News

  • DART student Unicycling for a spot on Letterman

     

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

     

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    Categories: Alumni, Current Students, 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.

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    Categories: Faculty & Instructors, News

  • Canadian Actor Brent Carver Visits DART

    brentcarverStar of the the Stratford Shakespeare Festival, Broadway, Soulpepper Theatre Company, and cinema (among his many successes), Canadian actor Brent Carver visited the students of the Department of Dramatic Arts to talk about his upcoming return to the Stratford Festival and his experiences training and maintaining a career in theatre. Carver attended the second last performance of Big Love, produced by the Department of Dramatic Arts in the Sean O’Sullivan Theatre of Brock University.

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    Categories: Current Students, News, Visiting Artists

  • Brides escape across Italy in Big Love

    Performers in Big Love include, from left: Sadie Isaak, Rebecca Durance-Hine, Jacqueline Costa. Photo credit: Bethany Scholl

    (Source: The Brock News. Friday, February 5, 2010)

    The age-old story of love versus power is the focus of the upcoming Brock production Big Love.

    The play tells the story of 50 brides (all sisters) who flee arranged marriages to 50 grooms (their cousins) who pursue them across Italy. A contemporary look at Aeschylus’s Greek tragedy The Suppliant Women, the play will be performed by the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts on Feb. 11 to 13.

    In Big Love, three of the runaway brides seek asylum in an Italian family’s villa. Their hosts are unable to negotiate the moral predicament and allow the forced marriages, so the brides make a pact to kill their husbands on their wedding night.

    “I am drawn to the play because it has the scale of a Greek tragedy, but it is dressed in the global culture of today,” said Gyllian Raby, director and associate professor in Dramatic Arts. “(Playwright Charles) Mee invites a wild post-modern performativity, but his story is so deeply sourced in western culture that it is very accessible.”

    Karyn McCallum designed the set. The choreography is from Gemini-nominated director Allen Kaeja.

    Performers are from the Dramatic Arts undergraduate performance concentration. They include Rebecca Durance-Hine, Jacqueline Costa, Sadie Isaak, Rob MacMenamin, Corey Mehlenbacher, Trevor Ketcheson, Jen Bender, Chris Boyle, Michael Pearson, Eric Frank, Dylan Mawson and Kasey Dunn.

    Tickets are $15 for adults and $12 for seniors and students.

    Performances:
    Thursday, Feb. 11 – 7:30 p.m.
    Friday, Feb. 12 – 1 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
    Saturday, Feb. 13 – 7:30 p.m.

    To order tickets:
    Centre for the Arts box office
    905-688-5550 x3257
    boxoffice@brocku.ca

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  • Theatre at Brock embraces BIG LOVE

    From left: Sadie Isaak, Rebecca Durance-Hine, Jacqueline Costa. Photo credit: Bethany Scholl

    From left: Sadie Isaak, Rebecca Durance-Hine, Jacqueline Costa. Photo credit: Bethany Scholl

    Performance Dates:

    Thurs., Feb. 11, 2010 at 7:30 p.m.
    Fri., Feb. 12 at 1 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.
    Sat., Feb. 13 at 7:30 p.m.

    Location: Sean O’Sullivan Theatre, Brock University, 500 Glenridge Avenue in St. Catharines, Ontario

    Tickets: $15 adults; $12 seniors & students; $10 groups; The Department of Dramatic Arts is proud to be a partner of eyeGo to the Arts, encouraging high school students to attend live performing arts through an innovative $5 ticket program.
    Announcing $5 Friday! – attend the matinee performance on Fri., Feb. 12 at 1 p.m. for only $5 – available to holders of Brock ID cards.
    Available at the Centre for the Arts Box Office, 905-688-5550, ext. 3257, or e-mail boxoffice@brocku.ca.

    Charles Mee’s contemporary look at Aeschylus’s Greek tragedy The Suppliant Women is an astonishingly fresh take on an age-old story: love versus power.

    BIG LOVE tells the story of fifty brides (all sisters) who flee from arranged marriages to fifty grooms (their cousins) who pursue them across the sea to Italy. Three of the brides seek asylum in an Italian family’s villa. When their hosts are unable to negotiate their way through the moral predicament and allow the forced marriages, the brides make a murderous pact to kill their husbands on their wedding night. One of them fails to kill. Who betrayed whom?

    Director Gyllian Raby states, ”I am drawn to the play because it has the scale of a Greek tragedy, but it is dressed in the global culture of today. Mee invites a wild post-modern performativity, but his story is so deeply sourced in western culture that it is very accessible.” Designer Karyn McCallum has set our production in an installation suggestive of a temple-gymnasium where the body wrestles with the spirit. Mattel’s gendered Ken and Barbie dolls hang from the lighting grid and punch-bag mannikin forms are anchored to the stage floor. A deeply passionate movement score with choreography from Gemini nominated Director and Award winning Choreographer Allen Kaeja conveys chaotic savagery and the tenderness of love, as well as the dark endurance of the survivor.

    BIG LOVE showcases the talents of students in Brock University’s Department of Dramatic Arts undergraduate acting classes: Rebecca Durance-Hine, Jacqueline Costa, Sadie Isaak, Rob MacMenamin, Corey Mehlenbacher, Trevor Ketcheson, Jen Bender, Chris Boyle, Michael Pearson, Eric Frank, Dylan Mawson and Kasey Dunn.

    BIG LOVE exhibits the extremes of passion as it explores two impossibilities: love and forgiveness. Performed on stage at the Sean O’Sullivan Theatre, Brock University, performances are held on Thurs., Feb. 11, 2010 at 7:30 p.m., Fri., Feb. 12 at 1 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., and Sat., Feb. 13 at 7:30 p.m.

    Such productions by the Department of Dramatic Arts are a key 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.
    Media Day: Thurs., Feb. 4, 2010 at 6 p.m. held at the Sean O’Sullivan Theatre, Brock University.

     


     

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  • A Little Night Music goes right to the source

    Stephen Sondheim’s A Little Night Music was waltzing across the stage at Brock University this past November. To prepare this gem of lyric theatre the director and company of actors and singers recently took their questions right to the source.

    Using a video conference link-up from the famed Friars Club in Manhattan, the Canadian actor and director Len Cariou answered our students probing questions about the development of A Little Night Music for the 1973 Broadway premiere. Cariou won a Tony nomination for the role of Frederic Egerman in the original production. He recreated the role for the 1977 Harold Prince-directed screen adaptation with Elizabeth Taylor. Six years later he won both the Tony and a Drama Desk Award for his portrayal of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street. His recent credits include the 2002 casting in the award-winning drama Proof. Cariou’s film credits include Flags of Our Fathers, About Schmidt, Thirteen Days, and The Four Seasons. He played the father in the 2007 film 1408. On television, Cariou has appeared in The West Wing, Law & Order, Star Trek: Voyager, The Practice, Ed, The Outer Limits, and multiple episodes of Murder, She Wrote. He had a continuing role in 2006-2007 as power broker Judd Fitzgerald in the Showtime series Brotherhood.

    Cariou spoke with candour and humour about the creation of the musical and his challenges as a young actor. For almost an hour he regaled the students of the Departments of Dramatic Arts and Music with personal stories and professional insight. After saying their goodbyes and making a promise to report back to Cariou about their experience, Brock student Trevor Rotenberg – who plays the role of Frederic Egerman in this production – exclaimed, “I was really moved by his enthusiasm and generosity. Cariou made the challenge of bringing the role to life so much more real for me – he helped me understand how through music and lyrics we can talk about very real and important human things. He helped me see my future: this was the real deal.” After the meeting with Cariou the company rehearsed for three hours, energized by his infectious enthusiasm.

    A fresh young approach to a whirl of intoxicating music, dance and witty lyrics, the production of A Little Night Music ran in the Sean O’Sullivan Theatre November 12-14, 2009. The show was directed by Virginia Reh and designed by David Vivian, both of the Department of Dramatic Arts. Harris Loewen of the Department of Music lead a cast of 17 talented young performers through this musical based on Ingmar Bergman’s Smiles of a Summer Night.

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  • 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.

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  • 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).

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  • Niagara Centre for the Arts Receives $36 Million

    (Source: Brock University Web News)

    The city-owned Niagara Centre for the Arts will be adjacent to Brock’s Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts. The project is “the cornerstone of Council’s vision for a revitalized downtown,” St. Catharines Mayor Brian McMullan said.

    Brock University President Jack Lightstone hailed the announcement. “This is a day we have all been looking forward to for a long time,” he said, “not just because this cultural landmark will complement our Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts, but because it illustrates how a whole community can benefit when people work together.”

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  • New Concentrations in DART

    Beginning with the 2009/10 academic year DART students choose to pursue their studies in one of five concentrations: Applied TheatreDrama in EducationPerformanceProduction and Design, and Theatre Praxis.

    The previous streams of Dramatic Literature, Drama in Education and Society, and Theatre will be concluded over the next few years.

    Please see the Academic Calendar for more details.

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