• DART Students attend Stratford Shakespeare Academy

    Every summer students of the Department of Dramatic Arts (DART) attend the annual Stratford Shakespeare Academy for a three week intensive two-course experience. The courses present an opportunity to study Shakespeare through the lenses of both performance and structured analytical criticism with some of Ontario’s leading university professors and Stratford professional coaches. During the typical 7.5 hour day students observe and enquire of the talent of working actors, trainers and directors while experiencing first-hand the programming of one of Canada’s most triumphant theatre Festivals. In 2012 fourteen students will attend the Stratford Academy.  To read more click here.

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  • DART graduates premiere new work from Theatre Beyond Words

    Theatre Beyond Words

    Theatre Beyond Words

    The Resident Theatre Company of Brock University Theatre Beyond Wordswill soon premiere the 2012 Edition of Tales from the Garden.  This brand-new Potato People show includes the characters Nancy Potato and friend George Beanstock entwined in hilarious escapades with industrious giant ants, a demanding trio of baby birds, a metamorphosizing caterpillar and a flash storm.

    Theatre Beyond Words was founded in 1977 and remains a pioneer in the development of mask and visual theatre in Canada.  The Potato People is a series of 13 non-verbal mask plays for family audiences with a unique style of visual storytelling that has inspired a generation of artists in physical theatre across the country and has won the hearts of audiences around the world.

    The comedy and adventure of this Theatre Beyond Words original creation comes from the collaboration of Jacqueline Costa (DART BA ’11), Katharine Dubois (DART BA ’05, BEd ’10), Caitlin English (DART BA ’09) and Carlene Thomas (DART BA ‘09, BEd ‘10). Brianne Lidstone (DART BA ‘15) is the lighting operator.  Jacqueline Costa also designed and built the production.

    Following four performances beginning March 23, 2012 at the Sullivan-Mahoney Courthouse Theatre in St. Catharines the company tours the show throughout Ontario.

    Theatre Beyond Words will be leading a three week-long intensive Introduction to Physical Theatre during the Spring session of 2012.  For more information contact

    Check out the trailer and sneak peak at
    For more information contact 905 468 7582  or

    Break-a-leg Theatre Beyond Words!

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  • Richard Maxwell Discusses his New Production with Brock Students

    maxwell4f90photoInternationally renowned New York City director and playwright Richard Maxwell of the New York City Players recently Skype chatted with students of DART 4F90 Critical Theory and Practice about his touring production of “Ads” and responded to questions of liveness, performer presence, and commodity culture.

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  • Special Guest Fujimoto Takakyuki gives a workshop in light art at DART

    fujimoto-420-fullOn January 26 and 27, 2012, Fujimoto Takakyuki – pioneer of stage design with LED lighting – visited the Department of Dramatic Arts to give a demonstration and creative workshop with this innovative technology.

    Fujimoto has created a unique staging method using LED light systems and installations to manipulate all colours of the spectrum. His aim is to create new “circuits” to connect directly to the audience with no less strength than the connection created by the stage performer communicating directly to the audience in a live stage experience. He is principle designer for the Japanese performance group Dumb Type. Independently his work True, created with Tsuyoshi Shirai (AbsT/BANETO) and Takao Kawaguchi (Dumb Type) has been touring since 2007. He has worked with Ryoji Ikeda on the videomusic concert series “formula”, with Hong Kong choreographer Daniel Yeung, Vietnam-French choreographer Ea Sola, Singapore’s video artist Choy Ka Fai, on the installation/concert path with the guitarist Kazuhisa Uchihashi and singer UA, and with dance company Monochrome Circus. He recently designed for Kyoto Noh Theatre’s 2011 production.

    Fujimoto was hosted in Canada by Across Oceans and artistic director Maxine Heppner, a Toronto-based organization that  produces international arts platforms in Canada and worldwide, with acclaimed performing, visual and literary artists, and develops interactions created specially for specific environments and communities. Programming includes live performance, 2-D and 3-D art exhibits, film/video screenings, public forums, advanced training and research.  Fujimoto’s recent collaboration with Across Oceans my heart is a spoon was well-received by Toronto critics and audiences.

    Fujimoto shared his creative approach in technology with approximately 15 students and professionals. A selection of videos from the workshop can be found on YouTube.

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  • DART graduate receives prestigious Erasmus Mundus scholarship

    Kasey Dunn in Phèdre. Department of Dramatic Arts (DART) in the Sean O'Sullivan Theatre. 2011.

    Kasey Dunn in Phèdre. Department of Dramatic Arts (DART) in the Sean O’Sullivan Theatre. 2011.

    Kasey Dunn (DART 2011), has been awarded the prestigious scholarship for the 2012-2013 Erasmus Mundus M.A. in International Performance Research programme. Upon completion, Kasey will receive three M.A.s from programs of study at University of  Amsterdam, University of Warwick, and the University of Arts in Belgrade. The scholarship has a value of 36,000 euro. (CAD $47, 500)

    Kasey  was previously awarded the Brock University Leaders Award, the Brock University President’s Award, the national Canadian Millennium Excellence Award, J.F. Harding Prize in Theatre, the Jane Forrest Prize in Drama, and the Gertrude Milner Award in Drama. She completed an outstanding Fourth Year Honours Thesis project on theories of  cognition and performance, with Professors Natalie Alvarez (Dramatic Arts) and Sid Segalowitz (Psychology) as supervisors. Kasey established the Lyndesfarne Theatre Projects Young Company in St. Catharines. In 2011 Kasey performed the lead role in the DART production of Racine’s Phèdre, pictured to the right.

    Kasey is following in the footsteps of Victoria Mountain (DART 2007) as the second DART graduate to receive this prestigious scholarship.

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  • Looking for a unique Spring/Summer course? sign-up for Introduction to Physical Theatre

    Theatre Beyond Words - object-based theatre and full-body mask

    Theatre Beyond Words – object-based theatre and full-body mask

    Looking for a unique Spring/Summer course? sign-up for a three week-long intensive Introduction to Physical Theatre taught by the resident theatre company of Brock University, Theatre Beyond Words, during the Spring session of 2012.

    DART 2F04: Physical Theatre – Education through Collective Creation
    Students will explore a wide range of physical theatre styles (mask, mime, pantomime, graphics, theatrical clown, and commedia dell’arte) by recreating a series of scenes from professional repertoire using masks, puppets, costumes and sets from international touring theatre ensemble and Brock Resident Theatre Company, Theatre Beyond Words. This is a 3-week intensive, full-credit course, running 6 hours per day, 5 days per week. There will be a final performance for invited friends, family and staff at the end of the 3 three weeks. As this is a practicum course, attendance at all classes is mandatory.

    More information about this full-credit course may be found here. Enrollment is limited to 20 students. Don’t delay!
    Applicants without previous theatre training at Brock University may enrol with permission of the instructor.

    for more information contact



    Here are some examples of the masks and object-based theatre used by Theatre Beyond Words:


    And here’s a trailer for their current show on tour, created and performed by Brock students:

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  • DART student honoured in the Brock Leaders Citizenship Society: CIBC creates an award for student leadership

    President Jack Lightstone with Brian Glenney, general manager, Imperial Service and Small Business, CIBC (right) and Aurora Di Fruscia, Financial Planning Consultant, CIBC Private Wealth Management, Niagara, and member of the Brock University Board of Trustees (left) with members of the Brock Leaders Citizenship Society.

    President Jack Lightstone with Brian Glenney, general manager, Imperial Service and Small Business, CIBC (right) and Aurora Di Fruscia, Financial Planning Consultant, CIBC Private Wealth Management, Niagara, and member of the Brock University Board of Trustees (left) with members of the Brock Leaders Citizenship Society.

    CIBC has partnered with Brock to make an investment in the Campaign for a Bold New Brock that will help to support aspiring student leaders.
    The $375,000 gift to the University will create the CIBC Leaders Award for incoming Brock students who have achieved exceptional academic success and demonstrated outstanding leadership and community involvement.
    “This gift will help us achieve our goal of fostering the meaningful transformation of students, their communities and society at large,” President Jack Lightstone said.
    Recipients of this new award will also become members of the Brock Leaders Citizenship Society, which was launched in 2009. The society is a group of remarkable students recognized for a combination of high academic achievement and for personal leadership capabilities.
    DART second year student Colin Glavac (pictured, below) is a member of the Brock Leaders Citizenship Society. While at Brock, students like Colin continue to achieve academic success and develop their leadership abilities both inside and outside of the classroom.
    They are involved in numerous community initiatives such as raising funds for Brock’s Shinerama campaign to help fight cystic fibrosis, staging a Seniors’ Valentine’s Day Prom at the West Park Health Centre long-term care home in St. Catharines, and co-ordinating a charity ball hockey tournament for the Alzheimer Society Niagara Foundation.
    colin-and-jackAs an endowment, the funds provided by CIBC will support this award in perpetuity. The first presentation of the CIBC Leaders Award is expected to take place in the 2012-2013 academic year.

    Seen to the right of President Jack Lightstone is second year Department of Dramatic Arts student Colin Glavac.

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  • Auckland Adventures: Joe Norris

    Professor Joe Norris with Kakali Bhattacharya, Chair of the Outstanding Book Award Committee of the Qualitative Research SIG of the American Educational Research Association.

    Professor Joe Norris with Kakali Bhattacharya, Chair of the Outstanding Book Award Committee of the Qualitative Research SIG of the American Educational Research Association.

    In December 2011, Joe Norris spent two weeks in Auckland as a keynote for two separate conferences. During his stay, Joe presented a keynote paper on “Playbuilding as Research” at the 2nd Critical Studies in Drama in Education International Symposium at the University of Auckland. He also sat on a keynote panel during “Arts Based Research, Possibilities, Pedagogies, and Processes in Performance” during this time. He presented another keynote entitled “Reconceptualizing Self, Society and Narrative Constructions Through Critical Reflections on Personal and Cultural Narratives and Metaphors” which was presented at the “Evoking and Provoking Narrative and Metaphor in Education” symposium located also at the University of Auckland. He then provided a two-hour workshop called “Duoenthography: The Dialogic Meaning Making Through the Juxtaposition of Self with the Other” for all of his attendees.

    Joe Norris’ book, “Playbuilding as Qualitative Research: A Participatory Arts-based Approach” was selected as the winner of the American Educational Research Association’s Qualitative Research SIG’s 2011 Outstanding Book Award. This book not only met all the criteria for the award, it exceeded every criteria. Norris bridges arts-based research, qualitative inquiry, and playbuilding grounded in rich theories and created dialogue for various social justice issues. The committee members (Linda Evans, Allison Anders and Kakali Bhattacharya – see in the photo with Joe Norris) exclaimed not only about the accessibility, utility of this book, but the ways in which this book challenged their thinking, made them imagine how the audience participation might look like at the end of the scenes, and created the fertile ground for much needed dialoguing. The committee was honored and privileged to review the works of such great thinkers as Valerie Janesick, Kathryn Roulston and Norman Denzin, change agents, and activists in qualitative research and are delighted to present Joe Norris with this years’ Outstanding Book Award.
    Congratulations, Joe!

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  • Department Professors Attend the ASTR 2011 Conference in Montreal

    David Fancy, the department Chair of the Dramatic Arts Program at Brock University, recently participated in the American Society of Theatre Research 2011 Conference in Montreal, Canada. David was part of the Theatre and Migrant Worker Group and presented his research paper entitled “Affective Assemblages: Migrant Worker Theatre” during the symposium. David’s contribution and effort to this research was well received by the conference patrons. His recent work with neXt Company Theatre has provided a similar awareness of Migrant Worker issues for the surrounding St Catharines community. Congratulations on your success, David!

    For information on upcoming neXt Company Theatre projects please visit

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    The COMMOTION project is made possible by SSHRC: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the Department of Dramatic Arts of the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts at Brock University, Carousel Players, TALK Niagara and approval from the District School Board of Niagara.

    For tickets contact: Jane Gardner, 905-682-8326 x23 or

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