Faculty & Instructors

  • COMMOTION AT THE COURTHOUSE: a three-year Partnership with Niagara Region Schools

    Over the past three years, the COMMOTION partnership between six Niagara Region high schools, Carousel Players, the Department of Dramatic Arts of the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts, Brock University, and TALK Niagara (Teams of Adults Listening to Kids) has given 80 students an opportunity to create and perform six new plays.

    Each group of high school students creates a play at their school through a 12-week drama program and presents it at the Sullivan Mahoney Courthouse Theatre. Brock University Professor Gyllian Raby and Carousel’s Artistic Director Pablo Felices Luna lead the project with the support of Bonnie Prentice from TALK Niagara, an umbrella group of 15 community organizations dedicated to youth concerns.

    This month, 22 students from Governor Simcoe Secondary School and Sir Winston Churchill Secondary School are playing with different modes of creativity known as RSVP to build their characters, scenes and stories into two new plays. Blythe Barker, Jacqueline Costa, Caitlin English and Trevor Rotenberg, facilitators trained through Brock University’s Department of Dramatic Arts, have been working with students an estimated 240 hours at their schools since September 2011.

    Free performances of the plays written and performed by these students will be held at the Sullivan Mahoney Courthouse Theatre in St. Catharines on Thursday, December 8, 2011, at 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.; Friday, December 9, at 9:30 a.m.; and Saturday, December 10, at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Reservations are required.  For the free tickets, call Carousel Players at 905.682.8326 x 26.

    “Now in the third year of COMMOTION, Pablo and I find it more invigorating than ever,” states Gyllian Raby. “Creating a show for this semi-professional production places enormous demands on these high school seniors, yet time after time they show themselves not only equal to the task but able to surprise everyone with their insights about, for example, the social pressures of the internet, abuses of authority, and balancing individual identity with relationships.”

    Co-leader Felices Luna adds, “COMMOTION takes the excellent work done by Niagara’s drama teachers to a new level outside the classroom. We’ve worked with 58 students from E.L.Crossley Secondary School, Eastdale Secondary School, Laura Secord Secondary School and St. Catharines Collegiate. We thank drama teachers Jennifer Benson, Tracy Garratt, Karen Hancock, Rassika Malhotra, Brenna McAllister and Tracy Thorpe for welcoming us into their schools, for actively fostering creativity in their students and for their passionate commitment to drama at their school. There are many other schools and teachers we hope to work with in the future.”

    The COMMOTION project is 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 University, Carousel Players, TALK Niagara and approval from the District School Board of Niagara.

    For tickets contact: Jane Gardner, 905-682-8326 x23 or jane@carouselplayers.com

    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,
    Categories: Alumni, Current Students, Faculty & Instructors, News

  • Director of cSTAC and DART Professor honoured for his contribution to the City of St. Catharines

    Pictured left to right are Professor Debra Maclauchlan and Associate Professor Peter Vietgen (Faculty of Education), Associate Professor David Vivian and Assistant Professor Virginia Reh (Department of Dramatic Arts, Faculty of Humanities)

    Pictured left to right are Professor Debra Maclauchlan and Associate Professor Peter Vietgen (Faculty of Education), Associate Professor David Vivian and Assistant Professor Virginia Reh (Department of Dramatic Arts, Faculty of Humanities)

    Associate Professors Peter Vietgen (Visual Arts Education in the Department of Teacher Education, Faculty of Education) and David Vivian (Department of Dramatic Arts and the Centre for Studies in Arts and Culture, Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts, Faculty of Humanities) were each presented with three Volunteer Recognition Certificates from the Government of Canada, the Province of Ontario, and the City of St. Catharines, at the 23rd Annual Volunteer Recognition Night co-sponsored by the City of St. Catharines, the St. Catharines-Thorold Chamber of Commerce, and the Henry of Pelham Family Estate Winery.

    Professor Vietgen was nominated by the Niagara Artist’s Centre for his contribution to the Public Art Advisory Committee of the City of St. Catharines. Professor Vivian was nominated for his service over four years as Chair of the Culture Committee of the City of St. Catharines.  Both Committees of Council are actively engaged in developing new policy, advocacy, funding, recognition and opportunities in the arts and culture sector, contributing to the creation of stimulating and sustainable culturally-rich lives in the city of St. Catharines.

    Given annually, the Volunteer Recognition Awards recognize those outstanding volunteers whose unselfish and dedicated service to an organization has made a significant difference in the community. Nominations are open to youth and adult volunteers, who are presented with their awards at a banquet hosted by the Mayor and councillors in April. This year the banquet was held at the Quality Hotel Parkway Convention Centre on Tuesday, April 19, 2011.

    Tags: , , , ,
    Categories: Faculty & Instructors, News

  • DART on BROCK TV

    vreh-brocktv-vidProfessor Virginia Reh speaks about life in theatre and the production of Phèdre that was performed by students of DART in the Sean O’Sullivan Theatre in February of 2011. Video interview from the series University People by BROCK TV. (click image to play)

    Tags: , , ,
    Categories: Current Students, Events, Faculty & Instructors, News, Plays

  • Marlene Moser Memorial Scholarship

    The Department of Dramatic Arts lost a cherished colleague and friend, Dr. Marlene Moser, on December 21, 2010.  In her honour we have established the Marlene Moser Memorial Scholarship. To contribute to this Scholarship please send donations to the attention of Norm Bradshaw, Faculty of Humanities, Brock University. The cheque or gift should be made out to Brock University and indicate Marlene Moser Memorial Scholarship. All donations are eligible to be matched dollar for dollar by the provincial government.

    For more information please contact Norm Bradshaw.

    Tags: , , , ,
    Categories: Announcements, Faculty & Instructors, News

  • DART mourns the passing of a friend and colleague.

    Marlene at the Humanities Research Institute Symposium in December, 2006

    It is with deep sadness and grief that we share with you the news of our dear colleague Marlene Moser’s passing on the evening of December 21, 2010.

    Marlene’s courageous five year battle with breast cancer developed into metastasis this past summer.  Her condition started to deteriorate rapidly Monday morning and she was admitted to the Juravinski Hospital Tuesday morning and passed away peacefully Tuesday evening surrounded by all of her family.

    Marlene has been a member of the Brock Community since 2000. During her tenure as professor, researcher, creator, Director and Chair she provided leadership and love to her colleagues and students in the Department of Dramatic Arts.  She was instrumental to the development of the Department as a site of luminous and rigorous investigation of theatre praxis.  Her mentorship of five colleagues through tenure and promotion is but one facet of her legacy to the future of our research, pedagogy, and community. Her presence in the burgeoning theatre scene of St. Catharines was only recently curtailed as she focused her creative energies to meet the challenge of cancer – the vision of her initiatives remains undiminished and in our hearts.

    Marlene fought this cancer with such strength, courage and determination. The Department greatly mourns her passing.

    for more information please see her web page

    see the Brock News article here

    Information about the visitation and an upcoming celebration on January 4th, 2011 is found in the obituary in the Hamilton Spectator.  Here are the details:

    Family and friends may gather at the BAY GARDENS FUNERAL HOME, 1010 Botanical Drive, BURLINGTON, on Tuesday, December 28th between 2-4 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. A celebration of Marlene’s life (reunion) will take place on her birthday, January 4th at the Royal Botanical Gardens at 2 p.m.

    There is also an online Book of Condolence at the above webpage.

    The department will host a memorial event in the new year, with details to come. Download the PDF for the Department of Dramatic Arts’ celebration of her life here.

    In her honour we have established the Marlene Moser Memorial Scholarship. To contribute to this Scholarship please send donations to the attention of Norm Bradshaw nbradshaw@brocku.ca, Faculty of Humanities, Brock University. The cheque or gift should be made out to Brock University and indicate Marlene Moser Memorial Scholarship. All donations are eligible to be matched dollar for dollar by the provincial government.


    Photos:


    Memories:

    Name: Derrick de Kerckhove
    Location: Naples, Italy
    How did you know Marlene?: I directed Marlene’s Phd. thesis
    Your comments: Since I have been away in Europe most of the time since 2008, having lost touch with Marlene a couple of years after she passed her oral – brillantly – I had not heard this heartbreaking news. I remember her elegance, intelligence, determination and freedom of spirit. This is the kind of loss that sinks deep in a community. My best wishes for the recovery of this community.

    if you wish to submit a comment or share a memory about Marlene, please contact dramatic.arts@brocku.ca

    Tags: , ,
    Categories: Announcements, Faculty & Instructors, News

  • Musical theatre takes centre stage

    virginiareh

    Assistant Professor Virginia Reh in the DART Props Shop

    Canadian musical theatre is a little like Canadian film and Canadian writing. It takes place in our own backyard, but our brightest stars are often hidden from public consciousness.

    Virginia Reh is on a mission to change that.

    An assistant professor of Dramatic Arts, Reh is the driving force behind an upcoming conference called Lyric CANADA 2010 from Oct. 21 to 23. David Vivian, associate professor and director of the Centre for Studies in Arts and Culture, is also an organizer.

    With the conference, Reh hopes to push Canadian musicals and opera into the minds of academics and the general public. That way, she said, more people will write about it. More people will study it. And most importantly, more people will know that it exists. (See the full article here.)

    Tags: , , , , , ,
    Categories: Faculty & Instructors, News

  • Professor studies dark tourism

    (Source: The Brock News. Thursday, September 9, 2010)

    Imagine a tourism experience where you pay to spend hours pretending to illegally cross the American border from Mexico.

    You trudge through muddy fields under the blare of gunfire. You run exhausted through sewer tunnels. You are placed, scared and blindfolded, in the back of a truck, only to end up where you started — at a restaurant, gift shop and main office, and people telling you to enjoy your stay.

    This is the new trend in post-9/11 dark tourism, a term that describes the act of visiting the sites of tragedies as a tourist. This experience is called immersive simulation, and Natalie Alvarez, assistant professor of Dramatic Arts, is writing a book about it.

    Alvarez has received $23,449 from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council for her research project, “Enactments of difference: immersive simulations and performance from training to dark tourism.” Alvarez will study two types of immersive simulation: that experienced by tourists, and that experienced by soldiers who train in increasingly popular model villages to prepare them for overseas interaction with foreign cultures. Included in that is investigating how performance techniques are used in counterterrorism and intelligence training.

    One dark tourism experience Alvarez will study is that of El Alberto, Mexico, where the community has been depleted by immigration to the U.S. Mexicans pay $20 (U.S.) each to be taken on an overnight fake U.S. border crossing. Ironically, the popularity of the adventure tourism has rejuvenated the town’s economy. Alvarez has twice experienced the tour, which she describes as frightening and surprisingly political, given that it’s billed as adventure tourism.

    “It started with a rousing speech by members of the community about how the work is an homage to those who lost their lives crossing the border,” she said. “We sang the Mexican anthem, followed by the sounds of sirens in the distance of the U.S. border patrol and shouts telling us to start running.”

    Other examples include a recreated Stalin-era Gulag prison camp in Lithuania, where people pay to spend a day as prisoners. In Liepaja, Latvia, tourists stay overnight in a naval jail.

    Alvarez will also visit simulated villages used to train soldiers for duties in Iraq and Afghanistan. There is a recreated Afghani village in Norfolk, England, and simulated Iraqi villages in California and Arizona, where actors are recruited to play insurgents and civilians.

    Demand for these simulations has skyrocketed since 9/11, she said.

    “A lot of performance scholars and performance artists talk about the border hysteria and the kind of war on difference that evolved from 9/11,” she said. “There seems to be a desire to rehearse encounters with the cultural ‘other’. I want to know what kind of anxieties are being played out in these scenarios.”

    While on the surface, immersive dark tourism and immersive military simulation seem unrelated, “there are intersecting themes that make them worth putting together in conversation,” she said.

    Alvarez will spend the next two years traveling and observing these simulations, followed by a year of writing.

    Alvarez, who is cross-appointed to Liberal Arts, joined Brock in 2006. She currently serves as a co-editor of the Canadian Theatre Review’s Views and Reviews and has two forthcoming edited books: Fronteras Vivientas, an anthology of Latina/o-Canadian plays, and New Essays on Latina/o-Canadian Theatre and Performance. Both are published by Playwrights Canada Press.

    Links:
    • Natalie Alvarez faculty page
    • Full list of Brock’s SSHRC recipients
    • Past “researcher of the month” profiles

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

  • Spring & Summer News 2010

    DART faculty presented at the recent CATR (Canadian Association for Theatre Research) conference (part of the SSHRC Congress, or “Learneds”) at Concordia University in Montreal (May 2010).


    PSi16 Performing Publics was held in Toronto June 9-13. Professor Natalie Alvarez and graduate Victoria Mountain of DART were on the Program Commitee.


    The IFTR (International Federation for Theatre Research) 2010 World Congress Cultures of Modernity occurred in July in Munich, Germany. DART Professors David Fancy and David Vivian were both part of the conference program. See the official website for information.

    Tags: , , , , , , , ,
    Categories: Faculty & Instructors, News

  • Dr. Joe Norris appointed to the Department of Dramatic Arts at Brock University

    14-joe-norrisThe Department of Dramatic Arts welcomes Joe Norris to the Department as of July 1, 2009. Joe has had a long history of teaching in, through, and with drama both at the secondary and post-secondary levels and is eager to serve the Ontario educational theatre community. Please see the attached PDF for more information about our new colleague.

    Tags: ,
    Categories: Announcements, Faculty & Instructors, News

  • Excellence in Teaching and Research

    In February 2009 Associate Professor Gyllian Raby was awarded a very significant SSHRC Research and Creation Grant in the Fine and Performing Arts for her project Devised Theatre with Youth in Niagara Schools. Gyllian’s project draws on her RSVP research and is in collaboration with Carousel Players of St. Catharines.

    Services for Students with Disabilities awarded Associate Professor David Fancy the Making A Difference Award from the Services for Students with disABILITIES department in the Student Development Centre. The award was presented in April of 2009.

    In 2008 our part-time instructor in Drama in Education and Society – Suzanne Burchell – received this award.

    Associate Professor David Vivian was awarded the 2009 Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching (Faculty of Humanities), presented at the 2009 June Convocation.

    Part-time Instructor and recent Limited Term Appointee Helen Zdriluk was awarded the Best Practices Recognition Award, 2008 by the Brock Centre for Teaching, Learning and Educational Technologies (CTLET).

    Tags: , , , , , , ,
    Categories: Announcements, Faculty & Instructors, News