Alumni

  • The experience of a young actor’s lifetime

    Caitlin Popek at the National Voice Intensive in 2011. photograph courtesy of Fabrice Grover www.fabricegroverphoto.com and the National Voice Intensive.

    Caitlin Popek at the National Voice Intensive in 2011. photograph courtesy of Fabrice Grover www.fabricegroverphoto.com and the National Voice Intensive.

    Caitlin Popek, graduate of the Department of Dramatic Arts (DART), recently returned from Canada’s National Voice Intensive.  This renowned five-week professional training workshop in Vancouver is attended by professional artists from across North America and abroad.

    An ambitious, dedicated and focused student in her academic studies, Caitlin excelled on the stage when she played the lead character Desiree Armfeldt in the DART 2009 production of the Stephen Sondheim musical A Little Night Music.  More recently she honed her skills as the Teaching Assistant for DART 3P54 Directing and she has just begun production managing for Showboat Festival Theatre in Port Colborne.

    “My experience at the Voice Intensive was absolutely amazing! . . . One of the first things they told us was, ‘You will be confused and that’s exactly where we want you to be.’  Even with that statement I was confused!” she says, “You mean, we’re not here to get answers?”  After experiencing 5 weeks of intense vocal, physical, emotional, and mental work that first statement made complete sense. “I did leave with a lot of confusion, but it was the kind of confusion that drives me to keep digging and discovering and investigating in my work.”

    Caitlin adds, “There were things that I understood already about my voice from classes experienced at Brock and the Intensive just pumped up the volume on all those things. . .   For example, I knew that my voice reveals who I am but I did not really understand how much my voice reveals, AND that that is the only thing it can do.  As a speaker, all you can do is allow what is inside you to be revealed and the response is out of your control!  To allow myself to be fully revealed is a very scary thing but when I achieved this feat it was the most wonderful feeling I have ever experienced.  To allow myself to be whoever I am inside, at any given moment, became an amazingly freeing thing.”

    Caitlin graduated in 2010 with First-Class Standing in the Performance Concentration of the Honours Dramatic Arts program. Working with some of the best emerging actors and trainers in Canada in 2011 Caitlin has already achieved an experience of an actor’s lifetime.

    “Without the help and guidance from many professors at Brock I would not have been able, or ready, to experience what I did at the Voice Intensive.  It was such a wonderful experience and I want to thank everyone who helped me to get there!!”

    Congratulations on your success, Caitlin!

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  • DART Alumnus on stage in Toronto in Marat/Sade

    af220Dart Alumnus Andrew Fleming hits the boards playing Duperret in Soup Can Theatre’s production of Marat/Sade. The show runs from July 19-24 at the Alumnae Theatre in downtown Toronto (Berkeley Street). All performances are at 8pm except for the final show which is a 2pm matinee.

    Andrew first performed in the play on the stage of the Sean O’Sullivan Theatre at Brock University when the Department of Dramatic Arts produced Mara/Sade in 2009.

    Please see www.maratsade.ca for information including the production concept as well as promotional photographs of the production.

    Break-a-leg, Andrew!

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  • DART alumni at the Toronto Fringe

    circus-poster-one-final-copy-copy-220Once again DART alumni are taking the stage and making scenes at the Toronto 2011 Fringe Festival.  Some of the productions were first work-shopped or developed during our students’ academic year at Brock.  Shows include:

    “Circus”
    by Nathan Tanner Mac Donald
    presented by Moment by Moment from St Catharines, ON

    http://fringetoronto.com/fringefest/indoorBYOV_listings.html#C

    Come one, come all! Enter the Big Tent! Witness everything from a baby’s first steps to the dart board of death! BING, BAM, POW! Ever feel like your mind is the centre ring of a circus? Well, John does.

    Director: Nathan Tanner Mac Donald
    Genre: Play, Drama
    Warning: Mature Language
    Venue 12 Factory Theatre Mainspace

    50 min.
    Wed, July 6 10:30 PM 1203
    Fri, July 8 5:15 PM 1209
    Sun, July 10 3:00 PM 1221
    Tue, July 12 8:45 PM 1236
    Thu, July 14 4:00 PM 1247
    Fri, July 15 7:30 PM 1256
    Sun, July 17 Noon 1266

    “Visa Called this Morning”
    by Jen Gallant
    (www.jjmoneyproductions.ca)
    presented by JJ Money Productions from Toronto, ON

    Her creditors are calling. Her bank accounts are freezing. Jen finds herself feeling more like a criminal than a valued customer. she is forced to reconcile her toxic relationship with debt. Jen’s struggle to survive her maxed out reality leaves her realizing that, the banks don’t love you like your parents.

    Cast: Jen Gallant
    Genre: Play, Comedy
    Venue 11 Theatre Passe Muraille Backspace

    60 min.
    Wed, July 6 10:00 PM 1103
    Fri, July 8 4:45 PM 1109
    Sat, July 9 6:45 PM 1116
    Mon, July 11 5:45 PM 1127
    Tue, July 12 8:30 PM 1135
    Wed, July 13 3:00 PM 1138
    Thu, July 14 9:45 PM 1148
    Sun, July 17 4:00 PM 1163

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  • DART Alumna in Canopy Theatre’s Outdoor Theatre for Downtown Toronto production of LYSISTRATA

    lyspostcardBrock Alumna and DART TA, Lauren Shepherd, will be seen performing this summer in Canopy Theatre’s Outdoor Theatre for Downtown Toronto production of:

    LYSISTRATA – the sex strike by Aristophanes (Adapted by Germaine Greer and Phil Willmott)
    Known for its bawdy humour, Lysistrata tells the tale of how one woman encourages a nation of lustful ladies to deny their husbands any sexual attention until the men declare peace and put a stop to civil war.  Germaine Greer’s adaptation keeps all of the expected phalli, sexually charged hijinks and anti-war rhetoric while also exploring issues of gender politics and class bias.  Guaranteed to be the sexiest production ever seen on Philosopher’s Stage, Lysistrata comes with a ‘mature content’ warning: This is not a family show!

    Tickets can be purchased online at: www.canopytheatre.ca, or at the door. Students, Wednesday nights are PAY WHAT YOU CAN! Bring a blanket and enjoy the fun!

     

    Event Details:

    July 20 – August 6, 2011
    Wednesday – Saturday
    doors open at 7:30pm, curtain at 8pm

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  • Congratulations to DART graduand Katherine Gottli!

    At the 2010 Spring Convocation Katherine will be presented with the Humanities Board of Trustees Spirit of Brock medal.

    The Board of Trustees Spirit of Brock medal is intended to recognize those students who best exemplify the spirit of Sir Isaac Brock. Students who demonstrate any one or more of the following qualities can be recommended:  Leadership, Courage, Innovation, Inspiration, and Community Involvement.

    DART congratulates Katherine as an outstanding member of our DART and Humanities community. Way to go, Katherine!

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  • DART student produces “Curtains” at the Westside Theatre in Hamilton

    “Elisa Sorbara, the artistic director of Shooting Star Theatre, is a very bright and articulate young woman. She is very excited about the imminent local premiere of the musical Curtains, which opens next week at the Westside Theatre.” . . . see the article about this DART student and her exciting project in VIEW.

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  • DART student Unicycling for a spot on Letterman

     

    Alex Kazam on his unicycle. A still from the video available at the St. Catharines Standard web article

    (Source: The St. Catharines Standard, Wednesday, August 18, 2010 | Don Fraser)

    By riding his unicycle to New York City, Alex Kazam hopes to peddle his act on David Letterman’s show.

    Kazam – a comedy magician from St. Catharines – has always taken his cue from the TV host’s barbed comedy style.

    “Ever since I was 10, I wanted to get on The Late Show with David Letterman,” said the 18-year-old, inside St. Catharines’ Johnny Rocco’s restaurant.

    “And I’ve always wanted to meet the guy. He’s a pop culture icon and a huge inspiration.”

    Kazam is a Brock University drama student, as well as a unique entertainer at Niagara establishments like Boston Pizza and Johnny Rocco’s.

    He describes his act as, “I tell them a joke and then sneak something into my pocket.”

    The unicycle has been a passion through his teen years and helped expand his comic repertoire.

    “I was trying to come up with ways to get Letterman’s attention,” said the graduate of Ecole Secondaire Jean-Vanier in Welland.

    “Unfortunately, the best I could come up with was a unicycle ride.”

    Kazam’s assistant-friend, Chelsea Howard, is cycling alongside but on two wheels. The two left midday on Wednesday.

    “It’s new to me,” said the 17-year-old St. Francis Secondary School student before setting out. “I know I’m ready for it, but obviously there will be challenges.”

    Also along for the trip is Kazam’s beloved stuffed bear he calls Eddie the Teddy, who’ll be hitched to the magician’s back.

    “I’ve had him since I was born and I take him everywhere,” Kazam explains. “It’s all in the name of good spirit.”

    World Vision Canada also stands to benefit from the 600-km, one-wheeled sojourn.

    Kazam is raising money for the international relief and development organization on his site: www.tiny.cc/longride

    He said since he and Howard are in decent shape, no major physical preparation was needed for the pedestrian route that selected using Google Maps. However, he concedes the longest he’s unicycled before has been for 90 minutes. The ride to New York City could take six days.

    “It’s probably not a smart idea (to do this),” he conceded. “But then, I’m a little bit eccentric and crazy, so it’ll be fine.”

    As for snoozing arrangements on the trip, Kazam and Howard are counting on the goodwill of strangers. They are willing to crash almost anywhere – attics, porches, even under a truck.

    As his trip progresses, Kazam hopes media coverage will help him nail some airtime on Letterman’s long-running CBS comedy talk show.

    As for getting Letterman’s attention, “it’s people like you” who will help get it done, he said to a Standard reporter.

    “I’ve emailed (show producers) and tried to call it a stupid human trick,” he added, in reference to Letterman’s long-running gag. “I didn’t yet get any callbacks.”

    Johnny Rocco’s owner Tony Visca is wowed by Kazam’s chutzpa.

    Kazam performs at Rocco’s Niagara Falls location Friday evenings and St. Catharines on Saturdays.

    “It’s a great thing, I think it’s awesome,” Visca said. “I really hope he (raises) a lot of money and gets picked to go on Letterman.”

     

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  • Alumni News at DART

    photo credit: jacelynholmes.com

    photo credit: jacelynholmes.com

    At the 2008 Fall Convocation, DART graduate Jacelyn Holmes received the Spirit of Brock award. The 23-year-old dramatic arts student received special recognition from the university for her academic work and contribution to life at the school. “Art is life!” she declared after receiving her award, which is given to one student who is deemed to embody the spirit of Sir Isaac Brock by inspiring other students.

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