Scenes from an Execution – Program

Live streamed on: October 30 & 31 and November 06 & 07, 2020 at 7:30 PM, and November 01, 2020 at 2:00 PM
on the MIWSFPA YouTube Channel

Scenes from an Execution

Scenes from an Execution follows 16th-century painter Anna Galactia as she executes a commission for the state of Venice. She has been asked to paint The Battle of Lepanto, glorifying the violence undertaken during the crusades. Against the advice of the Doge, the Cardinal, her daughter, and her lover, she paints a piece that condemns the violence and brutality of the battle and is forced to face the consequences of treason against the state of Venice. In this production Galactia represents a punk-rock feminist revolutionary who’s desire to reveal the truth in her painting outweighs her desire to please her patrons. She takes control of the people around her and will do what it takes to unleash her creative power upon the world. Her manipulative and indecisive lover, Carpeta is bound to the confines of a metaphorical box where she can contain his brutality, the rest of the world is isolated into computer screens, glass boxes of their own. The media that bombards the audience distracts from Galactia’s need for absolute control over the world she is painting. The visual world turns the characters inside out as they spiral into Galactia’s creative wormhole, unable to stop her or pull themselves out. Her allies, Dementia and Supporta are unable to stand by her brash politics. Art critic, Gina Rivera tries to help her while their volatile relationship as critic and artist causes mutual distrust and  misunderstanding. In this world of paint, blood, and betrayal Sketchbook moves beyond Barker’s melodrama to reveal the historical and contemporary injustice of the battle, and the painting.
– Asenia Lyall

The Cast

URGENTINO, the Doge of Venice – JESSE CAINES
SUPPORTA, Daughter of Galactia – SAMMIE MARETT
DEMENTIA, Daughter of Galactia – CHLOE PETROU

‘My Future’ (by B.Eilish, F. O’Connell)
was sung and recorded by
Maiya Irwin and Heidi Nickel

The Creative Team

Director: David Fancy
Associate Director: Molly Lacey*
Set/Costume Designer: Kelly Wolf
Assistant Designer: Wyatt Hoskin*
Dramaturg: Asenia Lyall*
Choreographer: Trevor Copp
Dance Captain: Marley Mahon*
Audio Design: James Dengate*
Stage Manager: Peter Herbert*
Asst Stage Manager: Alyssa Ruddock*
* Dramatic Arts student

The Production Team

Production Manager: Brian Cumberland
Technical Director: Gavin Fearon
Assistant Technical Director/Lighting Operator/Sound Operator: Sid Malcolm*
Assistant Technical Director/Audio Mix Engineer: Alex Sykes*
Head of Wardrobe: Roberta Doylend
Wardrobe Assistant: Julian Corlett*
Head of Stage Construction: Ed Harris
Stage Management Supervisor: Carolyn Mackenzie
Camera Operators: Alyssa Ruddock*, Molly Lacey*, Ed Harris
* Dramatic Arts student


In this note, I could write all about what the play is about. But I want to use this space to speak to the incredible work I have seen happen over the last couple of months. Do I miss live theatre? Yes. But do I love how we created a new realm of theatre, without any blueprint? Absolutely. What I will tell you is that this process of moving a show entirely online has proven to me that we as artists will always find a way to survive, we will always find a way to create. That’s why we’re artists. We all built this show from the ground up, we overcame challenges we’ve never faced in theatre, and yet together we found a way to put all the parts together. As they say, it takes a village. Not only did we technically move theatre completely online, but we also adapted this play to speak to racial injustice. This show made everyone involved take risks, it made us all research more than ever before and we even created new theatre jobs. So, although your experience will be different from traditional theatre, remember that what you are seeing on your tv screens is a piece of history, and that is pretty special to witness.
– Molly Lacey


Scenes from an Execution is a play about art — about the struggle to depict human suffering. As an online production, the cast, crew, and creative team has faced a similar struggle to create theatre in the online medium. The play is about the artist’s struggle to maintain political integrity when faced with the demands of their patrons — interrogating the relationship between artist and patron and artist and critic. It asks what happens when someone must do what it takes to survive and the cost that survival demands. There is isolation in ambition, the human desire to be understood must be abandoned when the art becomes public.

Howard Barker’s Theatre of Catastrophe asks the audience to derive their own meaning from what they have experienced. This production layers the original text with new language, theatrical imagery with digital representation and creates a world that demands attention. As we give the results of our rehearsal to you, we cannot instruct you to react a certain way, we can only ask that you take in the “60 feet of canvas”, so to speak, with an open heart and mind.
– Asenia Lyall


Student cast and crew of the show each answered 1) why is this production important for you, and 2) why might it be important for our audiences? These have been assembled here to generate a collective statement from cast and crew:

This show boils down to how the rejection of society’s justifications for its norms provokes those whose conscience depends on believing those lies. I think this show will be the story of a strong woman refusing to bend to the wills of the patriarchy. To me, this show is an opportunity to use my skills as an artist to engage with and interrogate issues of injustice and inequality that are plaguing our communities. This show should facilitate a greater awareness of the discrimination that minority communities are facing that might otherwise be invisible to those of us in more privileged positions in society. This show allows me to keep doing the things I love even during these harsh times that we are facing each and everyday; it also gave me the opportunity to meet some really amazing people. This production can help us understand that no matter what is going on in life there will still be people trying to give back and making the bad times better for us all. This show means that we are making the best out of a grim situation; we are still honouring our crafts regardless of COVID-19 and working with new mediums to produce an awesome show! We are still working to bring happiness back into these unprecedented times. Our audiences will have something new and exciting to look forward too! This show is about fighting for what you believe is right, even though people will consider you crazy. The audience can relate because it speaks truths about the society that we live in.

To me, this show means more than just the message within the script, it means family, happiness, and new beginnings for me here at Brock. For audiences, this show will be an exciting call to action for strong females to start believing in themselves. I hope it inspires everyone to make positive changes in their every-day lives that move towards unity and togetherness of everyone. This show has a message to send and whether or not that be on stage or online, we can and will share the hard work and passion with the art we present to the audience. A show like this speaks volumes to what’s happening in the current world — despite taking place hundreds of years ago — namely that people can see and leave with a new-found awareness for what we are experiencing today. This show is a new adventure in acting on Zoom and provides an opportunity for the audience to view a post-structuralist evolution of Barker’s work. To me this show is about a journey one needs to follow to find truth: whether that truth is ugly or beautiful, it is the truth and challenges to understand that truth comes hard and heavy. I always wanted to think outside of the box! I failed. Never stop fighting.

The show can help understanding, we go through life not understanding those around us, this show practices the ability to understand and in the times we are living in, now that is essential. This show is my first mainstage and I never thought I’d ever get a character that would be this impactful to me. This play is also important to me because I’m doing it in memory of my stepmom, Cheryl Corrine Downer. Galactia’s journey to reveal the truth can be an inspiring one and I’m excited for audiences to experience that through this new medium of theatre. Many of my friends from this wonderful cast, and many in the crew as well, will by graduating this year, and it feels absolutely legendary to me to get the chance to work with them on something so impactful in their final year. I hope audiences can take what they’ve seen from their tv/computer screens and find their own connections to the bigger picture that the majority of the ensemble is trying to “turn away” from throughout the show, and apply that to the very real world experiences that are happening everyday.

To me, Scenes is an example of the persistence of theatre through any means. In 2020 the entertainment industry has taken a scary hit, and as a dramatic arts student this can make the future seem somewhat grim, however, this show is a light in the dark and proves that no matter what theatre will find its own way to stick around in our lives. With this show being presented online, I hope it can be a step to make theatre more accessible for audiences. In our “regular” world there are many factors that affect who attends theatre. My hope here would be that this show can be a step into creating a more inclusive theatre world in a post-pandemic life. Scenes from An Execution has a been a constant welcome gathering in a time that feels alone. It’s knowing that the sweat of the artists is not going to waste even when some of it is lost. For the student community at DART, this show is our call to keep going. It’s defying industry standards in a new setting where actors, student crew and faculty are all learning some new things, together. It’s a reminder that not all theatre is based of skill and talent, but the ability to work together when short timelines and desperate measures mix.

The show means perseverance, past, and continued. No matter what, theatre and community will go on.

Say their names…

Stewart Kevin Andrews.– was shot by police after officers were responding to a report of a robbery and windows being broken near the city’s Maples neighbourhood shortly after 4 a.m.

Johan Biscayan.– He was a slave in the 1600´s, the beginning of slavery in America. There is no documentation of how he died.

Rayshard Brooks.– was confronted by an Atlanta police officer, was shot in a Wendy’s parking lot on June 16 after being found asleep in his car in the drive-thru.

Randy Cochrane.-30, died during an arrest by Winnipeg Police in the summer of July 2019. Situation is still under investigation.

Jason Collins.– 36, died after being shot by officers responding to domestic violence call.

Michelle Cusseaux.– a mentally ill black woman refused to let Phoenix police into her home because she was afraid they would shoot her, so they broke in and shot her to death.

Cheryl Corrine Downer.– 48, a black queer woman who went to the hospital with life-threatening conditions, and was turned away due to institutionalized racism. She was sent home by the healthcare system and announced brain-dead 12 hours later until finally being taken off life support on her second wedding anniversary surrounded by her loved ones.

George Floyd.– died after being handcuffed and pinned to the ground by an officer´s knee against his neck.

Eishia Hudson.-16, shot and killed by Winnipeg police.

Regis Korchinski Paquet.– 29, Indigenous Ukrainian Black Canadian woman. She was diagnosed with epilepsy and other mental health concerns that led her to call the police on one occasion. The police didn’t take her to the Center for Addiction and Mental Health, instead they followed her to the bathroom. Regis went to the balcony to get away from them. She fell 24 storeys.

Andrew Loku.– was shot and killed by Toronto Police who were responding to a crisis call placed by the daughter of one of Andrew’s neighbours.

Mohamed El Makouli.– 47-year-old Moroccan man who was murdered in France in 2015. He was stabbed 17 times by his 28-year-old neighbour. The attack was described as a ‘horrible Islamophobic attack’.

Hassan Mamedov.– Muslim, Soviet prisoners of war, captured on the eastern front, killed at Auschwitz.

Elijah McClain.– 23, died after being placed in a chokehold by police and being sedated by paramedics.

Chantel Moore.-26, a woman from Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation killed by police officer’s actions leading up to the shooting death in northwestern New Brunswick.

Josephine Pelletier.– 33, a Cree and Saulteaux woman who was shot 7 times by Calgary police in front of her son, Isaac.

Ian Pryce.– He was shot dead by police at 30 years for yielding a pellet gun while battling with schizophrenia.

John Punch.– was an enslaved African attempted to escape to Maryland and was sentenced to serve as a slave for the remainder of his life. Two European men who ran away with him received a lighter sentence.

Mohammed Sultanov.– Muslim, Soviet prisoners of war, captured on the eastern front, killed at Auschwitz.

Breonna Taylor.– was shot and killed by Louisville police officers in March during a botched raid on her apartment.

Mary Turner.– a Black woman, who was eight months pregnant, was lynched by a white mob from Brooks County, Georgia, at Folsom’s Bridge 16 miles north of Valdosta, for speaking publicly against the lynching of her husband the day before.

Special Thanks

Carol Merriam, Dean of Humanities

Mirror Theatre, Kevin Hobbs and Joe Norris
To view Mirror Theatre’s work, go to

Janet Ellis at the Shaw Festival

Brock University Department of Music

Max Holten-Andersen
Brock University Department of Visual Arts

Mandeep Ippolito, Rick Tollar
and the dedicated staff of Facilities Management, Custodial and Security at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts

Brock University Health, Safety and Wellness

David Vivian


Chair: David Fancy


David Fancy
Karen Fricker
Mike Griffin
Joe Norris
Gyllian Raby
Rachel Rhoades
David Vivian
Danielle Wilson


Administrative Assistant: Cindy Rorke
Production Manager: Brian Cumberland
Technical Director: Gavin Fearon
Head of Wardrobe: Roberta Doylend
Head of Stage Construction: Ed Harris
Theatre Technician: Dawn Crysler

For more information about our programming visit our website:


Coming in December:

Jordan Tannahill’s Concord Floral is a moving and ominous play about 10 teenagers facing their guilt and their pasts. Sandbox Theatre is made up of twelve fourth-year Dramatic Arts students enrolled in DART 4F56 (Advanced Studies in Theatre) at Brock University, led by director Ali Joy Richardson. This gripping and gritty play spotlights the importance of kindness and empathy in a time when everything seems dark.

December 11 – 13


click to download program in PDF
poster art by Kelly Wolf. click to open a PDF to print.


Director: David Vivian
Marketing & Communications Officer: Gillian Minaker
Graphic Designer: Gilgun Doran
Recruitment Officer: Madison Roca

For more information about our programming visit our website:

Upcoming Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts events:

Shared Perspectives: Virtual Workshop & Interview Series – Live talks featuring guest conductors, composers and vocal choral specialists. Details available online.  Presented by Brock University Choral Activities and the Department of Music.

RBC Foundation Music @ Noon Series: Solo Recital Students: Students from The Department of Music perform their class recitals in this “DIY Home Edition” virtual concert series. Tune in Tuesday’s at noon, presented on the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts YouTube channel. Details available online.

Beginning in 2011 the academic programs of the Marilyn I. Walker School have celebrated the legacy of Marilyn, her gift and her vision by programming the Walker Cultural Leaders (WCL) Series. The ongoing development and refinement of the WCL program facilitates invitations to recognized cultural leaders, top researchers, visiting artists, scholars, professionals, theatre companies, producing and presenting organizations, associations, and others to contribute to the intellectual and creative life of the School and the Niagara region.

Our guests will engage in professional activities such as public lectures, performances, exhibitions, workshops, laboratories, and demonstrations, and will participate in other pedagogical and creative activities including guest teaching, the professional mentoring of faculty and staff, critiques of student work, and community engagement activities.

In addition to generally intensifying the creative, scholarly and teaching cultures of the School, special emphasis is put on developing knowledge and familiarity of the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts as an incubator in the arts and culture sector of Niagara, exploring potential intersections of the School and the surrounding community/region, and promoting inter‐ and trans‐disciplinarity within the School and beyond.

John Fekner, street and multimedia artist
Nov. 1 at 7:00 p.m.
Presented by the Department of Visual Arts on the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts YouTube channel.

Theatre in the Era of Climate Crisis
A weekend of performances and discussion of the intersections between climate change, performing arts and activism. Nov. 13 – 15, details available online.
Presented by the Department of Dramatic Arts in partnership with the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre on the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts YouTube channel.

For more information about our programming visit our website:


The Department of Dramatic Arts acknowledges that the land on which we gather is the traditional territory of the Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabe peoples, many of whom continue to live and work here today. This territory is covered by the Upper Canada Treaties and is within the land protected by the Dish with One Spoon Wampum agreement. Today this gathering place is home to many First Nations, Metis, and Inuit peoples and acknowledging reminds us that our great standard of living is directly related to the resources and friendship of Indigenous people