Media Releases

  • Brock co-led research to study police training in mental illness

    Dr. Natalie Alvarez, an associate professor in the Department of Dramatic Arts

    (Source: The Brock NewsWednesday, September 13, 2017 | by Cathy Majtenyi)

    It’s the heat of the moment. A person in mental health distress is waving a knife in the air, yelling or screaming or perhaps even silent. A police officer is on the scene.

    What happens next?

    It’s a question that undoubtedly will come up in Toronto police Constable James Forcillo’s appeal trial, which started Monday. Forcillo was convicted of attempted murder for the 2013 shooting of 18-year-old Sammy Yatim on a Toronto streetcar.

    It’s also a question that Brock University researchers Natalie Alvarez and Yasmine Kandil are exploring in their research on how to use theatre to train police officers.

    Dr. Yasmine Kandil

    Dr. Yasmine Kandil

    Alvarez, an associate professor in the Department of Dramatic Arts, along with Yasmine Kandil, an assistant professor in Dramatic Arts, are co-leading a study that will create and evaluate the effectiveness of a type of scenario-based police training grounded in problem-based training methods the team refers to as ‘forum scenarios.’

    In forum scenarios, a scene is played out for an audience. The scene is then performed again, but an audience member can step in to intervene by making different choices, creating a different outcome and changing the way a particular issue is viewed or dealt with. It’s a form of teaching and learning that promotes the principles of procedural justice.

    Theatre educators Alvarez and Kandil of Brock’s Department of Dramatic Arts, and Wilfred Laurier forensic psychologist Jennifer Lavoie, alongside their cross-Canada team with specializations in mental illness and de-escalation training, are partnering with the Durham Regional Police and collaborators from the Ontario Police College.

    The federal government’s Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council has awarded the team a $310,960 grant to carry out the four-year study.

    “Experiential learning through forum methods is much more effective in integrating knowledge, being able to apply that knowledge and retain it long term,” says Alvarez. The study builds on Alvarez’s upcoming book that examines the use of immersive simulations in a variety of training and educational contexts.

    Experts involved in the scenarios aim to teach police officers how to recognize behavioural characteristics of various mental illnesses that may present barriers to communication in high-stakes encounters, the impacts and consequences that certain actions will have on the person in crisis, and how to de-escalate volatile situations.

    “We want to recreate situations where the officer perceives a situation where there’s an imminent threat, they’re under extreme stress, and they have to make refined, ethical judgments in that moment of stress,” says Alvarez.

    The team will also address mental health stigmas and misconceptions.

    For Alvarez, the research is not just academic.

    “My oldest sister suffers from schizophrenia and she’s become an advocate for the rights of people living with mental illness,” says Alvarez, adding that her sister frequently gives talks to RCMP officers on the subject.

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

  • Brock Professor Collaborates with Dramatic Arts Graduates on New Circus Theatre Show in Niagara Falls

    MEDIA RELEASE
    David Fancy, a faculty member of the Department of Dramatic Arts at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts, is no stranger to new ventures.

    A veteran creator of new theatre productions that explore current events and engage the Niagara Region, he joined forces with former Cirque du Soleil performers Kosta Zakharenko and Christine Cadeau in 2010 to form Zacada Entertainment.

    “We wanted to combine theatre and circus in new ways,” says Fancy, who’s equally comfortable in the classroom as in the rehearsal studio. “The fusion of genres really permits some unique opportunities for dynamic forms of contemporary expression,” he notes.

    This year, the Zacada Entertainment crew will present a new Cirque Cabaret show, entitled Shotgun Wedding, at Niagara Falls’ 650-seat Greg Frewin Theatre.

    Shotgun Wedding features the story of two star-crossed lovers forced to get married by their deeply religious parents. On their way to Niagara Falls for the ceremony they each secretly decide to have one last fling with the person of their dreams.

    “The production deals with perennial concerns of love and relationships,” says Fancy, “but also shines a humorous and probing light on issues pertaining to Niagara, including migrant labour, tourism, and gambling.”

    Zacada is particularly happy to be working with three recent graduates of Brock University’s Department of Dramatic Arts (DART) who will be taking up the acting and singing roles in Shotgun Wedding.

    Mitchell Allanson, Marley Kajan, and Sean Rintoul have all finished their Honours Dramatic Arts degrees over the past three years, and have gone on to further training and professional creative opportunities around the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA).

    Kajan, a native of Welland, is pleased to be joining the company. “All three of us DART grads are super-happy to have been brought aboard to help bring this show to life,” she says.

    “These kinds of opportunities for intensive professionalization are gold,” says Rintoul, a 2- year veteran of other Zacada productions.

    Marly Kajan, DART Graduate

    Recent Zacada show Fancy has written and directed that have toured Ontario include Circus Revolution, a story about Marxist clowns who escape a gulag by means of their circus prowess, and Circus Labyrinth, a piece that explores creative responses to contemporary forms of social control.

    For its part, Shotgun Wedding features original Niagara-themed musical theatre numbers with support from a seven-piece band, as well as high-octane performances from over 10 cirque artists from Zacada Entertainment’s extensive pool of talent.Silks artists, contortionists, acrobats, and a host of other highly skilled cirque performances each grace the stage for every performance of Shotgun Wedding.

    The production team for Shotgun Wedding is currently in high gear with rehearsals and development for the June 9th opening. The show will be performed sixty times over the course of the summer.

    “We’re deeply excited about this new show,” says Vittoria Wikston, General Manager of the Greg Frewin Theatre, “Especially with how it offers national level talent and serves as a unique reflection of the many strengths and talents of our region.”

    “We couldn’t be happier about having this exciting new addition to our roster of shows,” says master magician and theatre owner, Greg Frewin.

    He adds, “It’s going to be an awesome summer.”

    Website: shotgunwedding.ca
    Brock Promotional code for 20% discount is ShotgunBrock

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    Categories: Alumni, Announcements, Faculty & Instructors, Media Releases, News

  • Moral decay exposed! Radium Girls on stage at the Marilyn I. Walker Theatre

    Brock University
    MEDIA RELEASE

    Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts
    905.688.5550, x4765

    Moral decay exposed! Radium Girls on stage at the Marilyn I. Walker Theatre

    Radium Girls, by D.W. Gregory, is a chilling tale of unchecked corporate greed, market demand, and scientific ambition exceeding human empathy. This production runs March 3 – 11, 2017 in the Marilyn I. Walker Theatre, at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts, 15 Artists’ Common.

    Between 1918 and 1928 in Orange, New Jersey, towards the end of World War I, applying luminous paint to watches, clocks and military dials was thought of as a desirable occupation for young working-class American women. Their employer, United States Radium Corporation (U.S. Radium), lead them to believe that the paint was harmless, that it contained only minute quantities of radium, and besides, radium was good for your health. Across the country, patent medicines pushed radium as a cure for all ailments. So, the young women happily painted, often putting their paint-covered brushes into their mouths to create a finer point.

    Within a year or so, an alarming number of women fell ill: their teeth were falling out, their jaws were rotting away, and cancer was rampant. U.S. Radium denied all liability, suppressed information that supported the women’s claim of negligence, and smeared their reputations to protect their bottom line.

    In today’s political landscape, where dangers to human health are suppressed to protect corporate interests, this story of women labourers struggling to claim a voice in an unjust society is hauntingly appropriate.

    Directed by Philip McKee and designed by Kelly Wolf, with music composed by Holger Schoorl, Radium Girls showcases the talents of students in the Department of Dramatic Arts undergraduate program. Performers include: Nikka Collison, Olivia De Sousa, Rebecca Downing, Ben Fallis, Sydney Fracolini, Bernadette Kahnert, Mackenzie Kerr, Adrian Marchesano, Samantha Mastrella, Elena Milenkovski, Michelle Mohammad, Sean Rashotte, Naomi Richardson, and Colin Williams.

    Director Philip McKee stated, “Today, the excitement of innovation and the opportunity to make money results in ordinary workers around the world being exposed to deadly substances. This is especially true in the global south where the laws which protect labourers in more developed countries don’t apply. The protagonists of the play discover that laws cannot guarantee our safety or our guiltlessness, as there will always be ways in which laws can be manipulated or ignored. Radium Girls helps us to see that we are ultimately dependent on the ethics and good intentions of individuals to protect ourselves and others from harm.”

    Radium Girls runs March 3, 4, 10, 11 at 7:30 pm; March 5 at 2 pm.; and March 10 at 11:30 am, and will be held in the Marilyn I. Walker Theatre, Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts, 15 Artists’ Common, St. Catharines.

    Tickets are $18 Adults; $15 Students/Seniors; $10 Groups; $5 eyeGo high school program, and are available through the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre Box Office at 905.688.0722, or online, or via email: boxoffice@firstontariopac.ca

    Such programs from the Department of Dramatic Arts (https://brocku.ca/miwsfpa/dramatic-arts) are an integral part of the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts’ mandate in building connections between the community and the breadth of talent and creativity at Brock University.

    Parking is not available on-site, however, there are more than 1,000 spots available in nearby parking garages, surface lots, and on city streets within a five-minute walk to our address at 15 Artists’ Common. Visit http://www.stcatharines.ca/en/livein/ParkingLotsGarages.asp for a list of parking locations.

    Media Day: Thursday, February 16 at 5:30 pm, held in the Marilyn I. Walker Theatre, 15 Artists’ Common, St. Catharines, ON.

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    For more information or to set up interviews contact:
    Communications
    Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts
    T: 905.688.5550, x4765
    C: 905.964.7646
    E: miwsfpa@brocku.ca
    W: http://brocku.ca/miwsfpa


    Videos:

    View the video teaser for RADIUM GIRLS below:

     

    View the TVCogeco feature for RADIUM GIRLS below:

     

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    Categories: Events, Media Releases, News, Plays

  • Stolen Theatre Collective and Brock University’s Department of Dramatic Arts present The Ash Mouth Man

    16r10_the_ash_mouth_manFor those who enjoy comedy with a dark undertow, plan to join us for the world premiere of The Ash Mouth Man, an original theatre work to be held in the Marilyn I. Walker Theatre at 15 Artists’ Common.

    Meet Lorna, who in the ‘50’s, is the 31st lady dentist in Canada. A bit of a social misfit, Lorna works on Pretty Girl Street, treating people with all kinds of disorders. Gradually, she discovers the dark forces lurking beneath the too perfect fantasy of her life – where even the Royal Mail Canada Man might carry a threat. She survives a sex scandal, discovers unusual and groundbreaking therapies, and with some help from her friends in the audience, confronts the timeless mythic figure of the Ash Mouth Man…Betty Crocker’s smile has never been so frightening.

    Inspired by Australian short story writer Kaaron Warren, director Gyllian Raby, and actor Danielle Wilson created the script, with the assistance of Wilson’s and Federico Holten-Andersen’s Stolen Theatre Collective company. The acting ensemble, led by Wilson, features Federico Holten-Andersen, Colin Bruce Anthes and Sean McClelland. Original music is by Max Holten-Andersen, set and lighting design is by Nigel Scott, costume design is by Genevieve Habib and stage management is by Dramatic Arts student Kaitlyn Séguin.

    The Marilyn I. Walker Theatre will be transformed into an intimate theatre space, which allows seating for 48 people per performance, running approximately 70 minutes in length.

    Danielle Wilson and Gyllian Raby are grateful for the community support for Stolen Theatre Collective’s endeavor. The City of St. Catharines Cultural Investment, the Walker Cultural Leader Foundation, The Match of Minds program and the Humanities Research Institute match the investment of the company members in creating original work out of our city. Wilson states, “Gyllian and I are very excited to be collaborating on an original Canadian piece after our production of Twelfth Night which we co-directed in 2013.”

    Presented by Stolen Theatre Collective and Brock University Department of Dramatic Arts
    September 15-18 & 23-25, 2016
    Evening shows (Thurs., Fri. and Sat.) at 8 p.m. (no Thurs., Sept. 22nd show); Sat. & Sun. matinees at 2 p.m.
    Marilyn I. Walker Theatre, Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts, 15 Artists’ Common, St. Catharines
    Limited seating, only 48 seats available per performance with a total of nine performances
    Tickets: $20† adult/senior; $15† student/art worker; $5 eyeGo program
    †Applicable fees and taxes are extra.
    Order tickets from the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre Box Office: 905.688.0722 or Toll Free: 1.855.515.0722; online: firstontariopac.ca

    Limited paid parking is available on-site, however, there are more than 1,000 spots available in nearby parking garages, surface lots and on city streets within a five-minute walk to our address at 15 Artists’ Common. Visit www.stcatharines.ca/en/livein/ParkingLotsGarages.asp for a list of parking locations.

    For interviews please contact: 
Marie Balsom, Communications Coordinator, Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts
 T: 905-688-5550, ext. 4765 | E: mbalsom@brocku.ca  | W: www.brocku.ca/miwsfpa

    For all other inquiries, please contact: Danielle Wilson 

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    Categories: Events, Media Releases, News, Plays

  • DART 4F56 presents: The Flu Season by Will Eno

    Will Eno’s “The Flu Season” plays whack-a-mole with everything you expect love to be.

    On stage in the Dramatics Arts Theatre, this Oppenheimer award-winning play has been selected by the graduating dramatic arts students as the strangest, most theatrical screen shot of the state of romantic affairs today.

    This unexpected comedy comes from the playwright the New York Times hails as “a Samuel Beckett for the Jon Stewart generation.”

    Romance is hacked and hijacked when a man and woman meet in a “retreat centre” that is surely unique in the known universe. They are under the observation of technicians and caretakers who are themselves infected by the multiplying pathetic fallacies of romance. Lovers are mad. Love hurts. Love makes you do crazy things. Love is The Flu Season.

    Guided by director and Professor Gyllian Raby, the 4F56 company includes: Elizabeth Amos, Eliza Anthony, Kelsey Burcher, Mary Askwith, Maria Evers, Alex Franks, Mark Harrigan, Robert Herr, Daryl Hunter, Jeremy Knapton, Katelyn Lander, Kevin Langendyk, Cole Larson, Oriana Marrone, Melinda Mohammed, Josh Sanger, and Raylene Turner.

    Such programs from the Department of Dramatic Arts are an integral part of the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts’ mandate in building connections between the community and the breadth of talent and creativity at Brock University. For more information about the Department of Dramatic Arts visit: brocku.ca/dramaticarts The Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts is located at its new, state-of-the-art teaching, production and performance facility in the heart of the City of St. Catharines.

    The Flu Season runs April 14, 15, and 16, at 7:30 pm, in the Dramatic Arts Theatre at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts, 15 Artists’ Common, in downtown St. Catharines. Tickets are $5 (applicable fees and taxes are extra) and can be purchased at the door, or through the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre Box Office at 905.688.0722; long distance toll free 1-855-515-0722; email: boxoffice@firstontariopac.ca; online: firstontariopac.ca

    You can receive a $2 discount on your ticket with a purchase of a meal of $5 or more from the following participating downtown eatries: Mahtay Café, Rise Above, The Bull BBQ Pit, Sky Bar Lounge at Brock University, Bella Noella’s Pizzeria, Gwen’s Teas, and So Jollof. Simply bring your restaurant receipt or voucher to the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre Box Office to receive this discount. This offer is not available online.

    Limited paid parking is available on-site, however, there are more than 1,000 spots available in nearby parking garages, surface lots and on city streets within a five-minute walk to our address at 15 Artists’ Common. Visit stcatharines.ca/en/livein/ParkingLotsGarages.asp for a list of parking locations

    For interviews please contact:
    Marie Balsom, Communications,
    Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts
    T: 905-688-5550, ext. 4765 | E: mbalsom@brocku.ca | W: brocku.ca/miwsfpa

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    Categories: Events, Media Releases, News, Plays

  • The Department of Dramatic Arts presents: Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet)

    WRITTEN BY: Ann-Marie Macdonald
    DIRECTED BY: Danielle Wilson
    ASSISTED BY: Mark Harrigan
    SET DESIGN BY: Nigel Scott
    COSTUMES BY: Kelly Wolf
    SOUND DESIGN BY: Gavin Fearon
    LIGHTING DESIGN BY: Yasmine Kandil
    FIGHT DIRECTION BY: Jamie Treschak

    Show dates/times: Feb. 26 & 27 and March 4 & 5 at 7:30 p.m.
    Matinee performances: Feb. 28 at 2:00 p.m. & March 4 at 11:30 a.m.

    Performed in the Dramatic Arts Theatre, Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts, 15 Artists’ Common, St. Catharines.

    purchase tickets here

    What would happen if Desdemona and Juliet didn’t die? Constance Ledbelly, an overlooked academic, is transported into Shakespeare’s Othello and Romeo and Juliet, becomes entangled in the plays, meets these iconic women and changes the plots entirely.

    Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet) showcases the talents of students in the Department of Dramatic Arts undergraduate program, including the performers: Raylene Turner; Katelyn Lander; Elizabeth Amos; Alexandra Li Tomulescu; Michael Fusillo; Robert Herr; Josh Sanger; and Jeremy Knapton. See the media release below for a complete list of artists and collaborators.

    Check out A Shakespearean whirlwind: Behind the Scenes with Goodnight Desdemona @BrockuDART and see dartcritics.com to follow development of this production.

    Teachers and faculty should read this letter about group bookings and discounts.

    A Study Guide is available for review, prepared by Assistant Director Mark Harrigan: download to print a copy (PDF)

    See the media release below or via this downloadable PDF for more details about the production and to schedule your participation in the media day:


    Media Release:

    Ann-Marie MacDonald’s award-winning Canadian classic, Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet), on stage at the Dramatic Arts Theatre in downtown St. Catharines

    The Department of Dramatic Arts (DART) is proud to present Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet), a clever, lively comedic tale of self-discovery, to be held in the Dramatic Arts Theatre at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts, 15 Artists’ Common, from February 26 – March 5, 2016.

    Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet) was first performed in Toronto in 1988, and went on to be performed nationally and internationally. It has become one of Ann-Marie MacDonald’s most popular plays. Winner of the Governor General’s Award for Drama, Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet) is a feminist re-envisioning of Othello and Romeo and Juliet. Set at Queen’s University in Kingston, overlooked and under-appreciated academic Constance Ledbelly has spent the last ten years ghost writing for a professor while trying to prove her theory that Othello and Romeo and Juliet were originally comedies written by an unknown author that Shakespeare plundered and made into tragedies. When she deciphers the ancient ‘Gustav Manuscript,’ Constance is propelled smack dab into the tragic turning points of each play, saving both Desdemona and Juliet from their tragic fates. The result is a topsy-turvy ride through the recesses of her own mind as Constance learns to appreciate her own self-worth, find confidence and discover who she really is.

    Heading up the creative team is Director Danielle Wilson who is also an actor and voice coach. In 2006, she moved to St. Catharines to take up her current position at Brock University where she teaches voice and performance. She is also active in the local theatre scene as a vocal coach and director, and is the co-artistic director of Stolen Theatre Collective. This is Professor Wilson’s fourth mainstage direction for Brock University’s Department of Dramatic Arts and her first production for the new DART theatre opened in September 2015.

    Assistant Director Mark Harrigan is a fourth year BA (Honours) Dramatic Arts student. Lighting design is by Professor Yasmine Kandil with sound design by Gavin Fearon (assisted by student Kelsey Burcher). DART is delighted to engage guest artists to complete their creative team: set design by Nigel Scott (assisted by student Charlotte Nazari), costume design by Kelly Wolf, and fight direction by Jamie Treschak. Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet) showcases the talents of students in the Department of Dramatic Arts undergraduate program, including the performers: Raylene Turner; Katelyn Lander; Elizabeth Amos; Alexandra Li Tomulescu; Michael Fusillo; Robert Herr; Josh Sanger; and Jeremy Knapton. The student Stage Manager is Oriana Marrone, assisted by Kaitlyn Seguin and Elena Milenkowski. Second year students in Stagecraft build and operate the show under the direction of the Production Manager Brian Cumberland, Technical Director Gavin Fearon (assisted by student Jennifer Dewan) and Head of Wardrobe Roberta Doylend assisted by students Dana Morin (Properties Co-ordinator) and Paige Patterson (Wardrobe Assistant).

    Danielle Wilson states, “I wanted to do a play with strong female characters, which is surprisingly difficult to find in 2016. Ann-Marie MacDonald brilliantly revises Shakespeare’s Juliet and Desdemona by exploring the role of gender in romantic alliances and questioning their boundaries.”

    Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet) runs February 26 and 27 at 7:30 pm; February 28 at 2 pm; March 4 at 11:30 am and 7:30 pm; and March 5 at 7:30 pm, and will be held in the Dramatic Arts Theatre, Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts, 15 Artists’ Common, St. Catharines. Tickets are $18 Adults; $15 Students/Seniors; $12 Groups (10+); $5 eyeGo high school program, and are available through the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre Box Office at 905.688.0722, online: firstontariopac.ca; or e-mail: boxoffice@firstontariopac.ca

    Such programs from the Department of Dramatic Arts (https://brocku.ca/miwsfpa/dramaticarts) are an integral part of the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts’ mandate in building connections between the community and the breadth of talent and creativity at Brock University.

    Limited paid parking is available on-site, however, there are more than 1,000 spots available in nearby parking garages, surface lots and on city streets within a five-minute walk to our address at 15 Artists’ Common. Visit stcatharines.ca/en/livein/ParkingLotsGarages.asp for a list of parking locations.

    Media Day: Thursday, February 18 at 5 pm, held at the Dramatic Arts Theatre, 15 Artists’ Common, St. Catharines, ON.

    For interviews please contact:

    Marie Balsom, Communications Coordinator, Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts
    T: 905-688-5550, ext. 4765 | E: mbalsom@brocku.ca | W: brocku.ca/miwsfpa


    Video Teaser:

     

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  • The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny

    WRITTEN BY: Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill
    DIRECTED BY: Virginia Reh
    SCENOGRAPHY BY: David Vivian

    Show dates/times: Nov. 13, 14, 20 & 21 at 7:30 p.m.
    Matinee performances: Sunday, Nov. 15 at 2 p.m., & Friday, Nov. 20 at 11:30 a.m.

    Performed in the Dramatic Arts Theatre, Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts, 15 Artists’ Common, St. Catharines.

    Purchase tickets here

    Come to Mahagonny where all your dreams and nightmares come true. The Widow Begbick welcomes you to her fantasyland for grown-ups. Every day’s party day in Mahagonny. Music! Dance! Drama! Why would you ever want to leave?

    Tickets are $18 Adults; $15 Students/Seniors; $12 Groups (10+);  $5 eyeGo high school program, and are available through the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre Box Office Centre
    at or online at boxoffice@firstontariopac.ca


    Brock University
    MEDIA RELEASE

    October 29, 2015
    Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts
    905.688.5550, x4765

    The curtain rises on the first mainstage presentation of the inaugural season for the new Dramatic Arts Theatre: The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny

    Brock University’s Department of Dramatic Arts presents their rendition of German playwright Bertolt Brecht and composer Kurt Weill’s renowned opera/musical, The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny, to be held in the Dramatic Arts Theatre at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts, 15 Artists’ Common, from Nov. 13 – 21, 2015.

    The title refers to the colour ‘mahogany’, Brecht’s reference to the German ‘Brown Shirts.’ This production is set in 1957 on the Gulf Coast, close to Pensacola. In parallels to the original productions, America is recovering from the McCarthy era, and the coast is threatened by an impending hurricane – in our case, Audrey.

    An opera of Epic Theatre, The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny follows the lives of its denizens as they are consumed by the power of money, which wins out against all other forces that motivate us: friendship, family, morality, philosophy.

    “In the whole human race, there is no greater criminal than a man without money.” ~Brecht/Weill, The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny

    Directed by Guest Artist Virginia Reh and designed by Associate Professor David Vivian, The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny showcases the talents of students in the Department of Dramatic Arts undergraduate program, including the performers: Keri Bishop, Helena Ciuciura, Nikka Collison, Caroline Coon, Ben Fallis, Andrew Godin, Rob Grady, Lena Hall, Mark Harrigan, Shanza Hashmi, Cole Larson, Adrian Marchesano, Sean McClelland, Jonah McGrath, Elizabeth Pereira, Julia Scaringi, Demetri Tsioros, and with special guest alumni David MacKenzie and Steve Reistetter.

    Virginia Reh states, “The original productions were in the early 1930s and very much in Brecht’s style of theatre for the people. In recent years, Mahagonny has become popular with large opera companies. Our production aims to dial the piece back to something Brecht might actually recognize.”

    The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny will run Nov. 13, 14, 20 & 21 at 7:30 p.m.; Nov. 15 at 2 p.m.; and Nov. 20 at 11:30 a.m., and will be held in the Dramatic Arts Theatre, Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts, 15 Artists’ Common, St. Catharines. Tickets are $18 Adults; $15 Students/Seniors; $12 Groups (10+); $5 eyeGo high school program, and are available through the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre Box Office at 905.688.0722, online at http://firstontariopac.ca or via email: boxoffice@firstontariopac.ca

    Such programs from the Department of Dramatic Arts (https://brocku.ca/miwsfpa/dramaticarts) are an integral part of the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts’ mandate in building connections between the community and the breadth of talent and creativity at Brock University.

    Parking is not available on-site, however, there are more than 1,000 spots available in nearby parking garages, surface lots and on city streets within a five-minute walk to our address at 15 Artists’ Common. Visit this website for a list of parking locations.

    This production contains strong language and sexual content.

    Media Day: Tuesday, November 10 at 5 p.m., held at the Dramatic Arts Theatre, 15 Artists’ Common, St. Catharines, ON.

    For more information or to set up interviews contact:
    Marie Balsom, Communications
    Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts
    T: 905.688.5550 x4765
    C: 905.964.7646
    E: mbalsom@brocku.ca
    W: brocku.ca/miwsfpa/dramaticarts


    Media & Downloads:

    View the TVCogeco feature on The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny below:

     

    Download a copy of the poster and the promotional card by clicking on the images below:

    Poster:
    The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny - Poster

    Promo Card:
    The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny - Promo Card

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    Categories: Events, Media Releases, News, Plays

  • Media Release: Jehanne of the Witches

    jehanne_promo_dvBrock University
    Media Release
    St. Catharines, ON
    January 28, 2014

    The Department of Dramatic Arts’ mainstage production of Jehanne of the Witches is beset with twists and turns, black magic, illusion, sexuality, and the use – and abuse – of power!

    Students of Brock University’s Department of Dramatic Arts present Jehanne of the Witches, a Canadian play that probes into the nature of magic, truth and illusion. Performances will be held at the Sean O’Sullivan Theatre, Brock University on February 13, 14 and 15, 2014.

    Jehanne of the Witches, written by award-winning Canadian playwright Sally Clark, recounts Joan of Arc’s story with historical accuracy, and explores modern, feminist ideals, as well as Christianity and Paganism. Using historical facts, Clark weaves a story exploring the strange relationship that existed between Joan of Arc and her comrade-in-arms, Gilles de Rais – the notorious Bluebeard. In this production, Gilles de Rais is in his own personal purgatory where he is condemned to endlessly relive the events of his life from his first contact with Jehanne to his own death.
    Directed by Virginia Reh, with scenography by David Vivian, and lighting by Cameron More, this second mainstage production of the Department of Dramatics Arts’ 2013-14 Season showcases the talents of students in the undergraduate program: Katie Coseni, Mallory Muehmer, Rachel Romanoski, Hayley Malouin, Elizabeth Smith, Nikki Morrison, Erik Bell, Derek Ewert, Josh Berard, and Lewis Whiteley.

    “Sally Clark’s unique and unorthodox look at the Joan of Arc legend has called to me for a very long time,” states Reh. “This multi-layered play questions the very nature of history: how and by whom it is relayed and manipulated. It deals in power, mystery, a yearning to believe and the very nature of theatre itself. Layers behind layers are torn away in a search for the elusive “truth.” Who is a saint? and who is a monster?”

    This play contains sexual themes and occasional strong language.

    Performances for Jehanne of the Witches will be held in the Sean O’Sullivan Theatre, Brock University on February 13, 14, and 15, 2014 at 7:30 p.m., with a matinée performance on February 14 at 1 p.m. Tickets are $18 for adults, $15 for seniors and students, $12 for groups, and $5 for the eyeGo high school ticket program. Available from the Centre for the Arts Box Office: 905-688-5550 x3257 or visit: http://arts.brocku.ca/ For more information about this production and the Department of Dramatic Arts visit: brocku.ca/miwsfpa/dramaticarts.

    Productions from the Department of Dramatic Arts are an integral part of the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts’ mandate to build connections between the community and the breadth of talent and creativity at Brock University.

    If you wish to experience the legend of Joan of Arc through the media of classic film and live choral performance, then you won’t want to miss Chorus Niagara’s CN CINEMA – The Passion of Joan of Arc, taking place on February 28 and March 1 at 7:30 p.m., held at St. Thomas Anglican Church in St. Catharines. Tickets can be purchased through the Centre for the Arts Box Office (purchase information is listed above).

     

    Media call: Thursday, February 6, 2014 at 6 p.m., held in the Sean O’Sullivan Theatre, Brock University

    For interviews please contact:
    Marie Balsom, Communications
    Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts
    T: 905.688.5550, x4765| E: mbalsom@brocku.ca | W: brocku.ca/finearts

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  • An Acre of Time by Jason Sherman (DART 4F56)

    anacreoftimeApril 11, 12 & 13, 2013 at 7:30 p.m.
    A government land surveyor (Julia) uncovers the history of an acre of land near the Ottawa River, a barren rectangle that contains the memories of all who passed through it, from the last native hunter to the first white settler. Somehow, the layers of loss, land and remembrance enable Julia to grasp what she needs in order to let go.
    Location: Room ST107 (Studio Theatre) Schmon Tower, Brock Campus
    Admission: Donations accepted

    This is part of the Industrial Fabric 3 program. (Click the link for more information.)


    BROCK UNIVERSITY
    MEDIA RELEASE
    April 2, 2013
    Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts
    905.688.5550 x4765

    An Acre of Time by Jason Sherman, presented on stage at the Studio Theatre, Brock University Inspired by the book of the same title by Phil Jenkins.
    Graduating Dramatic Arts students enrolled in Advanced Studies in Theatre (DART 4F56) at Brock University, will perform An Acre of Time by Canadian award-winning playwright Jason Sherman, held at the Studio Theatre at Brock University, from April 11 – 13, 2013 at 7:30 p.m.

    An Acre of Time tells the story of government land surveyor (Julia) who uncovers the history of an acre of land on the LeBreton Flats near the Ottawa River. This barren rectangle contains the memories of all who passed through it, from the last native hunter to the first white settler. Somehow, the layers of loss, land and remembrance enable Julia to grasp what she needs in order to let go.
    The LeBreton Flats is a blank urban space that has been in limbo for decades. In 1962, the government expropriated it and knocked down its community. The Flats represent not only a government’s abdication of responsibility, but also an emotional void that can only be filled by recognizing and honouring the ghosts who still live there.

    Julia, played in different time periods by three actors: Kaitlin Race, Cassandra van Wyck, and Olivia Jackson, learns that there are different kinds of mapping processes, and that the most important survey brings our own lives to light. Julia’s government work crew colleagues, played by Kanthan Annalingam, Karyn Lorence, Shauna James and Emma Strong, become guides on Julia’s journey as she encounters the ghosts of Samuel de Champlain, played by Erica Charles, and surveyor John Stegmann, played by Jessi Robinson. The speculator John LeBreton is played by Stephanie Neale. Tom, a first nations artist played by James Lowe, conjures the spirit of Constant Penency, an Algonquin hunter who has joined the spirit of Julia’s daughter, Louise, played by Grace Ruppenthal. Evan Mulroney plays Bill, Julia’s husband who lost their daughter Louise to a river drowning.

    The set, lighting and video design, by Dylan O’Connor, James McCoy and Nathan Heuchan, is a meditation on mapping and memory that pulls the layers of story into a unified whole with props and costumes designed by Jo Pacinda and John McGowan. The production, in its complex entirety, is stage managed by Kate Hardy and directed by professor Gyllian Raby.

    An Acre of Time performances run: Thursday, April 11, Friday, April 12, and Saturday, April 13, 2013, at 7:30 p.m., and will be held at the Studio Theatre (Rm. ST107) Schmon Tower, Brock University. Admission is by donation.

    For more information about this production, e-mail dramatic.arts@brocku.ca

    Such productions from the Department of Dramatic Arts are an integral part of the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts’ mandate in building connections between the community and the breadth of creative talent that defines our academic programs at Brock University.
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  • The Walker Cultural Leader Series: Daniel Levinson, leading movement and stage fighting expert to present a Movement and Stage Combat Intensive program

    Daniel Levinson

    BROCK UNIVERSITY
    MEDIA RELEASE

    February 12, 2013
    Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts
    905.688.5550 x4765

    New Walker series opens doors for arts students and the public

    A major series of cultural events, workshops and performances being launched this fall by Brock University will provide new learning experiences for students, and in many cases will also be open to the public.

    The Walker Cultural Leader Series will see leading artists, performers and academics convene more than a dozen events in disciplines ranging from animation to classical music and theatrical performance. The events will take place on campus as well as in the community.

    Presented by Brock’s Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts (MIWSFPA), the series opens Oct. 16-19 with workshops, studio visits and performances by Sobey Award-winning performer and animator Daniel Barrow.

    The series will also feature presentations by Joan Watson, principal horn of the Canadian Opera Company; performer and author Stephen Nachmanovitch; acclaimed Canadian pianist Robert Silverman; and Daniel Levinson, an expert in movement and stage combat.

    The new series is being funded thanks to the Marilyn I. Walker Fund, an endowed fund created in 2008, when Marilyn Walker donated $15 million to Brock’s school of fine and performing arts.

    Derek Knight, director of the Walker School, said the main objective of the series is to engage students, but pointed out many sessions are open to the community.

    “The new series is committed to inviting varied and interesting guest speakers,” said Knight. “It will be engaging, lively and erudite. These sessions celebrate professional achievement, artistic endeavour and the indelible role of culture in our society.”

    Douglas Kneale, Dean of Humanities at the University, said the initiative is another step forward for Brock on the academic, cultural and community fronts.

    “Thanks to the generosity of Marilyn I. Walker, we are able to offer students unique interactions with creative leaders in the fine and performing arts, and also extend to the community educational and cultural opportunities that will be enormously enriching.”

    The Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts is comprised of the departments of Dramatic Arts, Music, Visual Arts, and the Centre for Studies in Arts & Culture.

    For more info and follow-up interviews: Marie Balsom, Communications, Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts, Brock University, 905-688-5550 x4765; mbalsom@brocku.ca

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