Visiting Artists

  • Playwright/Actor Damien Atkins to Visit Brock Department of Dramatic Arts

    Toronto based actor and playwright Damien Atkins will do a reading from his work followed by a conversation with students in DART 3P92 Scriptwriting

    Date: Tuesday Feb. 13

    Time: 10:30 am

    Location: STUDIO B MW247 Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts

    This is a free community event! All are welcome to attend.

    Damien Atkins is a playwright and actor who has performed across Canada and the United States. Playwriting credits include miss chatelaine (The Grand Theatre/Theatre Passe Muraille), Real Live Girl (Buddies in Bad Times/Manitoba Theatre Centre/The Grand), the adaptation (with Marjorie Chan) of Hisashi Inoue’s play In The Garden, Two Suns for Crow’s Theatre, Good Mother (Stratford Festival), Lucy (Canadian Stage Co./Ensemble Studio Theatre – NYC/Delaware Theatre Co.), The Mill, Part Four: Ash (theatrefront), The Gay Heritage Project (with Andrew Kushnir and Paul Dunn – Buddies in Bad Times Theatre), and We Are Not Alone (Crow’s Theatre/Segal Centre). He is the youngest playwright ever produced by the Stratford Festival. Damien has been nominated for nine Dora Mavor Moore Awards for acting and writing, including nominations for Best New Play for Lucy and The Gay Heritage Project. He has received the PRISM/UBC Creative Writing Residency Prize for Good Mother and a Dora for Best New Musical for Real Live Girl. Damien has been playwright-in-residence at UBC, Canadian Stage, Crow’s Theatre, and Factory Theatre, as well as a Guest Instructor at The National Theatre School.

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  • The State of Our Art: Drama in Education and Applied Theatre in Ontario

    The Department of Dramatic Arts, Brock University and the Walker Cultural Leader Series presents:

    The Second Drama in Education and Applied Theatre Symposium.

    January 26 and 27, 2018

    Our world as we know it is rapidly changing, with scholars identifying present events as ‘post-normal’ (O’Connor and Anderson 2015). In this climate of anxiety and political uncertainty, how is the practice of drama in education and applied theatre a means to respond to and attempt to speak back to these times? The lectures and workshops will offer key insights into how our scholars use this practice to grapple with these issues.

    Featuring Julie Salverson (Queens University), Kathleen Gallagher (OISE), and workshops by by Professors: Kathleen Gallagher, Joe Norris (replacing Kathy Lundy as listed in the PDF), Julie Salverson, Larry Schwartz, and Belarie Zatzman.

    for more information download this PDF.

    Keynote: Friday, January 26 7:30pm
    Professor Julie Salverson, Queens University

    Marilyn I. Walker Theatre at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts

    All of us today, as scholars, artists and citizens, are challenged with listening to and telling forward the story of this home we call Canada. As we consider this task, where are the possibilities for change, for hope, and for honest listening – listening not to consume and extract (what scholar Dylan Robinson calls hungry listening) but to acknowledge and attend? I will talk about ways to think and feel about what it means to witness and respond to calls for justice as whole people who draw upon a rich variety of resources. How do all of us, individually and collectively, honour our own heritage, traditions and teachers? How do we bring these to the table and to how we live, work and attend? What do each of us offer to the conversation? This is about what it means to be “on the ground”, to negotiate the challenge to witness with the alarm and feeling of consequence that entails a meeting with a traumatized environment. I will draw on Karen Barad’s performative metaphysics, Donna Haraway’s “staying with the trouble” and E.V.Walter’s discussion of “places of experience” to re-imagine my ideas of foolish witness.

    Keynote: Saturday, January 27 9:00am
    Professor Kathleen Gallagher, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education

    Marilyn I. Walker Theatre at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts

    In this keynote, I will use a case study of one research site in Lucknow, India, in my current multi-sited, applied theatre research, Youth, Theatre, Radical Hope and the Ethical Imaginary: an intercultural investigation of drama pedagogy, performance and civic engagement (2014-2019) to consider how drama can ‘speak back to these times’ if we deem- as some social innovation theorists do- the social world as made and imagined. How have the students in India, and how might we in our various pedagogical and creating contexts, use theatre to understand social systems and imagine a progressive sociality? In India, using drama, performance and critical dialogues, the work is both deeply political and radically hopeful through the ways in which it reorients, redefines and revisions the social world. Their classroom practice follows from a 19th century feminist theatre history, I will argue, that enables a transformative ambition, just what is needed in these harrowing global times. As democracies thin under populist and neoliberal regimes across most nation states, the young people and their teachers in India have long understood the power of collective opposition as a social practice and political resistance, but they have also seized upon drama and performance as the most powerful means to this end. Social innovation scholars have suggested that by harnessing what they are calling “collective intelligence”, it may be possible to dramatically improve societies’ ability to tackle seemingly intractable social problems. The students at Prerna school in India have positioned theatre as a “language of care” and a central tool for understanding the political economy and deconstructing the forces of oppression. It is time for all of us to harness the unimaginable, in our classrooms, on our stages, and in the street.

    Workshops: Saturday, January 27, 2018
    DART Studio A workshops: Julie Salverson (10:30 am-1:00 pm) / Belarie Zatzman (2:30-5:00 pm)
    DART Studio C workshops: Joe Norris (10:30 am-1:00 pm) / David Booth (2:30-5:00 pm)
    DART Studio D workshops: Larry Swartz (10:30 am-1:00 pm) / Kathleen Gallagher (2:30-5:00 pm)

    Julie Salverson, Queens University.
    10:30 – 1:00, Studio A
    Who we are as witnesses
    I have facilitated a few sessions this year based on a Quaker practice of holding a question in the light. The question for this workshop is: how can we live together better? I will speak for a few minutes about the deep preparation I require to enter the thorny territory of witnessing, the heritage, traditions and teachings that inform my work, and what a response to these times means to me. I will then invite people in the room to speak to this. There will be no direct interaction or discussion, this is about witnessing and listening.

    Joe Norris, Department of Dramatic Arts, Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts, Brock University.
    10:30 – 1:00 Studio C
    Reexamining Canadian History through Story Circles, Picture Interpretation, Tableaus, Choral Speech and Writing in Role
    Award winner for his publications in his pioneering work in playbuilding as research, duoethnography, a form of dialogic research, and alternative forms of arts-based assessment, Joe also devotes considerable time developing and piloting units of teaching the curriculum through drama. While this workshop will focus specifically on the Klondike, the approaches used can be applied to many curricular topics.

    Larry Swartz, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE), University of Toronto.
    10:30 – 1:00 Studio D
    MORE THAN A PLAY
    This practical interactive workshop will demonstrate strategies for using minimal and dialogue scripts to enhance interpretation skills, to build community and to address social justice issues. Handout provided.

    Belarie Zatzman, Department of Theatre, School of Arts, Media, Performance and Design, York University.
    2:30 -5:00 Studio A
    Performing Objects
    In this workshop, we will consider participatory practices that can be used in history, art and drama classes, or in museum / gallery contexts. We will explore applied theatre strategies for examining and interpreting “performing objects” in order to help us construct our encounters with archival objects or artworks, from the present.

    David Booth, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE), University of Toronto.
    2:30 -5:00 Studio C
    A Novel Approach to Drama
    This workshop will explore the Young Adult novel as a source and inspiration for improvised role playing leading to dramatic scene building. This genre of contemporary literature is written especially for our students, and explores issues of coming of age, relationships, social justice, and identity. As teachers, we can use the themes and events in these texts as stimuli for interpreting, exploring and inventing situations and scenarios as a whole class, working in groups and partners, as we construct our scenes into a playmaking conclusion.

    Kathleen Gallagher, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto.
    2:30 -5:00 Studio D
    Verbatim Theatre: telling other people’s stories
    Physical, ethical, social, and artistic questions converge at the centre of Verbatim Theatre practice. This session will invite participants to explore and examine some of the techniques and practices that are currently in use, in the evolving genre of Verbatim Theatre. Part story-telling, part composite, part-mimicry, part invention, the work will invite critical discussion about the skills, the social value, and the creative impulses connected to this form of theatre-making. Extending its reach beyond theatre and performance, Verbatim has found a place, too, in social science research. Harnessed to ideas about power relations and ‘collaborative’, multi-vocal, qualitative research practices and forms of dissemination, this genre of theatre further opens up discussions about the ever-expanding defi nitions of research methodology.

    Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts, Brock University
    A free community event, please register for the workshops:
    the-state-of-our-art-symposium-workshops.eventbrite.com
    (Maximum 20 per session)

    for more information download this PDF.

    Please note that limited parking is available at the MIWSFPA for guests and presenters on a first come, first served basis.

    Due to multiple event programming on the evening of Friday, January 26 please allow ample time to find nearby parking.

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  • Dramatic Arts alumna honoured with Faculty of Humanities Distinguished Graduate Award

    Brock alumna and puppeteer Sarah Argue will be giving a talk about her business at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts on Friday, Sept. 15, before being honoured at the Alumni Recognition Reception on Saturday, Sept. 16 as part of Homecoming weekend.

    (Source: The Brock NewsWednesday, September 13, 2017 | by Alison Innes)

    With a little felt and a lot of talent, Sarah Argue (BA ’06) has created a career for herself in the world of puppetry.

    Through her business, Rock the Arts, the Brock dramatic arts alumna has been touring across Canada with her crew of unique characters sharing shows about compassion, enjoying the little things in life and the power of choice.

    She will return to her alma mater Friday, Sept. 15 to share insight into her professional puppet company. The presentation will take place at 1 p.m. in Studio A of the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts. All members of the Brock community are invited to attend.

    Argue is in town to receive the Faculty of Humanities Distinguished Graduate Award, to be presented on Saturday, Sept. 16 during the Alumni Recognition Reception held as part of Brock’s Homecoming weekend.

    It has been seven years since Argue launched her successful business after quitting what she described as a “normal job” — working as a program co-ordinator for the City of Ottawa — to pursue her passion.

    She taught herself how to make the felt creations and began taking her show on the road.

    Argue now has a roster of 80 puppets that she uses to perform shows in schools, libraries and theatres. She has also produced a children’s CD and currently has multiple projects on the go, including a film, children’s book and book to support other artists wanting to build their own careers.

    Argue credits the diverse theatre experience she received at Brock — where she performed in The Crucible and directed a Norm Foster play, among other productions — for preparing her for the stage.

    “I didn’t realize at the time what a gift it was,” Argue said of her Brock degree. “I didn’t realize what a well-balanced degree I was getting in theatre.”

    Her time as an undergrad had her touch on lighting, acting, directing and costuming — all beneficial to her career. That experience gave her the confidence to walk into any theatre and comfortably speak to the techs in charge about how her show is set up.

    Argue’s love for creating puppets is matched only by the experience of giving them a voice and watching them evolve into life-like characters.

    Turning her passion into a business hasn’t always been easy, but Argue has relied on the support of other artists. Puppeteer Noreen Young, from Under the Umbrella Tree, has been a mentor to Argue, helping her learn how to pitch to networks and encouraging her to keep going when times get tough.

    Workshops with puppeteer Trish Leeper of Muppets fame have introduced Argue to the idea of puppetry on camera, guiding her toward more film work, including the #IHopeFor awareness campaign for childhood cancer.

    “You need a lot of support from other artists to keep going,” Argue said, while expressing her desire to pay that sentiment forward.

    Carol Merriam, Dean of the Faculty of Humanities, said the Faculty is pleased to recognize Argue with the Distinguished Graduate award.

    “The skills that she learned in her studies in dramatic arts and the creativity, enthusiasm and drive that were fostered at Brock have led her to create her own niche,” she said. “Hers is the kind of success we hope and expect from graduates of Brock.”

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  • Renowned Canadian Theatre Director visits Department of Dramatic Arts

    img_4449_x331_crOn 13 February, 2014, the director Peter Hinton visited the Department of Dramatic Arts for a two-hour talk about his work as a director and adaptor. He responded to questions from students in DART 3P96: Studies in Praxis – Theatre Criticism, as well as from other students in the department.

    Hinton spoke about a number of his recent projects, including his adaptation of Chekhov’s The Seagull, which premiered Montreal’s Segal Centre in February 2014; his 2013 Shaw Festival production of Wilde’s Lady Windermere’s Fan; and his upcoming staging of the musical Cabaret, also at Shaw. Discussion focused on Hinton’s research processes and how these inform his directorial concepts, in particular on his approach to existing and canonical works. Hinton also spoke about his relationship to theatre critics: “I’m not after five stars; I’m after a respectful dialogue,” Hinton said of the critics who regularly review his work. “I don’t want to be in search of [their] praise or victim of [their] ignorance.” When asked for his advice for a new generation of Canadian theatre artists and professionals, Hinton reminded the group that the professional relationships they form during their student years may be the most important ones in their careers, and urged them to consider their professional creative lives as already underway: “I always thought that theatre was an elite club to get into, but theatre already belongs to you.”

    Hinton has worked with major theatre companies across Canada including Theatre Passe Muraille and Canadian Stage; Playwrights Theatre Centre in Vancouver; Playwrights Workshop Montréal; and the Stratford and Shaw Festivals. He was the director of the English theatre division of the National Arts Centre from 2005-2011, and is originally from Toronto.

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  • Arts Education Event: Gaza Mono-logues performed by visiting artists at the Department of Dramatic Arts

    The Department recently hosted a performance of the Gaza-Mono-logues by Iman Aoun, Artistic Director, and four of her students of the Ashtar Theatre Company for Productions and Training (Gaza) in the Sean O’Sullivan Theatre at Brock University on the morning of Oct. 1, 2013.

    Brock Professors Carolee Mason and Glenys McQueen-Fuentes met Iman Aoun during the recent IDEA Conference in Paris (International Drama and Education Association, summer of 2013) where she spoke briefly of her work as Artistic Director of the Ashtar Theatre Company for Productions and Training. Her students had created personal responses to “living in war and under siege” which became their production called The Gaza Mono-logues. Ms. Aoun had sent the text out to friends around the world, which resulted in youth performances in various places around the globe in 18 different languages. She also spoke of 14 groups who performed in separate languages at the United Nations–once in Geneva, and once in New York.

    At the Paris conference we learned that Ms. Aoun and 4 of her actors; 2 men, 2 women, all between 19-24 years old, were coming to Canada in the fall of 2013. Theatre Director, Majdi Bou-Matar, of MTSpace in Kitchener, Ontario had invited her to participate in his IMPACT Festival and Conference held at the end of September, 2013. The company accepted the invitation to make a brief detour by Brock University as they proceed to performances in Oakville before the company of student actors returns home.

    Attended by approximately 200 DART students, faculty, and guests, including 50 students and faculty from Appleby College in Oakville.  The performance was followed by a brief Q&A in The Guernsey Market.

    For more information on the Gaza Mono-logues Project: Iman Aoun, Artistic Director, Ashtar Theatre, Ramallah – Palestine  www.thegazamonologues.com   www.facebook.com/Richard2Ashtar   www.facebook.com/pages/Ashtar-for-Theatre-Productions-and-Training

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  • Wooster Group visits DART once again

    wooster_news_toronto_2012In conjunction with York University and University of Toronto’s Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies, DART organized and moderated a panel discussion with artistic director Elizabeth LeCompte and members of the internationally renowned Wooster Group of New York City, held in the Robert Gill Theatre, University of Toronto. The Wooster Group was in Toronto for their highly anticipated production of Vieux Carré at the Harbourfront Centre World Stage 2012. watch the video below:

     

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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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  • Guest Visit by Cheryl Lalonde of Toronto Dance Theatre

    Published on November 06 2011

    Students in second year Stagecraft and third year Stage Management recently had the opportunity to hear Cheryl Lalonde, the production/stage manager of TDT, speak about the her career experiences and creative challenges in the mileu of Canadian contemporary dance.

    Lalonde began her career in the arts with Act IV Theatre at Adelaide Court. After two years backstage at Toronto Workshop Productions, her design debut was for the premiere production of Tomson Highway’s The Rez Sisters under mentor and director Larry Lewis. Splitting her time between design and stage management has allowed her to travel the world as well as collaborate with many companies, including: Desrosiers Dance Theatre, Danny Grossman Dance Company, Fujiwara Dance Inventions, Eclectic Theatre, Alberta Ballet, Dreamwalker Dance Company, Theatre Smith Gilmour, and Kaeja d’Dance. Ms. Lalonde has served on the faculty of Theatre Arts at The Banff Centre for eight summers, and recently participated in a panel of Canadian Stage Managers to establish a DACUM occupational analysis for Stage Management. 2011 marks Cheryl’s eleventh season with TDT.

    Later that evening Christopher House, Artistic Director for TDT, invited the public for in an informal discussion of The Visual Art of Dance at the Niagara Artists Centre. DART first year students had previously attended a special workshop on movement lead by instructors of the TDT School and will also attend the presentation of Severe Clear in late November at the David S. Howes Theatre of the Brock Centre for the Arts. Lighting Design for Severe Clear is conceived by DART alumnus, Roelof Peter Snippe.

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  • Theory and Practice of Drama in Education with JONOTHAN NEELANDS Six-day intensive course

    j-neelands_3THE DEPARTMENT OF DRAMATIC ARTS
    DART 3V90: Theory and Practice of Drama in Education with JONOTHAN NEELANDS
    Six-day intensive course: Monday, July 25 – Saturday, July 30, 2011

    Through a combination of workshops, demonstrations, reflections, and lectures, this course examines models for the planning and teaching of process drama. It will provide the opportunity for students to examine the community effects of drama and its role in our personal and social development. This half-credit course will be intensely practical and relevant to teaching the full age range of children through to adults. The learning experiences will be supported by readings and other materials developed for sustainable learning.

    Jonothan Neelands is an internationally renowned drama-in-education professor who has written extensively about the use of drama as a learning medium. He has worked with teachers of all age groups, assisting them in understanding how they may employ process drama techniques in teaching a variety of subjects. He is the National Teaching Fellow, Chair of Drama and Theatre Education and Director of Teaching and Learning in the Institute of Education at the University of Warwick and an associate of the CAPITAL Centre for creativity and performance in teaching and learning, a joint initiative between the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) and the University of Warwick. This project aims to improve the quality of Shakespeare teaching at all ages through an ensemble and rehearsal room pedagogic approach.

    A part of the Department of Dramatic Arts Visiting International Professor program, we are pleased to offer students the opportunity to study with someone of Dr. Neelands’ caliber.

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