Articles by author: gminaker

  • Brock students selected to participate in national Black theatre initiative

    Caption: Sid Malcolm (left), fourth year Dramatic Arts student with a minor in Music, and Soji Cole, second year PhD student in Interdisciplinary Humanities, are two of 21 students selected for “Seeding the Future”, a new initiative highlighting young Black voices. 

    Two Brock University students will be joining a historic group of Black theatre makers as part of the digital performance series “21 Black Futures.”

    Presented by Obsidian Theatre in partnership with CBC Arts, “21 Black Futures” has brought together 63 Black Canadian playwrights, actors and directors to create art during the pandemic and answer the question, “What is the future of Blackness?”

    The result is 21 filmed monodramas (theatre pieces featuring one person) that are currently premiering on CBC’s streaming channel, CBC Gem.

    Now, 21 students from across the country will join the movement, including fourth-year Dramatic Arts student Sid Malcolm, and Soji Cole, a second-year PhD student in Interdisciplinary Humanities.

    From a national call that attracted more than 60 applicants, Malcolm and Cole have each been awarded a spot in “Seeding the Future,” which invites Black students to create theatre pieces in response to each of the 21 monodramas of “21 Black Futures.”

    “Seeding the Future” is a partnership between Brock University, York University, Obsidian Theatre and CBC Arts, and allows students to create spoken word poetry, audio recordings, video recordings or written responses.

    “As we work at Obsidian to develop and advance Black artists across the country, we also recognize the glaring lack of Black voices in arts criticism and journalism,” said Michael Sinclair, General Manager of Obsidian Theatre. “Black and other BIPOC artists deserve to have voices at the table from their own communities engaging in dialogue about their work. We can’t wait to see what these 21 Black students have to say.”

    For Malcolm and Cole, being a part of this creative response highlighting young Black voices is very meaningful.

    Malcolm said being part of the project gives her and a large group of Black theatre students the chance to have their voices heard.

    “This is a space specifically intended to cultivate young Black artists and help them express what their experience is, and how that shapes the future of Blackness,” she said. “As a young woman of colour, it is often extremely difficult to find pieces of theatre I am able to connect with. There’s often very little representation for People of Colour within the world of theatre. Being a POC in theatre is seen as a rarity and is often trivialized.”

    Cole is excited about the project, and said it speaks to him on many fronts.

    “As a Black person, a migrant and an international student, I have been involved in conversations on the theme of Blackness and racism since I came to Canada in 2019,” he said. “This is the first one that intersects with a discipline and profession that I have identified with all my life.

    “This means a lot to me, as I have always believed that beyond the rhetoric of racism, arts — and especially theatre — can be used as twine to bind community together and dismantle the boundary of segregation.”

    The 21 student responses, including those of Malcolm and Cole, will be released in three instalments, initially on the students’ own social media channels and then re-published on the CBC Arts website. The first group of responses are now live. Malcolm’s work will be published on Monday, March 1 and Cole’s will be published on Monday, March 8.

    Cole, who is a playwright, director and actor, anticipates using his creative and critical wits to respond.

    “As someone who has a deep interest in the sociology of arts, I might want to connect my response to the social implication of the performance,” he said.

    Malcolm anticipates she may draw on specific aspects of her artistic practice.

    “I have a recent reignited passion for poetic writing,” she said. “Typically, I enjoy weaving controversial topics into my writing, which often means critiquing the way that race is perceived around me today.”

    She is also intrigued by the marriage of critical thought and artistic expression.

    “The arts are a dialogue and having Black theatre students continue the conversation begun by “21 Black Futures” is a hugely exciting prospect,” said Karen Fricker, Associate Professor of Dramatic Arts and the co-ordinator of Brock’s participation in “Seeding the Future.” “I can’t wait to see and hear how they all respond.”

    David Fancy, Chair of Dramatic Arts at Brock’s Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts, said the Department is committed to “the ongoing labour of decolonization, Indigenization, and anti-racism. We are particularly pleased to be involved in such an important initiative,” he said.

    Malcolm is energized by the many conversations “Seeding the Future” ignites, noting the opportunity for discussion while fostering growth through shared experiences.

    “I think a large outcome from this project will be the amount of networking that is possible for young Black artists that would be difficult to do without this project,” she said.

    Cole acknowledges the significance and enduring nature of this project.

    “While this is not a policy project, the expectation is that it will strengthen our understanding of memory, redress, and inclusivity,” he said. “The outcome should be able to resonate with every community; it should generate a peculiar echo of its own that will resound in the heart and mind of everyone.”

    To read the entries in “Seeding the Future,” visit CBC Arts.

    To view the performances in “21 Black Futures,” visit CBC Gem.

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    Categories: Alumni, Announcements, Current Students, Events, Faculty & Instructors, Future students, In the Media, Media Releases, News, Performance Season, Plays, Uncategorised

  • BIPOC Speaker Series explores anti-racist stage management practices in theatre

    Picture above: Narda E. Alcorn is the next speaker in the 2020-21 BIPOC Speaker Series presented by Brock University’s Department of Dramatic Arts and Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts.

    Originally published in The Brock News on WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2021 | by 

    Celebrated Professor and stage manager Narda E. Alcorn from Yale School of Drama will discuss anti-racist stage management practices during a virtual talk on Tuesday, Feb. 23.

    Alcorn will lead the next instalment of the 2020-21 BIPOC Speaker Series, conversations in which Black, Indigenous and People of Colour theatre leaders address issues of interest to the theatre community. The series is presented by Brock’s Department of Dramatic Arts and Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts and supported by the Faculty of Humanities.

    The Feb. 23 event takes place on Zoom from 7 to 8:30 p.m. and is open to the Brock and theatre community as well as the general public.

    Alcorn, who has worked on Broadway, off-Broadway, regionally and internationally, will share her evolving anti-racist stage management practice, placing it in the context of her career, experience and point of view. She will offer ideas and steps that others can take to cultivate anti-racist practice and pedagogy.

    In 2019, Alcorn was appointed Chair of the Stage Management Department at Yale School of Drama. She co-authored Stage Management Theory as a Guide to Practice: Cultivating a Creative Approach with Lisa Porter.

    To register for the free event, please visit Brock University Tickets.

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    Categories: Alumni, Announcements, Current Students, Events, Faculty & Instructors, Future students, In the Media, Media Releases, News, Uncategorised, Visiting Artists

  • Call for Student Participants: 21 Black Futures, Seeding the Future

    Call for Student Participants
    21 Black Futures
    Seeding the Future
    A partnership between Obsidian Theatre Company, CBC Arts, York University, Brock University

    **

    As part of Obsidian Theatre Company’s 21 Black Futures season, we are seeking 21 Black theatre students from across Canada to offer creative responses to 21 monodramas written, directed, and performed by Black artists responding to the question “What is the future of Blackness?” The monodramas will premiere exclusively on CBC Gem in three parts, on February 12, 19, and 26.

    Participants will receive a $150 honorarium and direct mentorship from a Black journalist, scholar, or artist. Your responses can take the form of a 300-400 word written response, a TikTok or IG video, or an audio recording (two minutes maximum). You will post your response on social media using the project’s hashtags. All of the responses will be posted on the CBC Arts website and a selection of them will be published in the Toronto Star.

    The ambitious, nationwide 21 Black Futures project celebrates the 21st birthday of Obsidian, Canada’s leading culturally specific theatre company, and is the brainchild of its new artistic director, Mumbi Tindyebwa Otu. Mumbi took over the company last year in the middle both of the Covid pandemic and the global outcry against anti-Black racism was at the forefront of cultural and political discussions. “I felt an urgent need to respond to the moment we’re in and to create an opportunity for artists to respond,” says Mumbi.

    A full list of the 63 Black writers, directors, and performers participating in this project is here – this is an amazing group of creative, outspoken, and innovative artists who are at the heart of Canada’s cultural life.

    What’s missing from this project is YOU – Black university and college-age students, who are part of the present and will be the future of Black theatre in Canada, and of the country itself! Please consider sharing your creativity and voice in this project: We want and need to hear you.

    How to apply

    Please send your name, a statement (one paragraph maximum) about why you want to be involved in this project, an idea of what form you’d like your response to take (which can be subject to change), and contact information for a reference to 21StudentVoices@gmail.com.

    DEADLINE: FEBRUARY 8, 2021

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    Categories: Announcements, Current Students, Events, Faculty & Instructors, In the Media, Media Releases, News, Uncategorised

  • Brock instructor serves up laughs, treats in support of the arts

    Pictured above: Clown sister duo Jasp (left) and Morro and will host a virtual baking performance Saturday, Jan. 23 as part of the Next Stage Community Booster digital event presented by the Toronto Fringe.

    Heather Marie Annis is no stranger to clowning around — both in and out of the classroom.

    The Dramatic Arts Instructor, who teaches the art of clown at Brock’s Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts (MIWSFPA), loves bringing joy to others.

    Annis will do just that this weekend, taking her talents to the virtual stage in support of the local arts community.

    Annis (Jasp) is one part of the Dora Award-winning clown duo, Morro and Jasp, along with Amy Lee (Morro). The clown sisters will host a special, one-time show “Bake Your Heart Out with Morro and Jasp” on Saturday, Jan. 23 at 8:30 p.m.

    The unique blend of live theatre, baking and clown performance is part of the Next Stage Community Booster digital event presented by the Toronto Fringe — a charitable, not-for-profit arts organization based in Toronto — running Thursday, Jan. 21 through Sunday, Jan. 24.

    The digital events are being presented via Zoom with ticket sales supporting Toronto Fringe and its programming. While in-person theatre experiences are currently on pause due to the pandemic, the festival aims to boost energy and creativity during this time of isolation for audience members and performers alike.

    Annis, who is currently teaching the course DART3P07: Clown at Brock’s MIWSFPA, is thrilled to introduce the engaging performance tradition to Dramatic Arts (DART) students. She believes there are valuable teachings in the art form.

    “Each student in the class will get to delve into their own ‘funny’ and explore what brings them unique joy,” she says.

    The art of clown, Annis says, acknowledges an individual’s reality and allows performers to interact with any situation in life they may find themselves in.

    “Clown helps us to find the humour, lightness, horror and absurdness of it all. In a way, clown helps me navigate life because of that — the good and the bad. I hope that it will help the students do that as well.”

    Prior to the pandemic, DART students attended live performances at last year’s Next Stage Theatre Festival run by the Toronto Fringe. This piqued an interest in clowning for several students, introducing them to the thrill of live performance. Under normal circumstances, taking students to see live theatre, whether in Toronto or in Niagara, is an important part of the DART student experience.

    Because of these experiences, some students have gone on to pursue further courses in Clown and theatrical performance offered by the DART program, and are considering a career in the field.

    In addition to being accomplished clowns, Morro and Jasp are also seasoned gourmands and authors of Eat your Heart Out with Morro and Jasp. They are excited to collaborate with the Toronto Fringe, welcoming the opportunity to connect with a virtual, live audience.

    “This show, although we still can’t be in a room together, will at least allow us to interact and play live with an audience. I think it is going to fill all our souls with joy,” Annis says.

    Throughout the pandemic, Morro and Jasp have been hard at work creating online presentations and content for themselves and other clown artists. The duo has been focusing on experimenting with new mediums and promoting their craft.

    Part of this work includes a new project from Morro and Jasp called Send in the Clowns, an initiative that commissions clowns from across Canada to create digital performances that are then featured on the Morro and Jasp website.

    Annis hopes creating new, innovative content will pay off in the long run and shine a light on the art form when in-person theatre can continue.

    “Clown is a performance style that celebrates and makes use of the people in the room at that moment in time. I feel that in the future, clown will shine even more for doing this.”

    Tickets for Bake Your Heart Out with Morro and Jasp are $20 to $30 and can be purchased here. More information on the performance is available on the Toronto Fringe website.

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    Categories: Events, News, Uncategorised

  • BIPOC Speaker Series welcomes Tanisha Taitt

    The DART/MIWSFPA 2020-21 BIPOC Speaker Series presents:

    Consciousness in Colour: Intercultural Scene Study for Contemporary Classrooms With Tanisha Taitt

    Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021
    7 to 8:30 p.m.
    Via Zoom
    To register and receive Zoom details, please RSVP via ExperienceBU: experiencebu.brocku.ca/event/172561

    Tanisha Taitt is Artistic Director of Cahoots Theatre and a director/actor/playwright, musical artist, accidental essayist, and audiobook director with Penguin Random House Canada. In this talk she will focus on her work as a theatre and anti-racism educator.

    Supported by the Centre for Pedagogical Innovation at Brock University in partnership with Niagara Community Foundations.

    2020-21 BIPOC Speaker Series
    Conversations in which Black, Indigenous, and people of colour theatre leaders address issues of interest to the theatre community, and beyond. For more information and upcoming speaker announcements, please visit the BIPOC Speaker Series webpage. 

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    Categories: Alumni, Announcements, Current Students, Events, Faculty & Instructors, Future students, News, Uncategorised

  • Janet Sellery, OHS expert for arts, entertainment & live events hosts workshop

    JANET SELLERY OHS WORKSHOP
    FRIDAY, JAN 15 – 6 TO 8 P.M.
    Hosted on ZOOM
    Meeting ID: 871 2590 2331

    Alumni and members of the theatre making community are welcome to attend. Please contact for details: miwsfpa@brocku.ca

    View printable PDF event details here.

    About Janet Sellery

    Janet Sellery is one of Canada’s leading experts in health and safety and the arts, entertainment and live events. She started her career in stage management and moved into health and safety after a critical injury involving an actor. Janet pioneered the health and safety program at the Stratford Festival, Canada’s largest repertory theatre, and one of her favourite projects was working as the Health & Safety Manager for the Opening, Closing and Victory Ceremonies at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics. Janet was a Co-Founder of the Canadian Event Safety Summit (2016-2018) and is now Chair, Event Safety Alliance Canada.

    Janet is an active volunteer with the Ontario Ministry of Labour Live Performance Health & Safety Advisory Committee and has recently joined the Board of Directors of the Event Safety Alliance. Janet is a graduate of the Technical/Production Theatre program at the Ryerson Theatre School in Toronto and certified as both a Canadian Registered Safety Professional (CRSP) and a Certified Health and Safety Consultant (CHSC).

    She has been awarded the “Jack McAllister Award” (Ryerson University), the “Ron Epp Memorial Award for Professional Achievement” (Canadian Institute for Theatre Technology) and “Canada’s Safety Manager of the Year” (Canadian Occupational Safety Magazine). As a Health & Safety Consultant (Sellery Health + Safety). Janet focuses on customizing programs, training, and resources to reflect the constantly evolving and unique demands of the live performance environment. Janet is committed to “setting the stage for people to create their best work”.

    Categories: Alumni, Announcements, Current Students, Events, News, Uncategorised

  • Brock students and newcomers to Canada unite online to create socially conscious theatre

    Originally published in The Brock News TUESDAY, DECEMBER 15, 2020 | by 

    The shift to online learning has not stopped Brock Dramatic Arts and Faculty of Education students from connecting with newcomers, educators and theatre makers around the globe.

    While in-person activities are limited or non-existent due to the pandemic, students in Social Issues Theatre for Community Engagement (DART 3F93) are virtually meeting with newcomers to learn about their journey to Canada.

    The result is meaningful collaboration and the creation of applied theatre pieces rooted in issues of social justice.

    Half of the students taking the course are studying Dramatic Arts. The other half are pursuing dramatic arts as a teachable subject through their Concurrent Education program, which allows students to earn both their undergraduate degree and a Bachelor of Education concurrently.

    The Social Issues Theatre for Community Engagement course builds on a long history between the Department of Dramatic Arts (DART), Niagara Folk Arts Multicultural Centre (NFAMC) and Brock University.

    In August 2019, a Memorandum of Understanding between Brock and the NFAMC was signed, solidifying a partnership between the two organizations aiming to address challenges for newcomers to Niagara and provide them with support through community-based actions. It was part of Brock’s ongoing community engagement efforts which create meaningful, mutually beneficial relationships that support social and economic development.

    Over a number of years, DART has had many collaborations with the NFAMC that have enriched the educational and creative experiences of Brock students and community members.

    This community engagement and scholarship continues to thrive online during the pandemic, offering students an experiential learning opportunity to gain valuable skills developed through the teachings of Dramatic Arts.

    The year-long course is taught by Rachel Rhoades, Assistant Professor of Applied Theatre, Dramatic Arts. Rhoades has worked as an applied theatre practitioner, educator and researcher for 12 years in community- and school-based settings in Boston, Toronto and now at Brock.

    Rhoades describes applied theatre as a creative tool for social change that is often mounted in non-traditional performance spaces and says different communities can come together to exchange stories of their lived experiences and create art based on these exchanges.

    The outcome is evocative theatre that promotes learning and healthy discussion around strategies for change and social justice in marginalized communities.

    In a photo taken prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Brock students from Social Issues Theatre for Community Engagement (DART 3F93) rehearse their applied theatre play Identities Relocated at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts.

     

    Applied theatre techniques can assist communities in articulating issues, enhancing understanding of their complexity and planning future actions.

    As learning shifted online this fall, Rhoades organized the “Global Guest Speaker Series” as part of the course. Each week, a guest artist facilitated virtual workshops.

    As a result of these workshops, students and volunteer newcomers from Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Colombia, Jamaica, Mexico, Angola and China created theatre scenes together that were performed virtually as part of the course work.

    Guest speakers have included: Brisa Areli Muñoz, Artistic Director of the Applied Theatre Collective, and Manager of Community Partnerships for The Public Theatre in New York City; Varshini Pichemuthu, co-founder of the RootPrints Theatre company in London, England; Taiwo Afolabi, Canada Research Chair in Theatre and many more from India, Singapore and Toronto.

    Inviting guest speakers from the arts and education field is a way Rhoades is using online platforms to the classes’ advantage and embracing the opportunity to promote global connections during a time of isolation.

    “The community members (newcomers) have expressed gratitude for the opportunity to share their stories and opinions on how to resolve major issues through their experiential knowledge,” Rhoades says.

    Rhoades’ academic background in education and applied theatre is connected to her ongoing research. She is guiding young people to develop relationships with marginalized communities so there can be a mutually beneficial experience.

    In this model, students listen to the experiences of newcomers allowing them to learn from a cross-cultural context. In turn, this process can help newcomers feel affirmed and valued, recognizing and honouring their strength through adversity.

    “The students have gained much inspiration from hearing the stories of resilience from the community members, and the collaboration has really opened their eyes to the struggles of peoples around the world,” Rhoades says, adding that the students are improving as educators and artists, and also acquiring knowledge on strategies to demand and develop a more just society. Now, more than ever, these community collaborations are vital to a bright and inclusive future, she says.

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    Categories: Alumni, Current Students, Faculty & Instructors, In the Media, News, Visiting Artists

  • Canada Games Research Spotlight: Karen Fricker

    Photo caption: Choreographer Monica Dottor (left) and Brock swimmer Ashley Falconer develop choreography for Circus on the Canal, a creative research project by Karen Fricker, Associate Professor of Dramatic Arts at Brock.

    Originally published THURSDAY, DECEMBER 03, 2020 | by The Brock News

    NOTE: This is the latest in a series of Q&A stories featuring Brock University faculty members who are integrating the Niagara 2022 Canada Summer Games into their research projects. For more information on Brock’s academic activities around the Games, visit brocku.ca/canada-games

    Karen Fricker, Associate Professor of Dramatic Arts, is author of the monograph, The Original Stage Productions of Robert Lepage: Making Theatre Global, which was published this year by Manchester University Press. She is the co-director of the international research project Circus and its Others, a theatre critic at the Toronto Star and is involved in a number of research projects about the future of theatre criticism.

    Fricker is one of 11 Brock researchers and scholars who received funding under the 2019-2020 round of the VPR Canada Games Grant program. Here, she discusses her creative research project titled “Circus on the Canal.” 

    Please give a brief overview of your research project.

    Circus on the Canal is a creative research project exploring the connections between water sports and circus performance, which will result in a live performance in and around the Welland Canal during the Niagara 2022

    Karen Fricker, Associate Professor of Dramatic Arts.

    Canada Games. It’s a collaboration between me and the circus artist and producer Holly Treddenick of Femmes du Feu Creations.

    The first stage of this research project, funded by a Brock Canada Games grant, took place in summer 2020. It involved Holly working with Brock varsity swimmer Ashley Falconer, technician Peter Benedetti of Upstage Dynamics, circus artist Emily Hughes, choreographer Monica Dottor and musician Eugene Draw to develop a physical vocabulary for the performance, and to explore locations on and around the Welland Canal where the performance will take place.

    What do you expect will be the outcome of your research?

    The goal is for Femmes du Feu Creations to create a live performance for the 2022 Games, in collaboration with Upstage Dynamics and the City Of Welland, that will involve performers on paddleboards, canoes or kayaks, in addition to elements expanding on the previously mentioned creative work,. I will write a scholarly article about the creative process and performance documenting the work and discoveries made about the ways in which the physical experience and knowledge of sportspeople and circus artists mutually informed each other in the work.

    How will this contribute to knowledge or understanding of the Canada Summer Games?

    Our hope is that this performance will engage audiences in the Games who may not necessarily have direct interest in sports themselves. Circus has a broad public appeal and the sights and sounds of a performance may draw people down to the canal and spark interest in the sports taking place there. Conversely, the performance is likely to enhance the experience of sports spectators and sportspeople by adding a creative and aesthetic element to the Games.

    How did you become interested in this research?

    I have been doing research about contemporary circus for seven years and am the co-director of Circus and its Others, a research project that organizes international conferences and publishes scholarly work about the ways in which difference is manifested and performed in contemporary circus. The dominance of Québec in the global circus scene has meant the work of circus artists and companies elsewhere in Canada is lesser known and under-resourced (Canadian circus is Québec circus’ “other”). It’s through research into circus in Ontario that I met Holly and became interested in her work as a creator, producer and promoter of innovative physical practice at the intersections of circus, dance and theatre.

    How do you plan on sharing your research? 

    We are preparing a video presentation about the first stage of this project for the Brock Research Showcase in January. The plan now is to apply for more funding so that we can bring the project to fruition during the 2022 Games, which will in turn lead to my academic writing about the project.

    Do you have any advice or tips on how colleagues in your Faculty can incorporate the Canada Games into their research?

    My advice around this, as with most things, is to network and build on relationships and proximity. Our project came about thanks to Holly’s and my desire to create a project together, to the fact that the Games have come to Niagara and to the location of her workplace and home right on the banks of the Welland Canal near the Flatwater Centre. We will need to do further networking as the project develops. The hardest part has been finding Brock partners on the sports and sports research side; the pandemic has made this particularly challenging.

    We hope to discover Brock students, faculty and staff who are paddleboarders, canoers or kayakers who might want to collaborate on the fully-realized performance. A related goal for us is to connect with Indigenous students or colleagues who have a particular connection to Niagara waterways.

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    Categories: Alumni, Announcements, Current Students, Events, Faculty & Instructors, Future students, News, Uncategorised

  • Dramatic Arts students mount ominous play from award-winning Canadian playwright

    Caption: Members of Sandbox Theatre, Brock University’s Department of Dramatic Arts fourth-year student-run company, rehearse a scene for their online production of Concord Floral by Jordan Tannahill.

    Sandbox Theatre, Brock University’s fourth-year Dramatic Arts student company (DART 4F56 – Advanced Studies in Theatre) is presenting an evocative story about ten teenagers who must face their guilt – and their past.

    The play Concord Floral written by Jordan Tannahill and directed by Dramatic Arts Instructor Ali Joy Richardson will be streamed on the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts (MIWSFPA) YouTube channel. The performances run Friday, Dec. 11 at 7:30 p.m., Saturday Dec. 12 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 13 at 2 p.m.

    Written by Canadian theatre maker Jordan Tannahill, two-time winner of the Governor General’s Literary Award for Drama, Concord Floral was nominated for the Governor General’s Award for Drama in 2016 and has been produced by theatre companies across the country.

    Concord Floral follows a group of suburban teens as they contend with their increasing social awareness and consequences of their past actions. Inspired by Giovanni Boccaccio’s thirteenth-century literary classic The Decameron, the teenagers are “fleeing a plague of their own making” after a rumour spreads that two girls have found a body in an abandoned greenhouse called Concord Floral.

    From costume and set design, to lighting, video and sound design, this production is entirely created and produced by fourth-year Dramatic Arts students and directed by playwright and director Ali Joy Richardson. The cast and crew, including student choreographers and composers, are currently spread out across Ontario due to the on-going COVID-19 pandemic. The stage manager for Concord Floral is connecting virtually from Mexico.

    This adaptation of Concord Floral is set in the Niagara region and takes place in the intimate, personal space of the bedrooms of teenagers. Performed on Zoom, the show captures the spirit of adolescence with all its jagged edges. This play amplifies the voices of young people and is proudly presented by the next generation of theatre artists.

    To reserve your viewing spot on the MIWSFPA YouTube channel, please visit Brock University Tickets.

    There is no cost for tickets. Donations are recommended to support the Black Health Alliance, a community-led registered charity working to improve the health and well-being of Black communities in Canada.

     

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    Categories: Announcements, Current Students, Events, Faculty & Instructors, Future students, In the Media, Media Releases, News, Performance Season, Plays, Uncategorised

  • Weekend of virtual events to explore theatre in the age of climate change

    Originally published TUESDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2020 in The Brock News| by 

    Pictured above: Brock’s Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts in downtown St. Catharines.

    Brock University’s Department of Dramatic Arts (DART) has teamed up with the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre to offer online performances and virtual discussions from Friday, Nov. 13 to Sunday, Nov. 15.

    Convened by DART Professors David Fancy and Karen Fricker, the weekend will include the sharing of five commissioned performances meant to inspire conversation and critical thought, as well as a livestreamed performance of Broadleaf Theatre’s award-winning production, The Chemical Valley Project, co-created by Kevin Matthew Wong and Julia Howman, and a panel discussion with contributing artists including Fancy, Wong and Santee Smith from Kaha:wi Dance Theatre.

    As part of the Walker Cultural Leaders Series, Brock University commissioned 10 regional theatre artists to create short online presentations exploring the climate crisis in relation to any area of their interest. The first five performances will be showcased as part of the November event and will include artists who are performers, designers, educators and writers. These artists have explored a multitude of themes in relation to climate change including consumerism, feminism, colonialism, COVID-19, healing, ecological grief and more. Excerpts of these works in progress will be shown followed by a Q&A session allowing the audience to engage with the performers.

    “We’re committed to manifesting Marilyn Walker’s vision and legacy of cultural leadership by bringing creative and critical attention to the climate crisis,” said David Fancy. “We’re especially grateful to have the opportunity to collaborate with the PAC on this series of presentations.”

    Annie Wilson, PAC’s Programming Supervisor, said the “climate crisis is going to require our collective creativity to rise to its challenges.”

    “We appreciate the chance to work alongside Brock’s Dramatic Arts Department to build this opportunity to reflect as a community on this most important issue.”

    For full event details, please visit our Walker Cultural Leaders page.

    Upcoming Walker Cultural Leaders Series events:

    Friday, Nov. 13:

    Walker Cultural Leaders Series commissioned artists — 5 to 6:30 p.m.

    • Dani Shae Barkley — exploring the economy, globalization, ecological grief and the climate
    • Kelly Wolf — exploring feminism and the climate
    • Iain Ellis Lidstone — exploring the relationship between land and healing

    Excerpts will be followed by a discussion chaired by Michelle Mohammed.

    The Chemical Valley Project by Broadleaf Theatre, co-created by Kevin Matthew Wong and Julia Howman — 7 p.m.

    Livestreamed performance from Robertson Theatre at FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre. Presented by the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre in partnership with Brampton’s Rose Theatre, Kingston’s Grand Theatre and Oakville Centre for the Performing Arts. Supported by Ontario Presents and Ontario Arts Council.

    Saturday, Nov. 14:

    The Chemical Valley Project by Broadleaf Theatre, co-created by Kevin Matthew Wong and Julia Howman — 2 p.m.

    A second livestreamed performance of The Chemical Valley Project from Robertson Theatre at FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre.

    Sunday, Nov. 15:

    Land, Water, Activism, Performance: A talkback and discussion panel — 1 p.m. 

    A panel discussion moderated by Karen Fricker featuring Kevin Matthew Wong of Broadleaf Theatre; Santee Smith, Artistic Director of Kaha:wi Dance Theatre; and DART Professor David Fancy. Topics will include Broadleaf Theatre’s commitment to climate-focused dramaturgy; Kaha:wi Dance Theatre’s Indigenous futurist dance production Skén:nen; and the upcoming Theatre Training in the Era of Climate Crisis volume and conference co-edited and organized by Fancy.

    Walker Cultural Leaders Series commissioned artists ­— 2 to 3:30 p.m.

    • James McCoy — exploring fatigue and the climate; the emotional response to climate change
    • Adrienne Smoke — presenting Rona” exploring colonialism, COVID-19 and the climate

    Excerpts will be followed by a discussion chaired by Michelle Mohammed.

    Tickets for The Chemical Valley Project are pay-what-you-can and are available on the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre website. There are no tickets required for The Walker Cultural Leader Series commissioned artists, and Land, Water, Activism, Performance: A talkback and discussion panel. These events will be livestreamed on the PAC and MIWSFPA Facebook pages and the MIWSFPA YouTube channel

    All content will be available for viewing (by ticket holders where applicable) until Sunday, Nov. 29. MIWSFPA YouTube channel