The new Artistic Director of Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, Brendan Healy, met with DART students in autumn 2010 to discuss Queer Theatre. Sitting with Brendan is host Paul Halferty, DART faculty member teaching the Theatre Praxis course DART 3P95.
At the 2010 Spring Convocation Katherine will be presented with the Humanities Board of Trustees Spirit of Brock medal.
The Board of Trustees Spirit of Brock medal is intended to recognize those students who best exemplify the spirit of Sir Isaac Brock. Students who demonstrate any one or more of the following qualities can be recommended: Leadership, Courage, Innovation, Inspiration, and Community Involvement.
DART congratulates Katherine as an outstanding member of our DART and Humanities community. Way to go, Katherine!
LyricCANADA 2010 – Thursday, October 21 through Saturday, October 23, 2010.
Brock University, St. Catharines ON (daytime program)
Shaw Festival, Niagara-on-the-Lake (evening program)
Lyric Canada 2010 is an inaugural international conference consisting of one Keynote presentation, two Plenary presentations, Moderated Roundtable, 14 presentations by scholars and practitioners, and 15 Showcase presentations involving composers, librettists and performers.
Lyric Canada 2010 will bring together creators of lyric theatre in Canada and abroad with scholars whose research does or could encompass their work. In this context the term “lyric theatre” encompasses a wide range of dramatic works in which sung text is an integral part. Thus it includes cabaret, musicals, operetta, opera and all points in between.
By uniting a transnational group of researchers and creators of lyric theatre, we intend to develop a network from which to draw inspiration, expertise and experience for anyone pursuing research or production of this unique art form.
Why is this an important event?
This is an innovative ground-breaking project that nobody else is doing.
For the Department of Dramatic Arts and the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts this conference broadcasts Community Outreach and collaboration with the Shaw Festival, our major international collaborator in cultural creation and industry in the Niagara Peninsula.
We are fostering the development and enrichment of Pedagogical Experiences and Institutional Relationships.
We are bringing internationally known Composers and Writers to share their creative intelligence and experience with the Brock and Niagara communities.
SHOWCASE PRESENTATIONS AT THE SHAW FESTIVAL
A special component of the conference program will be the presentation of new and recent works in the Lyric CANADA 2010 Showcase. The Shaw Festival is a major collaborator in this project, facilitating three evenings of presentation of new and recent works in the Lyric Canada 2010 Showcase program in the Studio Theatre at the Shaw Festival. Details of the Showcase program are available on the website lyriccanada.ca. The program includes:
Leslie Arden One Step Forward
Tapestry New Opera: Tapestry’s Creative Process: Marjorie Chan, Writer in Residence as hostess; A writer/composer team from the most recent LIBLAB; 2 Opera Briefs (10 minutes)
Paul Sportelli, Jay Turvey, and members of the Shaw Company Maria Severa
Bram Gielen, Tracy Michailidis, with the Summerworks hit Biggish Kids
among other established and new artists on the Canadian and American lyric theatre scene.
Tickets to the Showcase performances are available through the
Centre for the Arts Box Office at Brock University boxoffice.brocku.ca
(search for lyric)
905.688.5550 x 3257 (within local region only) or 1.866.617.3257 (outside local region)
Cost: $25.00 for one evening program; $65.00 for all three evening programs
Stewart Wallace (the composer of Harvey Milk and The Bonesetters Daughter) is coming from Texas en route to China to present the Keynote speech: FATE! LUCK! CHANCE! Adventures in Opera Making
Sarah Schlesinger, Chair of Graduate Musical Theatre Writing at the Tisch School of Arts (NYU), Sarah is a multiple award-wining lyricist and librettist – her works include The Ballad of Little Joe, Prairie Songs, and Swing Shift. Sarah will be speaking about nurturing and training the next generation of writers and composers in lyric theatre. We are also programming a pedagogical experience between herself and students of the Departments of Music and Dramatic Arts wherein students of Brock can learn from this powerhouse writer in lyric theatre in an intensive workshop moment.
Our very special guest Canadian Plenary speaker is Jim Betts, Canadian composer, lyricist, and librettist (Colours in the Storm, Thin Ice, Shooting of Dan McGrew), and author of Field of Stars: Songs of the Canadian Musical Theatre (2004) and Field of Stars: More Songs of the Canadian Musical Theatre (2008) (Toronto: Northern River Music). Jim’s provocative presentation is entitled Why Canadians Can’t Write Musicals (And Why Almost No One Else Can, Either)
Thirty panel presenters from Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States complete the wealth of the panel program to be presented at Brock University.
A selection of the three-day program includes:
Robert Walsh, composer will present From the Ashes: The development of lyrics in The Forbidden Phoenix, with Wayne Strongman and Tapestry New Opera, Toronto speaking about their production Iron Road
JOINT SESSION: Kathryn Harvey, University of Guelph’s L. W. Conolly Theatre Archives and Francesca Marini, Stratford Festival, ON, will speak about the challenges of archiving performance, particularly musical theatre, and the wealth of their respective archival collections.
Mel Atkey, London-based author of Broadway North: The Dream of a Canadian Musical Theatre will speak about his new volume: A Million Miles from Broadway: Musical Theatre from a Universal Perspective
Julie Salverson, Queen’s University, ON will present Opera meets clown and the Atomic Bomb . . . The development of Shelter
Sheldon Rosen, Ryerson University, and Darren Russo, McGill University, will present Hansel & Gretel: Typographic Play
Please see the online programme schedule at lyriccanada.ca
The Conference may be attended in whole or in part. Members of the public are welcome to the conference or only attend the evening performances at the Shaw Festival.
Conference Registration is available at the conference website lyriccanada.ca
Cost: $150.00 to 290.00 depending upon program and including the Showcase program.
questions or inquiries, please contact:
Marie Balsom, Communications
Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts, Brock University
Niagara Region | 500 Glenridge Ave. | St. Catharines, ON L2S 3A1
email@example.com | T 905 688 5550 x4765 | F 905 378 5712
Your hosts for LyricCANADA 2010:
Professors Virginia Reh (Dramatic Arts)
David Vivian (Dramatic Arts/Centre for Studies in Arts and Culture)
LyricCANADA 2010 is produced with the generous support of:
Brock SSHRC Institutional Grant (BSIG)
The Humanities Research Institute of Brock University
The Marilyn I Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts
The Centre for Studies in Arts and Culture
The Department of Dramatic Arts
The Department of Music
Centre of Teaching, Learning and Educational Technologies, at Brock University
and our special collaborator
The Shaw Festival
Hospitality vehicle provided by St. Catharines Mazda
(Source: The Brock News. Thursday, September 9, 2010)
Imagine a tourism experience where you pay to spend hours pretending to illegally cross the American border from Mexico.
You trudge through muddy fields under the blare of gunfire. You run exhausted through sewer tunnels. You are placed, scared and blindfolded, in the back of a truck, only to end up where you started — at a restaurant, gift shop and main office, and people telling you to enjoy your stay.
This is the new trend in post-9/11 dark tourism, a term that describes the act of visiting the sites of tragedies as a tourist. This experience is called immersive simulation, and Natalie Alvarez, assistant professor of Dramatic Arts, is writing a book about it.
Alvarez has received $23,449 from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council for her research project, “Enactments of difference: immersive simulations and performance from training to dark tourism.” Alvarez will study two types of immersive simulation: that experienced by tourists, and that experienced by soldiers who train in increasingly popular model villages to prepare them for overseas interaction with foreign cultures. Included in that is investigating how performance techniques are used in counterterrorism and intelligence training.
One dark tourism experience Alvarez will study is that of El Alberto, Mexico, where the community has been depleted by immigration to the U.S. Mexicans pay $20 (U.S.) each to be taken on an overnight fake U.S. border crossing. Ironically, the popularity of the adventure tourism has rejuvenated the town’s economy. Alvarez has twice experienced the tour, which she describes as frightening and surprisingly political, given that it’s billed as adventure tourism.
“It started with a rousing speech by members of the community about how the work is an homage to those who lost their lives crossing the border,” she said. “We sang the Mexican anthem, followed by the sounds of sirens in the distance of the U.S. border patrol and shouts telling us to start running.”
Other examples include a recreated Stalin-era Gulag prison camp in Lithuania, where people pay to spend a day as prisoners. In Liepaja, Latvia, tourists stay overnight in a naval jail.
Alvarez will also visit simulated villages used to train soldiers for duties in Iraq and Afghanistan. There is a recreated Afghani village in Norfolk, England, and simulated Iraqi villages in California and Arizona, where actors are recruited to play insurgents and civilians.
Demand for these simulations has skyrocketed since 9/11, she said.
“A lot of performance scholars and performance artists talk about the border hysteria and the kind of war on difference that evolved from 9/11,” she said. “There seems to be a desire to rehearse encounters with the cultural ‘other’. I want to know what kind of anxieties are being played out in these scenarios.”
While on the surface, immersive dark tourism and immersive military simulation seem unrelated, “there are intersecting themes that make them worth putting together in conversation,” she said.
Alvarez will spend the next two years traveling and observing these simulations, followed by a year of writing.
Alvarez, who is cross-appointed to Liberal Arts, joined Brock in 2006. She currently serves as a co-editor of the Canadian Theatre Review’s Views and Reviews and has two forthcoming edited books: Fronteras Vivientas, an anthology of Latina/o-Canadian plays, and New Essays on Latina/o-Canadian Theatre and Performance. Both are published by Playwrights Canada Press.
“Elisa Sorbara, the artistic director of Shooting Star Theatre, is a very bright and articulate young woman. She is very excited about the imminent local premiere of the musical Curtains, which opens next week at the Westside Theatre.” . . . see the article about this DART student and her exciting project in VIEW.
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.”
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.
DART students, graduates, and faculty participated in the second annual In the Soil: Niagara’s Homegrown Arts Festival. The festival featured 70 events in 11 venues in St. Catharines and area.
Click on the logo for more information.
Star 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.
(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.
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