DART Invitational FAQ

The Invitational is part of the admissions process for students interested in entering the Department of Dramatic Arts (DART) at Brock University. Under normal circumstances you will be invited to attend and successfully complete one of two Invitationals after you receive your conditional offer of admission to the Bachelor of Arts (Honours) Dramatic Arts or Bachelor of Arts (Honours)/Dramatic Arts Concurrent Education programs. The Invitationals take place in St. Catharines.

The DART Invitational is an exciting, full day event of workshops that will introduce you to all facets of theatre study our program offers – from drama in education and applied theatre, to production and design, to performance and theatre praxis. Whereas most drama programs ask you to prepare a classical monologue and give you a two-minute opportunity to “impress the judges,” we will be taking you through a series of workshops, which will allow you to walk away with some introductory skills, as well as an original piece of theatre you’ve created with peers.

Throughout the day’s events, you will have an opportunity to meet some of the program’s faculty and staff, current students, as well as recent graduates of the program. Lunch and snacks will be provided. A tour of our facilities will take place at the end of the day.

The purpose of the DART Invitational is to attract students who are well suited to our program. You are more likely to succeed in our program if you are making an informed decision to join us based on the unique skill set our program will foster in you. DART seeks to graduate students with an integrated knowledge of all four of the concentrations we offer, while giving you the opportunity to gain specialized knowledge in one chosen area of study. Through our program’s emphasis on “praxis” – the integration of theory and practice – you will acquire the skill set to analyze, synthesize, theorize, devise, and collaborate in a broad range of situations – from the stage to the classroom to the public sphere – and move fluidly through different disciplines of theatre study.

No. This workshop will give you a sampling of the range of courses of study our program offers. You may find that the experience will help you identify what your interests are.

In advance of the workshop, participants will be asked to do the following:

Read Sophocles’ Antigone (442 BCE). We are recommending a translation by Ian Johnstone available on-line at:
http://johnstoniatexts.x10host.com/sophocles/antigonehtml.html and as a PDF file.
After reading the play, participants will be asked to bring the following three items with them to the Invitational:

  1. Two to four consecutive lines from the play that are important or meaningful to the participant.
  2. An image or object that resonates with the play or captures a personal response to the play.
  3. A one-page reflection paper on the play that identifies a particular theme or issue of interest to the participant. (Single spaced, typed in Times New Roman 12 pt font.)

All written work should be your own. Plagiarism occurs when you submit material, in whole or in part, that is not your own work without citing the source. Plagiarism is a serious academic offense.

When must you give credit? You must give credit (cite), when you use another person’s ideas, opinion, theory, facts, statistics, etc., or any information that is not considered common knowledge.

For the purposes of the DART Invitational there is no requirement to include or refer to secondary sources in your written material (e.g., on-line articles, notes, reviews). However, if you do you must correctly cite these sources using the MLA citation style and use quotation marks where appropriate (see for example the MLA Style Quick guide found on this page: http://researchguides.library.brocku.ca/styleguides/mla .)

If in doubt, contact our office at dramatic@brocku.ca

When you receive a conditional offer of admission you will receive the instructions to schedule and prepare for the Interview:

The interview will be scheduled at a time convenient to the Applicant and the Department. Time-zone differences will be taken into account when scheduling the interview.

The interview will consist of a one hour video-conference (we will be using Lifesize https://webapp.lifesizecloud.com/ ) and will include two faculty members from diverse subject specializations and knowledge of the DART program.

To prepare for the Invitational interview you are required to:

1. Read Sophocles’ Antigone (442 BCE). We are recommending a translation by Ian Johnstone available on-line at: http://johnstoniatexts.x10host.com/sophocles/antigonehtml.html

2. After reading the play, submit the following five items before the interview. These will serve as discussion points during the interview.

  1. Identify and discuss four lines from the play that are important or meaningful to you.
  2. Select and discuss an image or object that resonates with the play or captures a personal response to the play. This could be literal or metaphorical. This is not normally a concept or idea, but instead a visual composition (photograph, painting, other types of pictures) or a material thing. This could come from the world of the play or your lived experience.
  3. A one-page reflection on the play that identifies a particular theme or issue of interest to you.
  4. A documentation of achievements in aspects of performance or dramatic presentation. This may include a video portfolio shared through a youtube/vimeo posting or similar, an image portfolio, a recording, or similar item. You are encouraged to use your imagination and represent your achievements in a manner appropriate to your recent practice and future aspirations. The portfolio MUST be distributed ( via links or digital files) before the interview event so that faculty interviewers have sufficient time to review the documents/sites.
  5. A letter of reference from a current or recent educator or professional who has sufficient knowledge of you to effectively identify your aptitudes as well as articulate your ability to succeed in undergraduate studies of Dramatic Arts. Among other things the letter should speak to your ability to collaborate and participate in teamwork. The referee may be an educator, director or coach who has knowledge of your activities other than Dramatic Arts, such as language and literature, music, or sports and sport-related activities. The reference letter will normally be two pages length. The letter should be addressed to:  David Fancy, Chair, Department of Dramatic Arts, Dramatic@brocku.ca

The text items may be submitted via email as rtf, word, or PDF format documents. Media should be submitted via links to web-posted locations (for e.g. an unlisted youtube video, or on vimeo) or in commonly read formats (for example MOV, MP4, AVI, Flash, JPEG). Please test all of your links before you send them.

All items should be sent to Dramatic@brocku.ca
for distribution to the interviewing faculty. The office will then contact you with a list of available interview times.

We understand that under the circumstances you may have difficulty contacting your referees for reference letters. These letters may be delivered AFTER your interview but must be received BEFORE a complete offer of admission will may be made by the Department.

We look forward to meeting you on the videoconference tool, Lifesize https://webapp.lifesizecloud.com/.  In order to have a successful interview please check BEFORE the interview date that the software will operate properly for you.  Please ensure that you have organized good illumination so that we can see you well, and that your microphone is operating properly so that we can hear you well.  Present yourself as you normally would.  Business casual attire is not required.  What is most important is that we have an opportunity to learn from you, about you and your learning objectives and long term goals in a way that accurately presents who you are and what you hope to accomplish during your studies at Brock University.  And we look forward to answering questions you may have about us and the program.

Please see the section How will I be assessed or evaluated? for more information.

Our program is modeled on the collaborative, ensemble framework one encounters in the professional theatre world. Successful completion of the workshop, therefore, will be determined on the basis of the criteria necessary to succeed within that framework. Attention will be paid to participants’ abilities to:

  • work in a creative and collaborative way within an ensemble
  • engage analytically and creatively with the assigned play
  • listen well and engage thoughtfully with others’ contributions and responses to the play
  • respond well to artistic and academic challenges, as well as constructive criticism or feedback
  • Engage in physical theatre work with focus and awareness

We are particularly interested in students who are eager to develop themselves both artistically and intellectually in a university context. Your one-page reflection paper on the play Antigone is an opportunity for us to become familiar with your abilities to engage with and write thoughtfully on a work of dramatic literature – skills that will be developed as you work through a university degree.

Even when you are preparing a monologue for an audition, you need to read the play from which the monologue is taken in order to convey that you have a rich and fully developed sense of the character you are representing. It is often glaringly apparent when a student has not read the full play, since he or she is unable to convey the broader story of the character’s conflict, circumstances, and journey in the monologue. In the case of the DART Invitational workshops, this fuller knowledge of the play and its conflicts is crucial, since the play will be the basis of the scenes you will develop with your peers, as well as the workshop exercises.

It’s also important to keep in mind that a university degree in Dramatic Arts requires that you read and write critically about works of dramatic literature, as well as historical and theoretical texts about the theatre. Your one-page reflection will allow you to convey to us your thoughts and interpretations of the play and demonstrate that you are prepared to undertake writing, reading, and critical reflection assignments required through the course of your university studies.

When we schedule an Invitational Workshop Event we plan for an active day, requiring you to move around.  We ask that you wear loose, comfortable and neutral clothing including plain, black pants and a t-shirt:

  • You must wear a plain, white, short sleeved T Shirt to the DART Invitational. On the FRONT and the BACK of your T-Shirt write your preferred first name followed by your last name, in Permanent BLACK Marker in letters that measure at least 6 inches.  Your first name should be above your last name in 2 lines. This will help everyone to refer to you by name.
  • We also recommend that you avoid wearing jewelry, particularly dangly earrings, rings, bracelets, etc., that could get caught on other people’s clothing as you work.

You may want to bring a water bottle to keep hydrated for the Invitational Workshop Event, but lunch and snacks will be provided. When you book your placement in the workshop, please inform our Administrative Assistant if you have any food allergies.

Beginning at 9:30 a.m. in Brock University’s new Marilyn I. Walker Theatre and running to 3:30 p.m. (tour at 3:30 p.m.), all participants will be taken through a range of workshops, each focused around the four concentrations of study our program offers: Performance, Theatre Praxis, Drama in Education and Applied Theatre, and Production and Design. Each of these workshops will use the play Antigone as the basis for a series of exercises. In the afternoon, you will be invited to apply the range of skills you have acquired in the morning. Using the lines, images, or objects each participant has brought in response to the play you will collaboratively create your own original piece of theatre for presentation at the end of the day.

Workshops, brainstorming, and rehearsal sessions will be broken up by snack and lunch breaks. You will also receive a brief introduction to the program, the exciting opportunities available to you throughout your degree, and you will also have an opportunity to get to know the department’s faculty in a friendly environment. The DART Invitational will be a welcoming, exhilarating, and memorable event for all participants.

We are notifying applicants early of these dates so that you can keep these days free of other obligations. We suggest that you keep all of these dates free, since participation in the workshop is required for admission into the program. If you are unable to attend any of these dates due to urgent circumstances, alternate arrangements will be made. Contact the Department of Dramatic Arts at dramatic@brocku.ca to book a Personal Alternate Interview.

International applicants:
You are invited to contact the department to schedule an alternate Invitational experience. This may include the submission of :

• a video portfolio,
• an interview by Skype or similar,
• a letter of reference,
• the assignments we ask students to complete at the DART Invitational.

For details please consult this document.

Contact the Department of Dramatic Arts at dramatic@brocku.ca to book a Personal Alternate Interview.

Once you have received your conditional offer of admission you will be invited to register and reserve your place in the DART Invitational.
If you have not received a letter from the Department inviting you to register please contact dramatic@brocku.ca

  • There is a registration fee of $80.00 which includes materials, snack, refreshments and lunch.
  • Payment is made when you register online.
  • There is no cost for the Dramatic Arts Invitational Interview.

All participants will receive a results email from the Department within 1-2 weeks of participating in the workshop. The Department will also notify the Admissions Office of the result. The Admissions Office will extend an offer to your program as soon as you are deemed academically eligible.