In the Media

  • Brock students on the Royal Botanical Garden stage

    (Source: The Brock NewsMONDAY, AUGUST 15, 2016 | by . Photo: “Performers in Midsummer Night’s Dream playing at the Royal Botanical Gardens in Hamilton. Back left: John Wamsley, Zach Parsons, Jesse Horvath, Sean McLelland, Caitlin Popek, Nicole James and Dana Morin. Front left: Trevor Copp, Sean Rintoul, Claudia Spadafora, Michael Hannigan and Alma Sarai.”)

    A troupe of Brock University students is putting their dramatic arts talents to work this summer.

    Tottering Biped Theatre’s production of Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” – on now at the Royal Botanical Gardens in Hamilton – features a number of familiar Brock faces.

    The production, held at the newly opened David Braley and Nancy Gordon Rock Garden, has been three years in the making. Director and Brock drama instructor Todd Copp says his goal is to offer local opportunities to recent theatre grads.

    “We’ve noticed the difficulty emerging artists have here in getting off the ground and we lose artistic talent to Toronto and further cities every year as a result,” he says on the production’s Facebook page. “In casting this piece, we searched this area’s post secondary theatre programs for the most talented senior students/recent graduates – and offered them paid theatre work. It’s unprecedented in our area.”

    The production links young actors with more experienced ones, teaching the next generation of actors that they don’t need to move away to pursue their passion.

    A number of recent and current Brock drama students are involved on the stage and behind the scenes including Sean McClelland, Sean Rintoul, Caitlin Popek, Nicole James and Dana Morin.

    Nicole James, who is pursuing her BA in dramatic arts with a concentration in production and design, is the production’s stage manager and embraces the challenge of managing a nine-person cast. She works with assistant stage manager and fellow Brock student, Dana Morin.

    James credits Carolyn Mackenzie’s stage management course for giving her the skills she needs for the job.

    “I have the privilege to work professionally in the theatre,” she says. “It’s so obvious that the instructors at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts Dramatic Arts department actually care and are invested in the education of every single student.”

    Copp was an instructor with Brock’s Dramatic Arts program in 2016 and is the artistic director of Burlington’s Tottering Biped Theatre. Founded in 2009, the company is inspired by social justice. They have toured regionally and internationally.

    “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” runs August 10-14 and 17-21 at RBG Rock Garden 1185 York Blvd, Hamilton. Performances start at 7 p.m.; tickets are available at http://tickets.rbg.ca/PEO/default.asp.

    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
    Categories: Alumni, Current Students, In the Media, News

  • 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.

    Tags: , , , , ,
    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.

    Tags: , , , ,
    Categories: Alumni, In the Media, 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.

    Tags: , , ,
    Categories: Alumni, In the Media, News

  • Brock prof lands gig as Toronto Star theatre critic

    (Source: The Brock News, Thursday, March 3, 2016 | by )

    Professor Karen Fricker has spent the last three years training Brock University students to critique theatre.

    She will soon be practising what she teaches after landing the role of theatre critic for the Toronto Star, Canada’s largest, most-read newspaper.

    The Brock University Dramatic Arts assistant professor isn’t new to the theatre beat – her resume includes 25 years of experience for outlets including The Guardian and Variety. She was also the founding editor-in-chief of Irish Theatre Magazine, a publication that operated from 1998-2014.

    At the Star, Fricker will be reviewing major show openings in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Areas as well as writing feature articles.

    “It just feels like an un-dreamed-of privilege to get to have a platform like this at this point in my career,” she says. “Toronto is a really exciting and mature theatre market.”

    The theatre scene in the GTHA is rich with plenty of interesting things happening – from major musicals to performance art to original Canadian plays in storefront theatres.

    Fricker can’t wait to see them all and share her observations and critiques with Canadians.

    And, she’s looking forward to sharing her excitement with students, whose critiques are published  on Brock’s DARTcritics.com blog. She started the blog in 2013 to offer students an avenue to be published and edited.

    She plans to make sure her students benefit from the work she’s doing for the Star.

    “Students will gain a strong sense of connection and understanding of how professional arts criticism works,” she says.
    “They will have the opportunity to see their professor go through the same exercises they do and maybe even give her some feedback.”

    Fricker says she’s grateful to be working at Brock both because it’s an exciting time in the arts with the opening of the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts and because it’s a university that encourages professors to pursue their creative interests.

    “Being a creator, being an artist, has equal standing to being a scholar and producing peer-reviewed research,” she says.

    Fricker says the Star opportunity fits her creative and research interests of questioning arts criticism in the digital age.

    “I consider this a part of my research,” she says. “It’s a time of extraordinary possibility and growth for criticism.”

    DARTcritics.com is a response to that research interest and the question of how to turn an earnest blog into trusted criticism. The site has grown from a space for outstanding reviews by third-year students as part of their coursework to include reviews and features by students and recent graduates who are paid for their work. Fricker hopes that the site will continue to blossom into a year-round source of quality arts criticism in Niagara.

    Fricker’s role with the Star was announced Thursday. She’s looking forward to reviewing her first production for the paper this month.

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

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

  • Trio of awards for dramatic arts professor

    (Source: The Brock NewsTuesday, May 19, 2015 | by . Photo: Joe Norris was recently presented with two international awards and one from Brock for his unique approach to research.)

    It has been a busy spring for Joe Norris.

    In the midst of packing up his office to transfer to the new Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts, the dramatic arts professor added three newly acquired items to take with him: two awards from the American Educational Research Association and one from Brock University.

    Norris and Richard D. Sawyer from Washington State University captured the association’s Significant Contribution to Educational Measurement and Research Methodology Award.

    They were recognized for their book, Understanding Qualitative Research: Duoethnography, which Norris and Sawyer co-wrote. The book details the duo’s new research methodology called “duoethnography.”

    This involves two people conversing with one another on the same subject from very different viewpoints. As they gain insights and knowledge through the course of the conversation, the two people begin to change their perspectives. These changes in viewpoints become the research data.

    This differs from traditional information-gathering methods, such as using questionnaires, surveys, interviews, observations and other methods.

    Norris’s second American Educational Research Association recognition is the 2015 Tom Barone Award for Distinguished Contributions to Arts-Based Educational Research, which is given every three years for a lifetime of dedicated research.

    “It is rewarding to know that something you’ve created supports the work of a large number of people,” says Norris of his recognitions and his focus on creating and developing unique research methodologies. “People have come up to me and said I’ve been able to provide a rationale that gives them justification for what they want or need to do.”

    Among his many activities, Norris is credited with transforming playbuilding into a research methodology that uses theatrical devices to create performance/workshops that deepen our understanding of the social world.

    Here, the participatory research “data” includes audience members’ responses to what they see on the stage or video. The audience addresses the problems they see being acted out, teaching themselves about the topic in the process.

    To add to his collection, Norris also won the Faculty of Humanities’ 2015 Humanities Award for Excellence in Research and Creative Activity.

    “Professor Norris’s accumulated record of work in theatre and social issues has certainly earned him this award,” says Carol Merriam, Interim Dean of the Faculty of Humanities.

    “His use of his skills and talents in the exploration of social issues, including mental health issues, violence in the workplace and the negative impacts of alcohol, and the involvement of his students in this work, is especially impressive.”

    Norris says he is heartened by the “generosity, playfulness and rigour” of students involved in his research projects, particularly Mirror Theatre, which he co-ordinates. Norris is currently exploring the pros and cons of the written word compared to other media, such as visual work, performances, dance, music and video.

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

  • Dramatic Arts student in the news: Students build skills, community during Alternative Reading Week

    (Source: The Brock NewsWednesday, March 18, 2015 | by . Photo: A crew of Brock staff and students travelled to South Carolina during reading week to build a house with Habitat for Humanity.)

    Like many other students come Reading Week, Aaron Drake hopped a plane to an exotic locale. But the first year dramatic arts and education student didn’t kick back and relax when he arrived.

    Drake was one of several Brock students who travelled to El Salvador with Habitat for Humanity to build sidewalks and tamp dirt floors in houses. The experience gave him new perspective, he said.

    “By encouraging myself to continue broadening my understanding of community, I have learned that a world where everyone has a decent home is possible,” Drake said. “It’s about a hand-up, not a hand-out, and when we move beyond the barriers that hold us back, we will find those waiting with open arms.”

    The excursion was part of Student Life and Community Experience’s fifth annual Alternative Reading Week program. This year, 110 Brock staff and students gave up the opportunity to catch up on sleep or studying to volunteer locally or abroad.

    el-salvador-2015-dirt-arrival-300x199

    Brock students helped build sidewalks and tamp floors in houses in El Salvador during Alternative Reading Week.

    Students also joined Habitat for Humanity in South Carolina, where they built a single-story home. Others travelled to Dominican Republic to teach English and lead children’s activities in partnership with Outreach360.

    At home, participants volunteered with Start Me Up Niagara, Lincoln County Humane Society, Heartland Forest, Job Gym/John Howard Society, and the Learning Disabilities Association of Niagara.

    Students were challenged to learn new skills while bettering their community and the lives of others. By the end of the week, staff and students logged 4,100 volunteer hours.

    Jamieson Carr, who joined Drake in El Salvador, would do it all again, if given the opportunity.

    “It’s an incredible experience where you get to witness the impact you can have while serving others,” the first-year accounting student said.

    “Travelling with Brock was an incredible experience,” added kinesiology student Haley Gourley, who went to South Carolina. “I met some amazing people that I never would have gotten the chance to meet otherwise, challenging myself in learning new skills. It was a journey of a lifetime. If you like fried chicken, you’ll love this opportunity even more.”

    Amber Scholtens, a Student Life staff member, led the South Carolina trip. She marvelled at the work Brock students put into the build.

    “Everyone worked hard, with such a positive, genuine attitude and willingness to learn. It was truly an incredible display of what the University is all about and what it means to be a Badger,” Scholtens said. “Witnessing the impact we had on the community and the impact the overall experience had on everyone was amazing.”

    To learn more about students’ experiences during Alternative Reading Week, bring your lunch and join the Service-Learning lunch conversation on Thursday, March 19 from noon to 1 p.m. in TH253.

    Tags: , , , , ,
    Categories: Current Students, In the Media, News

  • Music and Dramatic Arts collaborate with the Niagara Symphony Orchestra

    The Niagara Symphony Orchestra on the stage of the Sean O’Sullivan Theatre of the Centre for the Arts at Brock University. Pictured below are Elizabeth Pereira, Virginia Reh and Evan Mulrooney.

    Many Canadian orchestras have brought Classical Kids’ Beethoven Lives Upstairs program to their stages over the years, but the Niagara Symphony has brought a fresh new approach to this classic event. Brock Dramatic Arts student Elizabeth Pereira and alumnus Evan Mulrooney will play the roles of Christoph and the Uncle respectively, in performance with the Niagara Symphony (led by music director Bradley Thachuk) in April 2015.  They earned the roles through competitive auditions at the school, and will be directed by Brock Professor of Drama Virginia Reh.

    It’s part of a many-faceted partnership between the NSA and the university.  The Niagara Symphony is Orchestra in Residence at Brock University, NSO concert notes are prepared by Brock Music Department faculty member Dr. Brian E. Power, the NSO participates in the Community Arts Partnership with the Brock Department of Music, Brock Music Ed Plus ensembles are featured in as part of Spotlight On!, Music Ed Plus students mentor and volunteer at Summer Music Camp, Brock faculty members coach, and adjudicate practice auditions, for students in The Academy @ SMC, NSO musicians Laura Thomas, Brent Adams, Gordon Cleland, Steve Fralick, Zoltan Kalman, Vera Alexeeva and Patricia Dydnansky are on faculty with the Brock Department of Music, and the NSO offers special PSSTnso (post secondary student ticket) pricing for university students.

    from the article posted September 17 in the Orchestra NewsWeekly Newsletter
    at http://orchestrascanada.org/2014/09/17/new-partnership-for-the-niagara-symphony/

    Tags: , , , , , , ,
    Categories: Alumni, Current Students, Events, In the Media, News

  • Brock community event looks at theatre criticism in the digital age

    (Source: The Brock News, Monday, February 10, 2014)

    An upcoming series of community discussions at Brock University later this month will debate the question: is everyone a critic?

    Media professionals, theatre experts, scholars and students will assemble in Sankey Chamber at Brock Feb. 21 and Feb. 22 to take part in the colloquium, The Changing Face of Theatre Criticism in the Digital Age, hosted by the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts.

    “The rise of blogging and Twitter, combined with the decline of print journalism, is raising important questions about what counts as legitimate, professional criticism,” says Karen Fricker, event co-ordinator and a professor of dramatic arts. “Our discussions will focus on the current critical scene in Niagara, as well as imagining possible futures for the arts in our community.”

    Panel members include two of Toronto’s most influential theatre critics: J. Kelly Nestruck of The Globe and Mail and Richard Ouzounian of the Toronto Star. Others include local figures like Jackie Maxwell, artistic director of the Shaw Festival, and Steve Solski, director of the St. Catharines Centre for the Performing Arts.

    The colloquium will also feature international critics: Jill Dolan, Princeton University professor and noted theatre blogger (thefeministspectator.com); Maddy Costa, a London, England blogger and journalist; and Andy Horwitz, founder of New York arts blog culturebot.net

    Dolan is visiting Brock as part of the Walker Cultural Leaders series. While here, she will deliver a public lecture, “Moving the Body Politic: How Feminism and Theatre Inspire Social Re-imaginings.” Her lecture, co-sponsored by the Department of Dramatic Arts and Centre for Women’s and Gender Studies at Brock, takes place Friday, Feb. 21, from 10 a.m. to 12 noon, also in Sankey Chamber.

    All of these events are free and open to the public.

    Funding for these events is provided by the Walker Cultural Leaders Series, the Brock Humanities Research Institute and the SSHRC Institutional Grant scheme, and the St. Catharines Performing Arts Centre.

    All events will be live-streamed.  [Click on “live video”]

    SCHEDULE: The Changing Face of Theatre Criticism in the Digital Age

    All events take place in Sankey Chamber at Brock University

    FRIDAY, FEB. 21:

    * 2 – 2:30 p.m.: Welcome
    Presentation by Brock dramatic arts students from the third-year class, Studies in Praxis – Theatre Criticism

    * 2:30 – 4 p.m.: Panel discussion “Critics and the arts in Niagara”

    • Jill Dolan (respondent)
    • Monica Dufault, artistic director, Essential Collective Theatre
    • David Fancy, associate professor of Dramatic Arts, Brock University, co-artistic director, neXt Company Theatre (chair)
    • John Law, arts and entertainment writer, Sun Media
    • Sara Palmieri, co-founder, In the Soil Festival
    • Stephen Remus, minister of energy, minds, and resources, Niagara Arts Centre
    • Steve Solski, director, St. Catharines Centre for the Performing Arts
    • Candice Turner-Smith, managing director, Niagara Symphony Orchestra

    * 4:15 – 5:45 p.m.: Panel discussion “Embedded criticism: a new way forward, or criticism-as-PR?”

    • Maddy Costa, critic and blogger
    • Karen Fricker
    • Andy Horwitz, founder, culturebot.org
    • Jackie Maxwell, artistic director, Shaw Festival
    • Jacob Gallagher-Ross, assistant professor of theatre, University of Buffalo (respondent)
    • Lawrence Switzky, assistant professor of Drama, University of Toronto at Mississauga (chair)

    SATURDAY, FEB. 22:

    * 10 – 10:30 a.m.: Welcome
    Presentation by Brock dramatic arts students from the third-year class, Studies in Praxis – Theatre Criticism

    * 10:30 a.m. – 12 noon: Panel discussion “Bloggers, critics, and cultural legitimation”

    • Jill Dolan
    • Karen Fricker (chair)
    • Andy Horwitz (respondent)
    • J. Kelly Nestruck, lead theatre critic, The Globe and Mail
    • Richard Ouzounian, lead theatre critic, Toronto Star
    • Holger Syme, chair, Department of English and Drama, University of Toronto at Mississauga, and blogger (disposito.net)
    • Odette Yazbeck, director of public relations, Shaw Festival

    * 12:15 – 1 p.m.: Colloquium wrap-up

    • Maddy Costa; Jill Dolan; Karen Fricker (chair); Rosemary Drage Hale, director of the Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, Brock University; and Andy Horwitz

    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
    Categories: Announcements, Events, In the Media, News