Alumni

  • Brock research team studies the evolution of circus performers

    bromance-220(Source: The Brock NewsTuesday, July 12, 2016 | by )

    Flying trapeze artists, elephants standing on one foot while balancing a ball, jugglers, sword swallowers, bearded ladies: these are among the images of the traditional travelling circus.

    The circus is still going strong today and has gone mainstream. Think Cirque du Soleil, the Montreal-based entertainment company that has become a worldwide phenomenon.

    “This positive news for circus companies, artists and audiences with a taste for thrilling entertainment also raises questions about circuses’ historic status as site for the celebration and exploitation of differences, from stagings of exceptional performing bodies to the display of ‘freakery,’” says Assistant Professor of Dramatic Arts Karen Fricker.

    Fricker is part of an international team of academics, artists and producers researching the relationship of contemporary circus to the widespread practice in traditional circus of featuring people with unusual physical features, such as Siamese twins, women who grow beards, and in extreme cases, people living with a disease or condition that exaggerates certain body parts.

    The team is interested in the ways in which today’s circus artists relate to this “freak show” tradition. Fricker is one of three leaders of the project, called “Circus and its Others,” along with Charles Batson of Union College, in New York and L. Patrick Leroux of Concordia University.

    This month, they are co-organizing a conference about this subject as part of the Montreal Complètement Cirque Festival, with the assistance of two Brock graduate students, Hayley Rose Malouin and Taylor Zajdlik.

    “There’s a large history of profound racism, sexism and ableism that I don’t think is present in contemporary circus in the same way, mostly because contemporary ideologies are very transformed,” says Malouin. “However, it’s interesting to see how some of those elements of sideshow ‘freakishness’ and how we view those born bodies finds its way into contemporary circus.”

    Fricker explains that circuses are, in essence, “variety shows” that feature highly-trained people with extraordinary skills performing daring, risky and spectacular feats.

    These acts are very physical; as a result, a lot of attention is focused on performers’ bodies. In traditional circuses, this focus extended to viewing bodies that were born unusual or made different from diseases or other factors beyond someone’s control.

    But societies eventually became more aware of the struggles and rights of people living with physical challenges, and also increasingly became more sensitive to animal exploitation. For example, after 145 years of featuring elephants in its circus acts, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey announced that it has plans to retire its elephant herd by 2018.

    The creation of Cirque du Soleil was a turning point in circus history. In the early 1980s, a troupe “juggled, danced, breathed fire and played music” for audiences in Baie-Saint-Paul near Quebec City, says the group’s website.

    One of the performers, Guy Laliberté, took the show on the road in 1984 to celebrate the 450th anniversary of Jacques Cartier’s discovery of Canada.

    “The show was a striking, dramatic mix of circus arts (without animals) and street performance that featured wild, outrageous costumes, magical lighting, and original music,” according to the website. Notably, one of the key features that distinguishes Cirque du Soleil from traditional circus is that it does not include animal acts, and rarely puts born difference on display in its shows.

    Zajdlik says contemporary circuses such as Soleil largely feature “achieved bodies,” bodies “transformed into these powerful vessels that become circus performers” through intensive physical training.

    “Are we gazing upon these spectacular bodies because they represent something that we nostalgically long for in what the freak once gave us?” says Zajdlik. “From aerial feats to contortions, these bodies are doing extraordinary things that you would not normally get to see. In a way, that kind-of represents what the ‘freak’ once represented for circus.”

    The researchers note that there are circuses that feature unusual bodies, but in a very different way than in the past.

    The keynote speaker at this month’s conference is Jennifer Miller, who founded Circus Amok in New York City and is also a professor at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn.

    Miller has had a beard since her early 20s. She is known as the “Bearded Lady,” who uses her performances to “ask people who look at her to think critically about what they understand as normatively female or male, masculine or feminine,” says Fricker.

    “She challenges those boundaries,” says Fricker. “We’re in the age of gender fluidity. I think she speaks from, and to that, culture in an interesting way.”

    The Circus and its Others conference was held in Montreal July 15 to 17, 2016.

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

  • Dramatic Arts alumna feature documentary to be broadcast July 09

    (Source: The Brock NewsWednesday, June 15, 2016 | by )

    It was the people and their stories that captivated Nicolina Lanni. What they lost. What they found. How they connected.

    In her first feature documentary film Lost & Found, the Brock University grad shares the stories of Japanese people who survived a devastating tsunami and the beachcombers half a world away who helped pick up the pieces.

    “It’s about people and very personal, human stories,” says Lanni (BA ’05). “It was so clearly such a beautiful story and once it was in front of us, there was no way we were not going to tell it.”

    An estimated 25-million tonnes of wreckage from Japan’s 2011 earthquake and tsunami is drifting across the Pacific Ocean, often washing up on North America’s shores. Filming took Lanni and her creative partner John Choi to Alaska, Washington, British Columbia and Japan.

    Lanni says the debris is more than just trash, it’s remnants of the lives of the 20,000 people lost to the waves and the loved ones they left behind.

    The film follows the stories of beachcombers, scientists and government officials coming together to collect all that was lost, and reunite the items with their rightful owners in Japan.

    “We didn’t really focus on the disaster or the aftermath,” Lanni says. “Our film really focuses on the specific stories of friendship and these really unlikely relationships forged in the aftermath.”

    One of the friendships the film explores is between Alaskans David and Yumi Baxter and a woman they met in Japan after finding a yellow buoy wash up in Alaska. Sakiko Miura lost everything in the tsunami including the restaurant she ran with her late husband Keigo.

    The Baxters reunited Miura with a buoy with the character for Kei (short for Keigo) painted on it, which used to hang outside of her restaurant in a coastal town called Minamisanriku.

    “The fact that the Kei buoy came back makes me think that my husband’s soul is in it,” Miura says in the documentary.

    The meaning of objects and our connection to them is explored throughout Lost & Found.

    The filmmakers made links that will last a lifetime, Choi says.

    “The people in our film are all incredibly close to us still. It’s a family,” he says. “Lost & Found is really about taking that leap of faith and the unlikeliness of people coming together from around the world and connecting.”

    Lanni says the work she did while making the film is drawn from her experiences at Brock, where she studied theatre and women’s studies.

    It was at Brock that she started interviewing people and storytelling as part of a form of verbatim theatre called Collective Creation – when a group comes together, writes, collaborates and performs. She did it in Africa after graduation.

    “We would go into a town, talk to people and create a show and perform it for the community,” she says.

    After working in journalism for a time, Lanni switched to filmmaking and works as a director and producer in film and broadcast television including programming for The History Channel, Discovery Channel and Shaw Media.

    Lost & Found was commissioned by Shaw Communications alongside NHK Enterprises in Japan and SBS in Australia.

    Lanni says they also received the Hot Docs Shaw Completion Fund and the film had its theatrical premier at the Hot Docs Bloor Cinema in March for the fifth anniversary of the tsunami.

    For more information on the film and where to see it visit www.lostandfoundthefilm.ca. Global is showing the movie July 9 at 9 p.m.

    Lanni and Choi, who have a company called Frank Films, are currently working on a documentary about sinkholes.

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    Categories: Alumni, In the Media, News

  • Dramatic Arts graduating student writes about her experiences at Brock University

    goodnight-desdemona60ed07-1600x900crHello future DART students (and those still deciding):

    My name is Elizabeth and I am a graduating student from the Dramatic Arts program at Brock University.  I know you are all facing the important decision of where to go for school next year and wanted to write you all and let you know a bit about why I chose Brock, and the amazing opportunities I’ve had as a result.

    After my invitational experience at Brock I knew it was the place for me.  I left the invitational convinced that this would be a program in which I would be valued and appreciated for what I had to offer as an individual.  I also got the feeling that this would be a program focused on building community rather than competition.  I was right; DART is filled with some of the most supportive people I have ever worked with — professors and peers alike.

    The ability to get a truly well-rounded theatrical education was one of the most important factors in my decision.  Although I was in the performance concentration and therefore had plenty of studio classes and performance opportunities, I benefitted the most from being exposed to all aspects of theatrical production and study.  Crew courses gave me an appreciation for those who work backstage, as well as valuable skills that performers may need when starting their own small companies; critical theory and theatre history courses gave me a strong foundation of theatrical knowledge that I continuously draw on; directing and devising courses allowed my to develop who I want to be as an artist; and a theatre criticism course with Prof. Karen Fricker — who is also the Toronto Star’s new theatre critic — allowed me to discover a passion I was able to further as a writer and editor for dartcritcs.com.  That passion for theatre criticism began my interests in writing and dramaturgy, interests that I am now pursuing in graduate studies at Harvard University and the American Repertory Theater Institute — indicative, I believe, of the quality of education and scope of opportunities DART offers its students.

    If you have a theatre-related interest you want to explore, Brock is the place to do it.  In my time here I have acted in numerous MainStage and student-run productions, directed a one act play and assistant directed last year’s Fall MainStage, coordinated five seasons of the GimmeTwo short scene festival, attended classes at the Stratford and Shaw festivals, learned technical skills ranging from designing lighting plots to building sets, been employed by the university as a stage hand and as a theatre critic, and am currently working as a summer intern at the Shaw Festival. (I write a blog for DART students about this experience which you can find at shawandtell.wordpress.com).  I believe that this program offers students the support and resources to achieve and experience anything they desire.

    DART is a program that allows you to pursue your interests with instructors who not only are some of the best in the business, but who respect and build lasting friendships with their students.  This is a program to explore and gain confidence in new interests in a safe and encouraging environment.  Even better, that environment is now gorgeous and better equipped than ever thanks to the recent move to the brand new arts building.

    I hope that you seriously consider the Dramatic Arts program at Brock.  This program made all the difference in allowing me to become a confident and competent artist, and I know that my future is brighter because of the decision I made when I was in your place.  Please feel free to email me with any questions you may have about the program, I will be so happy to hear from you and will help in any way I can.  Hope to see you on (or behind) the DART stage in the coming years!

    Best of luck,

    Elizabeth Amos
    DART Class of 2016

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    Categories: Alumni, Current Students, Future students, News

  • Brock grad attending prestigious Soulpepper Academy

    (Source: The Brock NewsWednesday, May 18, 2016 | by )

    When Marcel Stewart studied drama at Brock University, he learned more than how to portray a character on stage.

    He learned to write, direct and produce. He learned confidence in his craft.

    “Brock taught me a lot about just being an artist in general,” said the 30-year-old Toronto man. By his third year in the dramatic arts program, Stewart (BA ’07) was completely immersed in all aspects of the theatre.

    “I’m most grateful for the understanding that arts is a community,” he said, noting he appreciated the spirit of collaboration and support at Brock.

    Stewart was recently accepted as one of 17 artists in the prestigious and competitive Soulpepper Academy, a paid two-year training program for theatre artists. More than 1,100 people applied in the nationwide audition.

    Stewart said the six-month audition process was intense but taught him a lot about himself.

    “To be selected as a member of the Soulpepper Academy can be a career-changing appointment,” said Professor David Vivian, chair of Brock’s Department of Dramatic Arts. “We teach our theatre artists to excel across a wide spectrum of skills.”

    Soulpepper Academy has specialized training streams in acting, playwriting, directing, designing and producing.

    Stewart, who for a number of years has been exploring the relationship between Shakespearean language and hip-hop music, is developing a hip-hop adaptation of Macbeth.

    He has also been successful on the stage in the Toronto area and said taking a break from his burgeoning acting career is daunting. But to him, it’s worth the risk.

    “What I’m looking forward to is better preparing myself to become a man on stage,” he said, noting he’s looking to transition from roles for young men into a broader range. “I’m most excited about challenging myself.”

    Vivian said Stewart’s teachers at Brock are proud of his accomplishments since graduating.

    “This is a significant achievement for one of our graduates and it couldn’t have happened to a more generous spirit and talented artist,” said Danielle Wilson, Brock lecturer and director of Mainstage Productions in the Department of Dramatic Arts. “As a student, he was extremely motivated to do quality work that pushed the boundaries of his abilities. I have followed his career over the years and am very impressed by the quality of the projects he has been involved in as a young and developing artist.” Stewart starts at Soulpepper Academy in August.

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    Categories: Alumni, In the Media, News

  • Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine & Performing Arts Alumni Homecoming

    Event date: September 18, 2015, 5 pm – 11 pm

    ***PLEASE SEE THIS NEWS UPDATE ABOUT PARKING ON SEPTEMBER 18TH***

    Alumni of the Arts and Culture, Dramatic Arts, Music and Visual Arts programs and our friends and guests from the Niagara Region and GTA are cordially invited to the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts Alumni Homecoming and Grand Opening!

    Please join us for an evening of captivating artwork, exciting performances and beautiful music. Grab a glass of wine, take yourself on a tour of the incredible new MIWSFPA facility and spend some time reconnecting with classmates, professors and friends from the Departments of Dramatic Arts, Music, and Visual Arts, and our Centre for Studies in Arts and Culture.

    Official opening ceremonies begin at 3:00; Open house begins at 5:00 pm; VISA Art Gallery Alumni exhibition opens at 5:00 pm; VISA Alumni Dinner, 6:30 – 8 pm at Gord’s Place, 84 James Street; MUSI programming across the evening in multiple venues at 15 Artists’ Common; Cabaret in the DART Theatre at 7:30 pm.

    Affiliated events also include:

    Tale of a Town St. Catharines
    Addressing the Void

    and

    Confluence Field Trip #1, a fifteen minute walk from Rodman Hall to MWSFPA along the Merritt Trail and McGuire St.. for more information see: confluencefieldtrips.ca

    Hope to see you there!

    See the Facebook event by clicking here.

    GET YOUR TICKETS HERE to reserve a seat at the VISA Alumni dinner!

    GET YOUR TICKETS HERE for the DART theatre CABARET!

    For more information about the Homecoming Weekend program at Brock University, to register for events and to learn about shuttle bus service to the region be sure to visit
    https://brocku.ca/alumni/celebrate-homecoming-2
    ***Please note this event will take place at our new address at 15 Artists’ Common, also known as the former Canada Haircloth Building, in downtown St. Catharines. ***not at 500 Glenridge Avenue ***

    Here is a link to a Google street view from June, when our address was known to be IceDogs Way, and here is a Google map for directions to the facilities.

    Please see the Brock University Campus Map here: https://brocku.ca/blogs/campus-map/miwsfpa/

    We are adjacent to the First Ontario Performing Arts Centre and the Meridian Centre.

    ***PLEASE SEE THIS NEWS UPDATE ABOUT PARKING ON SEPTEMBER 18TH***

    *****

    Hear ye! Hear ye! the excellent program for our event on September 18th!

    VISA Painting Studio 
    location: MW 416
    4:00-9:00 pm
    Open house Exhibition
    and
    Musical performances in the VISA Painting Studio by:
    Brock Jazz Band
    Carly Manley
    Danny Lamb Trio
    Grace Notes String Ensemble
    Brock Beatles Band

    VISA Drawing Studio 
    location: MW 406
    4:00 – 9:00 pm
    Open house Exhibition
    and
    Musical performances in the VISA Drawing Studio by:
    Sabrina Xin Liu, piano
    Leanne Vida, piano/vocal
    Andrea Nolan, piano/vocal
    Neva Tesolin, piano/vocal
    Leland, piano/vocal
    Melissa-Marie Shriner, piano/vocal
    H. Campbell, piano/vocal

    VISA Gallery
    First floor at the Main Entrance, 15 Artists’ Common
    MW 159
    5:00-7:00 pm
    Opening Reception for the Alumni exhibition
    and
    Musical performances in the VISA Gallery by:
    Grace Snippe, cello
    Brody Smith, guitar
    Allison Scholtens, violin
    Tyler Merza, guitar

    Classical Recital in the MUSI Vocal Studio 
    location: MW 104
    6:00 – 9:00 pm
    Christina Lerose, piano
    Leanne Vida, soprano
    Jorgo Kalo, piano
    Victoria Hoshowsky, soprano
    Negin Rezaei Asl, piano
    Caroline Nicole Corkum, soprano and Alexandre Soulodre, piano
    Serena Atallah, piano
    Erika Versluis, soprano and Tyler Versluis, piano
    Sabrina Xin Liu, piano
    Leanne Vida, soprano and Jorgo Kalo, piano

    DART Theatre Cabaret!  
    Location: DART Theatre
    MW 262
    7:30 pm – 11:00 pm
    Hosted by Cass Van Wyck and Rox Chwaluk
    Guests are welcome to come and go.
    In order of performance:

    Arms Up Comedy: Caitlin English, Jacqueline Costa, Eric Frank, Chris Boyle
    Attic Window Theatre, In Real Life: Collin Glavac, Colin B. Anthes, Eduardo DiMartino, Nicola Franco, Hayley Rose Malouin
    Piano and Vocal: Lee Stewart
    Brock Improv Alumni: Richard Varty, Rox Chwaluk, Brandon Pachan, Alana Perri.
    Piano and Vocal: Melissa-Marie Shriner and Grace Snippe
    One Four One Collective, Stuck in Horse- Send Help! : Evan Mulrooney and Kevin Chew
    Piano and Vocal: Neva Tesolin
    MOVE! : Alex Kazam, Adrien Hurst, Jerry Prom, Mitchell Peebles, Caleb Fast, Mikey Henley
    Music by Alejandro Del Pino
    The Labour of Forrest Nympho: A Drag Birthing: Geoffrey Heaney
    Piano and Vocal: Andrea Nolan
    Empty Box Theatre, Waiting for Alonzo:  Hayley Rose Malouin, Victoria Cutler, Sean Rintoul
    Piano and Vocal: Holly Campbell
    Garden City Improv: Collin Glavac, Ross Mosher, Jamie Roboz, David Bernard, Hayley Malouin, Jonas McLean
    Guitar and Vocal: Aaron Berger
    Open Mic!
    FOX TRAIL: Iain Lidstone, Marcus Schwan, Brent Cairns, Adam Wood, Alannah Garrett
    ~the end~

    Special events not to be missed!:

    New Work in Progress: Addressing the Void 
    by Maggie Hunter and performed by Abby Rollo, Gemma Bordonaro and Jacqui Noel. (DART)
    location: Studio D MW 256.
    6:00 pm, 6:30 pm and 7:00 pm

    Special Installation of Tale of a Town St. Catharines. Listening Booths by FIXT POINT and Suitcase in Point Theatre Company.
    Various locations in the MIWSFPA.

    Confluence Field Trip #1, a fifteen minute walk from Rodman Hall to the MIWSFPA along the Merritt Trail and McGuire St.
    Artist: Elizabeth Chitty. Participants are invited to participate in this self-guided tour of a section of the Twelve Mile Creek valley. For more information see: http://confluencefieldtrips.ca/

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

  • Class blog takes centre stage with theatre criticism

    (Source: The Brock NewsFriday, July 3, 2015 | by . Photo: DARTcritics started as a class blog but has grown to fill the void of local arts criticism.)

    They call themselves critics with class.

    But more than being clever, the student writers behind the DARTcritics website are providing theatrephiles with thoughtful arts criticism about performances in Niagara and beyond.

    That wasn’t always its purpose, however. The two-year-old theatre review website, which was recently relaunched with a new look, started as a forum for Dramatic Arts Prof. Karen Fricker to post standout assignments by students in her theatre criticism class. But it soon became apparent the site served a larger purpose.

    DARTcritics picked up where slashed and shrunken newsrooms left off with their arts coverage. Other than a handful of metro and national dailies, few newsrooms boast a dedicated arts and entertainment reporter anymore, leaving a void to be filled.

    “What we discovered was that in some instances, the reviews that we published were among the only, if not the only, review response that productions would receive, because there is so little arts criticism in Niagara,” Fricker said. “This was a startling and empowering realization for the students — that they were in dialogue with art and artists in a privileged way.”

    Of course, seeing their names in print was nothing short of thrilling, too. Hayley Malouin was hooked the moment she got her first byline for her review of London Road, a musical about an English town coping with the murders of five of its women.

    “I thought ‘OK, we’ll see some shows,’” said Malouin, who signed up for Fricker’s class in her third year. “I wrote the first review and got it up on the blog and was ‘This is like crack.’”

    Being published was an incentive, but writing reviews for posting was ultimately a way for Malouin to use what she had learned from Fricker about articulating her opinions of a production beyond saying whether or not she like it.

    “I hated (London Road) and finding out why I hated it was so fun,” she explained. “It really changed my view of what happens in theatre. There’s this critical side to it – this analytical side to it…. I think you can be analytical and creative and that’s a really special thing.”

    Fricker, a former critic with The Guardian in the U.K., capitalized on the opportunity to turn DARTCritics into a bona fide source of arts criticism last April when Malouin and fellow student Nick Leno landed funding from BUSU to cover St. Catharines’ In the Soil Arts Festival.

    She also coached the duo to be editors and social media curators. This summer, they’re running the site like a newsroom with two staff writers, fourth-year DART students Elizabeth Amos and Alex Jackson. Together, they cover theatre in Hamilton, Niagara, Toronto and Stratford, thanks to support from the Match of Minds program run by the Office of Research Services and BUSU.

    The relaunch of the DARTcritics site coincides with this summer’s move of Dramatic Arts to the new home of the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts in downtown St. Catharines, Fricker noted.

    “It’s such an exciting moment for the arts at Brock and in St. Catharines more broadly, with the new First Ontario Performing Arts Centre opening in the autumn, as well as our own building,” she said. “This seemed the perfect occasion for us to take DARTcritics to a new level with a new look, and more reviews.”

    Fricker will resume the editor’s post when classes resume in the fall, but for summer, the site is “Nick and Hayley’s baby.”

    “It’s a great experience of entrepreneurialism and leadership for them.”

    It has also carved out a potential career path for Malouin. Theatre criticism has become something she would like to pursue further, either as a freelance writer or by developing her own theatre review site.

    Still, there has been one downside to being a DARTcritic: it’s tough to shut off and watch a show for pleasure.

    “I see theatre and can’t not be critical now,” Malouin said. “People see that as a negative but it’s not. I’m always on now when I see a show. I do wish I could go see a Mirvish show and say ‘That’s great!’”

    Visit DARTcritics

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

  • Students and Alumni representing Dramatic Arts at Fringe Festivals around Ontario

    NOTE: this article does not refer to the Fringe Festivals of 2015.

     

    Promotional poster for Super

    Students and alumni of the Department of Dramatic Arts are engaged in creating, performing and producing new and innovative theatrical productions In three out of the four Fringe Festivals in Ontario. Canada enjoys more Fringe festivals than any other country in the world with 16 individual festivals. Originating with the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland in 1947, these shows create an opportunity for affordable and accessible theatre where artists and audiences can take risks in an unjuried, uncensored, lottery programmed festival of the performing arts. The festivals are united under the Canadian Association of Fringe Festivals.

    The London Fringe Festival closed on June 16th and featured two shows developed and performed by DART students and graduates. 

    Promotional poster for Trailers, Credits, Prologues & Epitaphs

    James Lowe (class of 2013) wrote and directed the production Super. A comedic farce on the Superhero genre, Super showcased the trials and tribulations of seven mismatched and dysfunctional Superheroes with unfortunately awful powers. Performing in the show were 8 students/grads of the program, Brent Cairns, Rachelle Lauzon, Kendra Kneaves, Brianne Lidstone, Cassandra Van Wyck, Matt Da Costa, Nicholas Leno, and Emma Strong. All of these performers have been featured in main stage productions at Brock. In a review published in theatreinlondon.ca  Erika Faust said “The eight members of the cast work well together as they help each person tell the story of how they discovered their powers. Super is definitely about the journey, not the destination.”

    Current DART student Evan Bawtinheimer wrote the edgy piece Trailers, Credits, Prologues & Epitaphs also produced at London Fringe this year. In theis new play a runaway teen, a husband with severe memory loss, and a nurse with a guilty conscience are victims of a movie theatre shooting. Each of them seeks redemption and recognition in this memory play exploring family, honour, and love.

    The cast of A Young Lady’s Guide to Vivisection posing with portraits of their historical counterparts

    Toronto Fringe, running July 3rd to 14th, has many DART students and graduates among the participating creators and theatre makers. 

    Empty Box Theatre is producing the new show A Young Lady’s Guide to Vivisection. This “gruesome dramedy” follows the Queen’s University medical class of 1884 as they adjust to the arrival of the first female students, new scientific ideas, and the marvellously mad world of Victorian medicine. Artistic director and DART student Keavy Lynch has cast performers from both the Brock and Queens theatre communities including DART grad Jonathan Philips (class of 2012).

    In her review in Toronto Now Magazine, Kathleen Smith wrote “In a series of well written vignettes by director Keavy Lynch and the company, the struggles of women and men wanting to become doctors in mid-nineteenth century Ontario are explored, with both silly and macabre humour.”

    Promotional poster for Spoon

    Spencer Smith (class of 2011) is presenting his show Spoon in the Toronto Fringe Festival. This play premiered at Brock University as a part of his Honours thesis project. Spencer recently spoke to gathered future students at the May DART Invitational and imparted some words of wisdom about studying theatre.

    Mooney on Theatre, a Toronto-based theatre website run by Megan Mooney, reviewed Spoon saying “The mention of a play in this year’s Fringe that explores queer theory through the lives of a gay couple trying to make sense of gender stereotypes caught my interest. Happily, this play more than delivers on its promise.” The full review can be found here.

    Christian Baines wrote in The Charlebois Post: “Spoon swings happily from the disturbingly violent to the perversely erotic. But more than just titillating, writer and actor Spencer Charles Smith has created a work that attacks our preconceived notions of gender within the scope of a budding relationship […] It’s great to find a work that’s willing to go there with such vulnerability and intelligence.”

    Another DART grad, Trevor Ketcheson (class of 2012) is also performing in the Toronto Fringe in The Retirement Plan, a comedic cautionary tale that examines one family’s priorities and the trade-offs they make in attempts to control their future. Mooney on Theatre also reviewed this production calling it “a charming play” and “while the play was a satire I left thinking about my own plans for the future.” The Retirement Plan was chosen as one of the Patron’s Picks. Selection is based on a combination of cash ticket sales after the first four shows coupled with media reception and overall ‘buzz’ of the production. The chosen shows receive an additional performance slot on the final day of the Festival.

    promotional poster for Here playing in the Toronto Fringe Festival

    Graduate Evan Mulrooney (class of 2013), general manager of the company Fulcrum Theatre, is producing the show Here. This multimedia dance-theatre piece examines the notions of being stuck and learning when to say goodbye to something you love. Another grad, Erica Charles (class of 2013), performs the role of Ester in the production Here. Erica was recently awarded the Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship (Master’s) for her work “The voice in phenomenology and semiotic theory” as part of her Honours Thesis. Here is also being produced for the Hamilton Fringe Festival running July 18th-28th.

    Mooney On Theatre also reviewed the production saying “Here has all the ingredients of a great play. It has the drama, the dance, the romance, the betrayal, the flashbacks and so much more.”

    Production poster for Nobody’s Idol

    Alexandra Lean (class of 2007) is producing her show, Nobody’s Idolalso in the Toronto Fringe. This is an edgy musical parody where misfits and wannabes dual with their voices for a grand prize of a “lifetime supply of fame” at the world’s most popular televised competition.

    In her graduating year Alexandra was awarded the F. Janet Dolman Prize for Playwritting. We asked her about her experience during the six years since graduating from the Department of Dramatic Arts. Alexandra commented “This award, which came out of the experience I gathered at Brock, really gave me the confidence to go out into the world and say I’m a playwright. I found my experience in courses like Directing (DART 3P53) and Advanced Studies in Theatre (DART 4F56) gave me the hands on experience I needed to take on the task of putting on my first professional production. Even though my Fringe show is a musical I have taken all that academic talk about theatricality and such into this experience” Alexandra continued. She also spoke of her experience running the Brock Improv club. “This was my first real leadership role and it has informed my work as both a writer and producer.”

    Also playing in the Hamilton Fringe Festival (July 18th-28th) is Nocturne, where you will see Michael Pearson (BA 2011, BEd 2012) as a young aspiring (albeit incompetent) magician thrown into the depths of the second world war. See their Facebook page here.

    The Department of Dramatic Arts is proud to have such talented, creative students and alumni in some of the largest Fringe Festivals in North America. Break a leg!

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    Categories: Alumni, Current Students, News

  • COMMOTION wins Gold and Silver!

    commotion_prestige_220Professor Gyllian Raby of Dramatic Arts (DART) and DART Alumna Caitlin English were recently honoured by the news that their film COMMOTION was awarded a Gold medal in the education category and a Silver medal in the research category by Prestige Film Awards, an international juried competition that connects filmmakers with distributors.

    Commotion is a tri-generational program that trains emerging Brock Graduates to create theatre and work with high school students in the surrounding community. The program is run by Gyllian Raby, a Brock professor and Pablo Felices Luna, the past artistic director for Carousel Players youth theatre in St Catharines.

    In reaching out to the local youth, this program is a vital resource to identifying and teaching the relationship between the creative process and group dynamics for Brock’s emerging artists.

    For more information about the project see this news item from November 2011.  See also Prestige Film Awards.

    The COMMOTION project was made possible by SSHRC: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the Department of Dramatic Arts of the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts at Brock UniversityCarousel Players, TALK Niagara and with support from the District School Board of Niagara.

    Congratulations Gyllian and Caitlin!

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    Categories: Alumni, Faculty & Instructors, News

  • Story, Drama, & Video in Personal and Social Contexts – A Research Celebration!

    Mary Code (left), graduate of the Department of Dramatic Arts, is pursuing her MEd at the Faculty of Education at Brock University. Gillian Fournier OCT (right) also a graduate of the Department of Dramatic Arts, MEd from the Faculty of Education at Brock University, is currently teaching at Ridley College in St. Catharines, ON.

    Mary Code (left), graduate of the Department of Dramatic Arts, is pursuing her MEd at the Faculty of Education at Brock University. Gillian Fournier OCT (right) also a graduate of the Department of Dramatic Arts, MEd from the Faculty of Education at Brock University, is currently teaching at Ridley College in St. Catharines, ON.

    On February 28th, 2015 approximately 30 people participated in the Drama in Education and Applied Theatre symposium “Story, Drama, & Video in Personal and Social Contexts” at Rodman Hall of Brock University. The symposium included presentations by former and present graduate students, faculty members, instructors, and a performance by current Drama in Education /Applied Theatre (DIE/AT) students of the Department of Dramatic Arts.

    Professors Yasmine Kandil and Joe Norris, assisted by Kat Gottli (BA Dramatic Arts, MEd Teaching, Learning and Development) organized the event to “create a space for dialogue between students, faculty, instructors, and community members about how we conduct our research and the challenges and rewards of using story, drama, or video to mobilize our work with different target groups.”  The symposium was an opportunity for instructors and students of the Department of Dramatic Arts to share their research and participate in dialogue about the theories and practices of students, colleagues, and mentors in this ever-growing field.

    The day began with a performance by third year DIE/AT students about youth at risk in the alternative education programs and was followed by a rich talkback about the themes explored in the piece.
    (A Better Tomorrow. Jenna Klomp, Victoria Van Sickle, Spencer Walker, Michelle Lemme, Melissa Butera, Maddy DeLuca.)

    In the field of Drama in Education there were presentations that explored the use of drama to engage and better understand cyberbullying (Exploring Cyberbullying Through Drama for Social Intervention. Gillian Fournier, OCT, MEd), identity formation in relation to social media (Do they “like” me? An exploration of the 21st century student’s new socialization experience and its implication for pedagogical practiceMary Code, MEd student, Faculty of Education), body image and self-loathing amongst school children (I’m perfect/Imperfect: Dramatic Explorations of body image with elementary and post-secondary students. Dr. Kari-Lynn Winters, Faculty of Education), Romeo and Juliet as Educational Theatre through Facebook (Facebook Romeo and Juliet as Educational Theatre: An Improbable Fiction? Helen Zdriluk, MEd, Department of Dramatic Arts), and the important roles that artists can play within the classroom environment and curriculum delivery (Playlinks: Investigating an Artist-in-the-Classroom Approach to Enhanced Student Learning. Dr. Debra McLauchlan, Faculty of Education).

    Applied Theatre presentations included topics such as the pitfalls of charity work in the field of international development and the importance of creating change that is sustainable (Keep your coins: We want changeRox Chwalulk, OCT, MEd), as well as an examination of the ethical considerations in the use of personal stories for raising awareness and celebrating experiences of immigration and settling (Personal Stories in Applied Theatre: Redefining the Blurred Lines. Dr. Yasmine Kandil, Department of Dramatic Arts).

    On the topic of Research Dissemination one presentation explored the use of web-based videos to share and mobilize research initiatives (Disseminating Performative Research Through Web-based Videos. Dr. Joe Norris, Department of Dramatic Arts).  From the area of Social Justice and Equity Studies a presentation examined anti-oppressive literature in elementary school classrooms (They’re trying to trick us!” Making sense of anti-oppressive children’s literature in the elementary school classroom. Kate Paterson, MA student, Social Justice and Equity Studies).

    Professor Kandil came from Victoria, British Columbia to join the Department of Dramatic Arts in 2014. Her research investigates the effective methods of Theatre for Development practice by understanding the conditions that provide autonomy and empowerment for marginalized communities.  Her dissertation (University of Victoria) showcases two long-term projects: one carried out with a community of garbage pickers living in the slums of Cairo, and the other with immigrant and refugee youth in Victoria, B.C. Professor Kandil’s current research investigates the relationship between not-for-profit organizations’ arts-based projects and participant autonomy and privacy in projects that depict participants’ real-life experiences.  The outcome will be to produce a guidebook, for use of organizations and artists, which would outline the parameters and ethical considerations when working with people’s real-life stories in community-based theatre projects.

    Please see the following links for more information and to contact Professor Kandil.

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    Categories: Alumni, Current Students, News

  • The passing of the late Poet, Terrance Cox

    cox1We are very saddened to learn of the passing of our dear colleague and friend, the late poet Terrance Cox. Terrance taught for almost thirty years in Music and Dramatic Arts and helmed the first year course DART 1F93 for many, many years. Though he had not been well for a few years and was no longer teaching for the Department and the University we have always kept a very big place in our hearts for him.

    Our colleague Gyllian Raby remembers that “Terrance was special and his larger than life persona was a gift. I feel a big Terrance shaped hole in the air of St. Catharines.”

    There will be a memorial event at the NAC on Sunday Feb. 8th at 2pm.

    Niagara Artists Centre
    354 St.Paul Street
    St. Catharines, ON L2R 3N2

    Phone: 905 641 0331 | Fax: 905 641 4970 | Email: artists@nac.org

    There is an event page on Facebook for this wake.

    Please see the obituary in the Globe and Mail here.

    We are sharing our memories below. If you have any memories you’d like to contribute, please share with us.


    Pictures:

    Terrance performed on the stage of the then-named Thistle Theatre in Troilus and Cressida in 1975 and Henry IV in 1976, both directed by Professor Emerita Dr. Mary-Jane Miller. He also played the policeman in Peter Feldman’s production of The Good Woman of Setzuan by Brecht and produced in the mid-70s. He played the lawyer in Peter’s production of Blood Relations by Sharon Pollock and he recorded a voice-over for Peter’s production of The Trial adapted from Kafka. Most recently at DART he played Adam in the play Adam and Eve produced in the Studio Theatre and directed by Danielle Wilson.


    from Terrance’s page at Poets.ca:

    “Terrance Cox writes poems and non-fiction in St Catharines, Ontario, where he also teaches at Brock University as a “general practitioner” in the arts and humanities. His teaching career features stints in secondary, college and university classrooms, in Canada and overseas. Among Cox’s research interests are popular music and locality. Published since 1973 as a journalist, he contributes erudite and amusing columns and articles to regional newspapers and magazines, where appears as well his work as an editor.

    Cox has published over 200 poems in Canadian literary journals and anthologies, running the gamut from Antigonish Review to Zygote, stopping en route at most of our lit mags of name and repute. The latest of his published collections is a second “spoken word with music” CD, Simultaneous Translation (2005). It joins in the canon his prize-winning book Radio & Other Miracles (Signature Editions, 2001) and an acclaimed earlier CD, Local Scores (Cyclops Press, 2000). Works-in-progress include the manuscripts West Bank Poems and Civics, Botany & Such.

    He is an experienced reader, performing at many and various art gallery, bookstore, cabaret, café, concert, festival, nightclub, pub, radio, shopping mall, television, theatre, university and winery venues in Calgary, Hamilton, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, Montreal, Ottawa, Peterborough, Saskatoon, St Catharines/Niagara, Toronto, and Winnipeg, 1978-2005. Through Ontario Arts Council programmes, and independently, he has presented a diverse series of poetry workshops in elementary and secondary schools in St Catharines/Niagara, 1982-2005.

    Cox’s poems express his experiences. They come from his time of work and travel in Africa and the Middle East; from childhood and family’s past; from over the airwaves and out of recorded grooves. They are of the present in their local particulars; they grow in his own backyard. (author photo by Stephen Dominick)

    Awards:
    2002 Niagara Book Prize sponsored by three Niagara daily newspapers & Chapters/Indigo.
    2nd Prize, This Magazine’s “Great Canadian Literary Hunt,” 2000.
    2nd Prize, Canadian Author’s Association (Niagara Branch) Annual Poetry Contest, 2000.
    Co-recipient of Floyd S. Chalmers Creative Award,1982.
    (Others as journalist and as academic)

    Selected Publications:
    Simultaneous Translation (TMC, distributed by Signature Editions, 2005) ISBN: 0-9738216-0-4, CD recording.
    Radio & Other Miracles (Signature Editions, 2001) ISBN: 0-921833-82-2.
    Local Scores (Cyclops Press, 2000) ISBN: 1-89417708-8, CD recording.

    Books in Print:
    Simultaneous Translation Poetry/Spoken Word & Music (TMC, 2005, distributed by Signature Editions) ISBN: 0-9738216-0-4, CD recording, $14.95.
    Radio & Other Miracles Poetry (Signature Editions, 2001) ISBN: 0-921833-82-2, $12.95.
    Local Scores Poetry/Spoken Word & Music (Cyclops Press, 2000) ISBN: 1-89417708-8, CD recording, $16.95.


    Selected Comments From our Community

    name: Gail B
    location: St. Catharines
    when and how did you know Terrance?: Brock literature course
    your comments: I was one of two ‘mature students’ who took Terrance’s Shakespeare course many years ago. He was charismatic, demanding, soinformed. Everything I have ever learned about theatre stagecraft I learned from him, and it has stayed with me all these years. Every time I see a theatre production in Canada, the U.S., the U. K. I remember Terrance and what he taught us about blocking, design, focus. I think of him every time I attend the theatre, which is a lot. What a legacy he has left so many of us, his students.

    name: Peter Smith
    location: TO
    when and how did you know Terrance?: taught me in 1978
    your comments: I spent one glorious year at Brock in 1978. Terry taught a theatre history class back then that was informative, ranging, political, and a lot of fun.
    He smoked Player’s Lights in class – it was allowed – and periodically over the year he switched to a pipe in an attempt to quit smoking. It was ludicrous really but somehow made T Cox sense. He reefed on that pipe with the same intensity he smoked the Players Lights. Over the course of the year Terry and I fell in with one another. Things would start innocently enough at the Mansion and devolve from there. More often than not a bunch of us would wind up at Terry’s pad – an apt. a two minute stagger from the Mansion. We’d listen to Firesign Theatre records, Pete Seeger, Bob Dylan, Neil Young and we’d laugh a lot, tell stories about the experience of being here. Always engaging, filled with spirit and an enormous side of get up and go. The night before the final exam for Terry’s course I was at his place with a small group of others – we carried on – stayed up til dawn – smoking and talking and howling into the light. After bacon and eggs at the Lancer we made our way up the mountain to the Brock gym where the exam was going down. Along with a whole bunch of other students in geology and god knows what we cracked our papers. Terry was one of the watchers that morning. He passed my desk soon after things got started. I looked up and said, I’m not going to write your exam Terry, I’m going to write a play in these three hours. He said after a moments pause – it better be good. It wasn’t. It was terrible – a scrawl of god knows what. I passed the course and hope this note doesn’t get Terry into trouble posthumously or have the credit removed from my transcript. He was a hale fellow well met – a true aim with a good heart. He brought his entire self to this world. I close with a poem Terry wrote late one howling night… Saskatchewan: skunks, poplar trees, and drive in movies, high point of the universe. RIP Terry Cox and thanks for the joy. You were a mould breaker.

    name: Jess Falcioni
    location: Thunder Bay
    when and how did you know Terrance?: Professor of 1F93
    your comments: The DART Department has lost a legend. A man whose lectures will be spoken of forever by his students. Thank you for teaching us about the heart of the play and page to stage. For challenging us to think bigger, while encouraging us. For making us laugh (I’ll never forget the day you jumped on the desk while dramatically reading a monologue, or the day you tripped over the seam in the floor and played it off so well!) And for sharing with us your passion for theatre. You’ve inspired legions of students. Ive kept all the notes from your lectures and use them when I teach workshops. I’ll also never forget your compassion when my Nonno passed away right before exams. You were so kind, caring and understanding. So, thank you. For everything. You are missed.
    RIP TCox.

    name: Matthew Craggs
    location: Welland
    when and how did you know Terrance?: 2002-2003 MUSI1F00
    your comments: I hadn’t listened to much more than the radio by the time I attended Brock and took Music and Pop Culture with Terrance Cox. He opened my eyes to a whole world of music with the kind of passion that… well if you’re reading this page, you know the kind of passion he brought to the class. It’s been over 10 years but I often think back fondly of that experience and how it shaped the way I approach not only music, but all culture.

    name: Hayley Malouin
    location: St. Catharines
    when and how did you know Terrance?: Student at Brock University
    your comments: Still my absolute favourite day of university ever is from first year, when someone asked TCox if he would be coming to the BMT musical. He just smiled and said “I don’t much care for musicals… Anyway.” Ouch! So sassy! What a wonderful, lively and intelligent person.

    name: Nick Carney
    location: Toronto
    when and how did you know Terrance?: DART grad, 2011
    your comments: My deepest condolences go out to his family and friends, and of course including his Brock family. He was for many, a portal into the DART community teaching within our first years – with his unforgettable tone, respected presence, and passion for the arts. He will be missed and never forgotten.
    Terrance Cox, may your spirit soar.

    name: Murray Kropf
    location: Brock University
    when and how did you know Terrance?: Niagara Artists Company and Brock University
    your comments: Terrence was one of the first people I met upon moving to St Catharines. He was the President of NAC and I a board member and later VP. Working closely with him I was impressed with his ability to cut through obstructions to deal with issues in a polite yet forceful way. He was a mentor in his ability to deal with serious concerns and have a heartfelt belly laugh in the next moment. A wonderful poet, performer .. and of course that voice!

    A truly good man! I’ll miss him.

    mk

    name: Gregory Armacinski
    location: Brock University (Concurrent Education- Biology/Math) int/senior
    when and how did you know Terrance?: 2011 Fall-Winter Drama (first year)
    your comments: Professor Cox will always be remembered for his vibrant lectures….his lectures demonstrated a true passion for what he felt/believed in. He was one of the most knowledgeable Professors, and his knowledge of every subject was truly shown when he lectured! Thank you for inspiring us all with your knowledge, passion and spirt Professor Cox. Rest in Peace

    name: Matthew Royal
    location: St Catharines
    when and how did you know Terrance?: He was a colleague in the music dept
    your comments: I miss Terrance’s sense of humour (sometimes somewhat gruff) and his eloquent, precise and concise use of the English language. The following quotation from the “Assessment of Grade” section of his notes for MUSI 1F00 illustrates these traits:
    “An “F” paper wastes the opportunity presented by the task; through lack of effort, understanding of basic principles and/or skills in their application; it wastes the time of writer, reader and the life of trees felled for it.”

    Of course, these same notes, all 217 pages of them, also exemplify something else about Terrance: the work he put in to provide his students with the best possible materials for success; in short, they show how much he cared.

    name: Michael Onley
    location: Canada
    when and how did you know Terrance?: First Year Drama
    your comments: I’ll never forget in my first year, first term – I had Professor Cox. He had an incredible ability to captivate the audience by always beginning with his classic one liner, “I’ve got a notion…” It was that one line that would “set the stage” so to speak, toward his reciting and explanations of dramatic theory. I’m thankful for his teaching(s) but more importantly his passion and attitude for life – He will be missed.

    name: Kimberley Reich
    location: Burlington Ontario
    when and how did you know Terrance?: 2004 student of music and pop culture
    your comments: Professor Cox was by far the most passionate teacher I’ve ever had. As a huge music lover, I was so excited to see such a class (music and popular culture) was an option. His lectures were a performance every time. The way in which he would stomp across the stage, wave hours arms, drum his fingers, stomp his feet or close his eyes telling us to do the same to truly get lost in a song was impactful. He opened my mind and soul to different genres of music and culture. I never missed a class! I’ve gone on to speak of him since and the impact that he truly had on me and my love for music. He will be remembered fondly, and when I hear certain songs (especially Muddy Waters Mannish Boy-one lecture I will never forget) I will always think of him.

    name: Collin Glavac
    location: St. Catharines
    when and how did you know Terrance?: First Year University, Professor
    your comments: Professor Terrance Cox fulfilled that image I always had of big university lectures taught by wise sage-like professors. He taught dramatic arts fundamentals to myself and many of my colleagues, initiating our foundations of the subject in first-year. Because of this, his teachings help form the building blocks for our work in the field today. He will be sorely missed.

    name: Jonathan van Ekelenburg
    location: St. Catharines
    when and how did you know Terrance?: First Year DART Class, 2003
    your comments: Terrance’s first-year class still holds a dear spot in my memories.

    Terrance’s bombast and charisma made me excited to attend his class every week, and I learned so much about understanding the workings of a play that still are with me, 12 years later. I remember once he built a small fort out of chairs at the front of the lecture hall… can’t for the life of me remember what the POINT was, but I certainly paid attention. Terrance helped forge the way that I thought about drama, and I will forever be indebted to his memory. Thank you, Terrance. You’ll be missed.

    name: Lauren Kennedy
    location: Toronto
    when and how did you know Terrance?: 2002
    your comments: I was a TA for his DART1F93 class. He empowered me. He took the ego out of academia. He taught students how to appreciate plays, words, and ideas. He was soft as mouse and resonated like a lion. I am grateful to have learned from him and his lessons.

    name: Nerese Richter
    location: Toronto
    when and how did you know Terrance?: 2004-2007, Professor
    your comments: I’m deeply saddened to hear of this loss. I remember sitting in my first music course with Prof Cox and thinking “wow, now THAT’S passion.” Every week, I would wait anxiously until I could go to his class again to hear original recordings, learn about music history, and stare in awe at his incredible presentation techniques. He was so engaging, so inspiring that he truly motivated me to pursue music journalism as a career. Thank you, Prof Cox, for being that teacher that all students desire but so few have the honor of encountering. Thank you for your passion.

    name: Duncan Hopkins
    location: Mons, Belgium
    when and how did you know Terrance?: Brock, circa 1987 – B.B.E. 1989
    your comments: I had the privilege of being in Terry’s music appreciation class c. 1987. We continued our meetings on a regular basis as he would continually come out to hear my progress as a musician. He then interviewed me for a book about Kenny Wheeler to which he was contributing. We went to a pub in Toronto and had a drink or two and enjoyed our time very much. I was surprised to read his essay later as it included a paragraph about me. He was always very supportive.
    Terrance also wrote lyrics to some music I wrote in honour of our mutual friend Terry O’Reilly. I still have his angry and yet poignant words to my otherwise sad song. I have never recorded the two together but in my mind, they go hand in hand.
    So sorry to hear of his passing. My deepest sympathy to his family and all those who mourn him.
    ‘dh

    name: Vicki
    location: Toronto
    when and how did you know Terrance?: Professor & Seminar lead.
    your comments: When I attended Brock University, I was lucky enough to have TCox as my TA/seminar lead, as well as my professor. He gave me a learning experience I will never forget. I still remember how intimidated I was to see my professor at my first seminar, I was basically shaking in my seat. Yet somehow by the end of that first seminar, I saw him as a completely different character. TCox had become a person I was excited to see every week from that day on. He was one of the most memorable professors I’ve ever had, and I’m sure I’m not the only one who thinks so.

    name: Mallory Muehmer
    location: St. Catharines
    when and how did you know Terrance?: Professor
    your comments: I had the absolute honour of being taught by the memorable, Terrance Cox.
    I truly believe that it is one thing to teach, but it is entirely different to engage and inspire students. Terrance, thank you for showing us what it means to dedicate your life to making your community a happier and brighter place. Your motivation, engagement and larger than life stories will be a pillar in the Dramatic Arts department at Brock forever.
    My condolences to your loved ones.
    Thank you for all of your life lessons, both in and outside of the classroom.

    name: Danielle Wilson
    location: St. Catharines
    when and how did you know Terrance?: We both taught in the Dramatic Arts Department at Brock. 2006 to present.
    your comments: I first met Terrance when I moved to St. Catharines to teach in the Dramatic Arts Department in 2006. I would see him in the hallway when we were on our way to or from teaching a class and he would always take a few moments to ask me how I was doing. I didn’t know him very well, but in 2009, some of his former students and I decided to stage The Diaries of Adam and Eve by Mark Twain and we asked Terrance if he would play the older version of Adam, with Virginia Reh as Eve. We figured he would probably say no, but to our delight, he accepted and seemed quite excited to get up on the boards. We were a little intimidated at first to give him any acting notes, but it soon became apparent that our fears were unwarranted as he took every note with great care, grace and humility. After the show had finished, we had our cast party around a fire in the back yard and we were discussing the show and acting in general. At one point he said, in his deep, booming voice, something like, “I didn’t do this show because I think I’m any good, or that I should be held up as any sort of example of how to act, I simply did it to challenge myself and put my money where my mouth is.” He had this larger than life presence and energy, and his humility always caught me off guard.

    name: Kristopher Kitson
    location: Hamilton, Ontario
    when and how did you know Terrance?: He was my First year literature Professor.
    your comments: I’m at a loss for words to hear of the passing of a great Professor at Brock university, and part of the DART family. Terrance Cox was an amazing Professor, lecturer and person. His passion for theatre, the arts and his students as a whole inspired and will continue to inspire feature drama students of Brock University. My heart goes out to his loved ones! May he rest in peace.

    name: Anna MacAlpine
    location: Calgary, Alberta
    when and how did you know Terrance?: DART/MUSI graduate, class of 2012
    your comments: Very saddened to hear of the loss of Terrance Cox. He gave so much to the Brock community and will be greatly missed. I will always remember my first term at Brock, where in the midst of a lecture on medieval theatre, Professor Cox said: “I love speaking Chaucer. It’s like Scottish with a few beers.”

    name: Will Webster
    location: Victoria BC
    when and how did you know Terrance?: Mid 90s, The Club, St. Catharines Ontario
    your comments: Terrance was instrumental in helping many young writers in the Niagara Region find their voice. Back in the mid 90s he a major force in helping us blend live poetry with the burgeoning live music scene in the Niagara Region.
    I still remember his rumble, his precise love of words, and his nonchalant delivery.
    He would just sit there in front of the room and without speaking a word command the respect of everyone listening. We were always happy when his large frame filled the entry way. It meant we were going to have an exceptional night.
    Thanks for sharing Terrance.

    name: Ashley Giorno
    location: Brampton
    when and how did you know Terrance?: first year music professor 2009-2010
    your comments: I had the honour of having this gentleman as my professor for music back in my first year of university at Brock and he made me look at music in a totally different way than I already did and for that I am grateful. I may not have known him personally but he was very good at what he did and very passionate about what he taught to the next generations. One thing I’ll never forget was him explaining the song “Every Breath You Take” by The Police/Sting was actually a stalker song and how much he cringed every time he would go to weddings and hear it being played. His dance moves are another thing I’ll never forget. Cheers Professor Cox and thank you.

    name: Salena
    location: St. Catharines
    when and how did you know Terrance?: Brock University, 2003-2007/and he lived on my street
    your comments: I can remember in my first year theatre course being so blown away by his passion for teaching. His intensity was unmatched! I can remember one time, to make a dramatic point, he leapt from the floor up onto a chair very suddenly with total confidence he’d land it! He inspired everyone with his tenacity!

    name: Brandon Cox
    location: Toronto
    when and how did you know Terrance?: 2005-06
    your comments: Terrance Cox remains one of my most favourite teachers of my life so far. His kindness, intelligence, and passion for his work was infectious and full of an honest energy that is rarely found in todays modern classrooms. I often found myself caring less about what mark I would receive on a paper, and more about whether or not Terrance would be happy with my work, or if my work would hold any meaning to him. His opinion mattered to me, which often happens when you truly respect the intelligence and opinions of anyone in your life. Above all, Terrance had an amazing sense of humour, and was a rare fireball of energy and emotion that one can only be pleased they were lucky enough to be around at the time.

    I will truly miss you Mr. Terrance Cox.

    name: Richard Varty
    location: Barrie
    when and how did you know Terrance?: He was my professor in first year (1F93).
    your comments: I found myself writing less and less in my notebook about plot points and history but more of his personal views. His passion for the written word and the power it held was and remains to be an inspiration. One of the quotes that keeps coming back into my life from his class: “Comic thought is radical thought, laughter is infectious, we eventually become subversives and have the power to bring down society.”

    name: Karen Elizabeth McMichael
    location: Toronto, Ontario
    when and how did you know Terrance?: First year dramatic literature
    your comments: I still have the first essay I ever wrote for Terrence’s class: a defense of the argument that Hamlet was not, in fact, a tragedy, as it is traditionally taught (and as he was teaching it). It was one of the only times in my academic career that directly disagreeing with the instructor was treated as serious academic discourse rather than petulant contrariness (which I am, admittedly, prone to; I do love playing devil’s advocate). I kept the final copy of that essay because Terrence had written his commentary across every page, and the backs of most of the pages — it must have taken him hours to grade that single paper. What impressed me most was that even though he disagreed with me, he took my writing seriously, and spoke as though I was a peer, not just a somewhat pretentious first year student with delusions of academic grandeur. Over the years since, I have found out just how rare that ability — to teach without preaching or condescension — is, and Terrence Cox was the master of it. His big heart was capable of forging a connection with every one of the hundreds of students who passed through his classes every year, and I know that even people who didn’t stay with the dramatic arts program held on to and told their “Terrence Cox stories” for years afterwards.

    name: JF Amprimoz
    location: St Catharines
    when and how did you know Terrance?: My seminar lead for ENGL 1F00
    your comments: I unfortunately only had one course where I interacted with Terry, when he ran my seminar for a Great Books course required by the accounting department, I’d presume for weeding purposes. Through his kind and brilliantly insightful discussion and comments, I learned much of the language analysis and use skills I apply today.

    name: Stephanie Jones
    location: Niagara/New York
    when and how did you know Terrance?: Brock/early 90’s to present
    your comments: While studying at Brock in the early 90’s the perfromance theatre students mouted a production of Peer Gynt. As it was directed by Glenys, and her wonderful imagination, I played helf of the Troll Queen (The Queen had two heads), Terrance played the voice of the Great Boyg (the shapeless, unconquerable troll, representing the riddle of existence). He was the Boyg, and showed us all how to command a role with simplicity and truth. For
    Terrance had a mellifuous voice, a generous spirit, a commanding presence, a sharp mind and he was, really, a over-all great man. I will miss him, the artistic community will miss him.

    name: Caitlin Popek
    location: Hamilton
    when and how did you know Terrance?: 2006-2011
    your comments: Terrance not only helped me dig into scripts and really discover them, he helped me teach others to do so too. He truly wanted his students to succeed and he was so much fun to listen to in lectures, he brought the plays to life! I had a wonderful time learning from him as a student and a TA. He will be missed!

    name: Christine Dief
    location: Niagara
    when and how did you know Terrance?: 2002-2006, 2009-2010
    your comments: Like many, I’ve also had the pleasure to be taught by this wonderful man. He was so passionate in his lectures and his love for literature was contagious.

    I have also had the pleasure to work along side him in a Teaching Assistant role, and I am truly grateful for such a wonderful experience. His brilliance and his passion will truly be missed.

    RIP Terrance Cox, and my condolences to your loved ones. Thank you for all you have done.

    name: Amanda McDonnell
    location: St. Catharines
    when and how did you know Terrance?: Professor DART 1F93
    your comments: T.Cox was one of the coolest Profs in DART. He can in that lecture/seminar and would always have great stories and incites about the plays we studied.
    He helped me, and probably many more DART students, make that transition from a high schooler to a University Student a smooth and exciting one. I will always think of him fondly. My thoughts and prayers are with him and his family.

    name: Jordan Pereira
    location: st. catharines
    when and how did you know Terrance?: First Year professor
    your comments: He set the stage for Drama and poetic articulation. I had been meaning to visit him at some point, I guess now I’ll never get the chance. What an impact he has had. May he rest in peace, discussing verbosities with Aristophanes and the like. Condolences and warm sentiments to his family and close friends.

    name: Michelle
    location: Fergus, Ontario
    when and how did you know Terrance?: Professor at Brock
    your comments: TCox, as he was fondly called by many, was one of my first professors at Brock University. It was in his class that I met my first “uni friend”! We remain friends to this day after spending a legendary semester in Professor Cox’s first-year drama course. After this, I also took his music and popular culture course, which led me to have a much deeper appreciation for early jazz and Elvis music in particular. My fondest memory of TCox was knowing that he cared about his students; he remembered my name in a lecture hall of hundreds and always took time to say hello and ask me how I was doing.
    Terrence went the extra mile for his students and was influential in the lives of so many. He will be greatly missed.

    name: Marcel Stewart, class of 2007
    location: Toronto
    when and how did you know Terrance?: Brock University – 2003-2007
    your comments: The first time I met Terrence I was wearing a Liverpool soccer jersey.
    Unbeknownst to me, Terrence was a huge Manchester United fan. When he saw me, he stopped what he was doing and said, “Is that a fashion statement or do you actually support them?” To which I responded, “Oh, I am a big L’Pool fan” and he followed up with, “I’m truly sorry for you…”
    I’ll never forget that.


    If you have memories you would like to share about Terrance, please get in touch with us.

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