday, September 13, 2017 | by Cathy Majtenyi)

    It’s the heat of the moment. A person in mental health distress is waving a knife in the air, yelling or screaming or perhaps even silent. A police officer is on the scene.

    What happens next?

    It’s a question that undoubtedly will come up in Toronto police Constable James Forcillo’s appeal trial, which started Monday. Forcillo was convicted of attempted murder for the 2013 shooting of 18-year-old Sammy Yatim on a Toronto streetcar.

    It’s also a question that Brock University researchers Natalie Alvarez and Yasmine Kandil are exploring in their research on how to use theatre to train police officers.

    Dr. Yasmine Kandil

    Dr. Yasmine Kandil

    Alvarez, an associate professor in the Department of Dramatic Arts, along with Yasmine Kandil, an assistant professor in Dramatic Arts, are co-leading a study that will create and evaluate the effectiveness of a type of scenario-based police training grounded in problem-based training methods the team refers to as ‘forum scenarios.’

    In forum scenarios, a scene is played out for an audience. The scene is then performed again, but an audience member can step in to intervene by making different choices, creating a different outcome and changing the way a particular issue is viewed or dealt with. It’s a form of teaching and learning that promotes the principles of procedural justice.

    Theatre educators Alvarez and Kandil of Brock’s Department of Dramatic Arts, and Wilfred Laurier forensic psychologist Jennifer Lavoie, alongside their cross-Canada team with specializations in mental illness and de-escalation training, are partnering with the Durham Regional Police and collaborators from the Ontario Police College.

    The federal government’s Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council has awarded the team a $310,960 grant to carry out the four-year study.

    “Experiential learning through forum methods is much more effective in integrating knowledge, being able to apply that knowledge and retain it long term,” says Alvarez. The study builds on Alvarez’s upcoming book that examines the use of immersive simulations in a variety of training and educational contexts.

    Experts involved in the scenarios aim to teach police officers how to recognize behavioural characteristics of various mental illnesses that may present barriers to communication in high-stakes encounters, the impacts and consequences that certain actions will have on the person in crisis, and how to de-escalate volatile situations.

    “We want to recreate situations where the officer perceives a situation where there’s an imminent threat, they’re under extreme stress, and they have to make refined, ethical judgments in that moment of stress,” says Alvarez.

    The team will also address mental health stigmas and misconceptions.

    For Alvarez, the research is not just academic.

    “My oldest sister suffers from schizophrenia and she’s become an advocate for the rights of people living with mental illness,” says Alvarez, adding that her sister frequently gives talks to RCMP officers on the subject.

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

  • A public lecture in applied theatre with guest speaker Juliana Saxton, Professor Emeritus

    The Department of Dramatic Arts is pleased to invite you to attend a lecture by:

    Juliana Saxton

    Professor Emeritus, Master Teacher, and International Speaker

    “Seeing the World instead of Numbly recognizing it: witnessing & representation in Applied Theatre”
    This lecture examines the means by which embodied representation of “direct speech” may, through the devices of distancing (Eriksson, 2009)/ différance (Derrida, 1963) /ostranenie (Shklovsky, 1917) engage audiences and actors alike in ”seeing the world” in all its ambiguities, more clearly.

    Friday September 22nd 7:30pm
    Marilyn I. Walker Theatre

    Open to the Brock and DART community, and friends.

    Sponsored by the Social Justice Research Institute

    For more information contact: Dr. Yasmine Kandil, ykandil@brocku.ca

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    Categories: Announcements, Current Students, Events, News

  • Dramatic Arts alumna honoured with Faculty of Humanities Distinguished Graduate Award

    Brock alumna and puppeteer Sarah Argue will be giving a talk about her business at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts on Friday, Sept. 15, before being honoured at the Alumni Recognition Reception on Saturday, Sept. 16 as part of Homecoming weekend.

    (Source: The Brock NewsWednesday, September 13, 2017 | by Alison Innes)

    With a little felt and a lot of talent, Sarah Argue (BA ’06) has created a career for herself in the world of puppetry.

    Through her business, Rock the Arts, the Brock dramatic arts alumna has been touring across Canada with her crew of unique characters sharing shows about compassion, enjoying the little things in life and the power of choice.

    She will return to her alma mater Friday, Sept. 15 to share insight into her professional puppet company. The presentation will take place at 1 p.m. in Studio A of the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts. All members of the Brock community are invited to attend.

    Argue is in town to receive the Faculty of Humanities Distinguished Graduate Award, to be presented on Saturday, Sept. 16 during the Alumni Recognition Reception held as part of Brock’s Homecoming weekend.

    It has been seven years since Argue launched her successful business after quitting what she described as a “normal job” — working as a program co-ordinator for the City of Ottawa — to pursue her passion.

    She taught herself how to make the felt creations and began taking her show on the road.

    Argue now has a roster of 80 puppets that she uses to perform shows in schools, libraries and theatres. She has also produced a children’s CD and currently has multiple projects on the go, including a film, children’s book and book to support other artists wanting to build their own careers.

    Argue credits the diverse theatre experience she received at Brock — where she performed in The Crucible and directed a Norm Foster play, among other productions — for preparing her for the stage.

    “I didn’t realize at the time what a gift it was,” Argue said of her Brock degree. “I didn’t realize what a well-balanced degree I was getting in theatre.”

    Her time as an undergrad had her touch on lighting, acting, directing and costuming — all beneficial to her career. That experience gave her the confidence to walk into any theatre and comfortably speak to the techs in charge about how her show is set up.

    Argue’s love for creating puppets is matched only by the experience of giving them a voice and watching them evolve into life-like characters.

    Turning her passion into a business hasn’t always been easy, but Argue has relied on the support of other artists. Puppeteer Noreen Young, from Under the Umbrella Tree, has been a mentor to Argue, helping her learn how to pitch to networks and encouraging her to keep going when times get tough.

    Workshops with puppeteer Trish Leeper of Muppets fame have introduced Argue to the idea of puppetry on camera, guiding her toward more film work, including the #IHopeFor awareness campaign for childhood cancer.

    “You need a lot of support from other artists to keep going,” Argue said, while expressing her desire to pay that sentiment forward.

    Carol Merriam, Dean of the Faculty of Humanities, said the Faculty is pleased to recognize Argue with the Distinguished Graduate award.

    “The skills that she learned in her studies in dramatic arts and the creativity, enthusiasm and drive that were fostered at Brock have led her to create her own niche,” she said. “Hers is the kind of success we hope and expect from graduates of Brock.”

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    Categories: Alumni, Announcements, Current Students, News, Visiting Artists

  • Lac/Athabasca

    By Len Falkenstein.

    A play about the Lac Megantique explosion and the environment.

    DART 4F56 is a production class that morphs each year depending on the people enrolled, but is always student driven and student produced. It enables students to work as a company in multiple production roles, utilizing the spectrum of skills they have developed in DART, from in depth research, to dramaturgical analysis resulting in the staging choices.

    A Media Release for this production will be available.

    When: FRIDAY, APRIL 13, 2018 and SATURDAY, APRIL14, 2018. Matinee (TBC): SATURDAY, APRIL14, 2018

    Time: 7:30 pm to 8:45 pm.

    Location: The Marilyn I. Walker Theatre, Brock University

    Tickets: $7†; $5† child (14 and under); $5† eyeGo program. Free admission to current students of the MIWSFPA with valid student ID card.

    † Applicable fees and taxes are extra.

    Available from the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre Box Office: 905.688.0722 or Long Distance Toll Free: 1.855.515.0722; online: firstontariopac.ca

    Tags:
    Categories: Events, Performance Season, Plays

  • Dramatic Arts Design students’ Open House exhibit on now

    Theatrical Design Exhibition (DART 3F61)
    When: March 26 – April 2, 2014, 9 am – 5 pm
    Location: Design Studio Room ST102, Schmon Tower, Brock University.
    Admission: Free

    A public showing of Theatre Design projects by senior design students.  Scale maquettes of set designs, costume designs and storyboards for a variety of plays, musicals, songs and proposed films.

    Sponsored by the Department of Dramatic Arts, part of the Industrial Fabric 2014 Festival.

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    Categories: Current Students, Events, News

  • Theatrical Design Exhibition (DART 3F61)

    A public showing of Theatre Design projects by senior design students.

    When: March 26, 2014 – 9:00am – April 2, 2014 – 5:00pm
    Location: Room ST102, Schmon Tower, Brock University.
    Admission: Free

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    Categories: Events

  • Hot off the presses: the DART Newsletter for 2011-12

    dart_newsletter_2011_thThe Department of Dramatic Arts (DART) Newsletter for 2011-12 is now available for download.
    Contents include information about the programs and Concentrations, annual production and presentation activity, special invited guests, faculty and staff, alumni accomplishments, student awards and bursaries, the Invitational process, and DART at the Stratford and Shaw Festivals.

    Paper copies are available upon request from dramatic.arts@brocku.ca

    Tags:
    Categories: Future students, News