Articles tagged with: Danielle Wilson

  • Dramatic Arts grad gets rave reviews in Soulpepper’s The Brothers Size

    Brock Dramatic Arts alumnus Marcel Stewart (BA ’07), centre, plays the role of Elegba in the Soulpepper production of The Brothers Size alongside Daren A. Herbert, left, and Mazin Elsadig. Photo by: Cylla von Tiedemann, courtesy of Soulpepper.


    The reviews are in, and Brock Dramatic Arts alumnus Marcel Stewart (BA ’07) is earning praise for his performance in what the Toronto Star calls a “stunning Canadian premiere.”

    Stewart stars as Elegba in The Brothers Size, the newest offering from Toronto-based production house Soulpepper.

    He describes the experience as a “whirlwind,” especially after Toronto-based rapper Drake made a surprise appearance at the May 10 opening night performance.

    Brock Dramatic Arts alumnus Marcel Stewart (BA ’07), second from right, and his castmates from The Brothers Size got a surprise visit from rapper Drake, third from right, at the opening night performance of the Toronto show.

    “It has been amazing; it’s such a gift to do something like this,” Stewart said. “Through my whole journey as an actor, I have wanted to work on a play that speaks to my experience, one that I can easily dive into, and this text was so comfortable it was like putting on a jacket that was made for me.”

    The Brothers Size is the second play in the Brothers/Sisters series, written by Oscar-winning screenwriter and Tony Award-nominated playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney.

    Set in a fictional town in Louisiana, it tells the story of two brothers, Ogun and Oshoosi, who find themselves living together after Oshoosi’s release from prison.

    Stewart plays Oshoosi’s best friend, who formed a bond with him during their incarceration together.

    “I think on a micro level, Brothers Size is about the experience of black men today in the world,” Stewart said. “But on the macro level, what the characters go through are things that all people experience: grief, trauma and searching for a sense of belonging.”

    Stewart’s performance marks his return to the Soulpepper stage, where he has previously performed three times and was a member of the Soulpepper Academy.

    Some of his other credits include the role of Miles in The Drawer Boy at Prince Edward County’s Festival Players, Coutts in the Mirvish Theatre Production of King Charles III in Toronto, and roles on popular Canadian television series’ Kim’s Convenience and Murdoch Mysteries.

    While he focused primarily on acting for several years after graduation, Stewart also developed a passion for doing outreach work and giving back to young, aspiring actors.

    Brock Dramatic Arts alumnus Marcel Stewart (BA ’07).

    When he’s not on stage, he gives private acting lessons and hosts workshops in communities across Canada. He’s worked with school groups at the Toronto International Film Festival, for example, and was the creator of What Noise is This, a workshop that explores William Shakespeare’s canon through the lens of hip-hop music.

    Stewart is also involved in the local theatre industry, both as the outreach co-ordinator with St. Catharines theatre company Suitcase in Point and the volunteer co-ordinator for the upcoming In The Soil Arts Festival, taking place this June in downtown St. Catharines.

    Brock Assistant Theatre Professor Danielle Wilson offered her congratulations on Stewart’s success.

    “Marcel was bright and hungry to learn and is an example of the breadth of career opportunities that become available after studying in DART,” she said. “We congratulate him on his success as a working artist and are very proud of the contributions he has made in the theatre community over the years.”

    Stewart attributes his ability to “wear many hats” in his career to the skills he gained from studying at Brock.

    “The ‘motor’ that I developed at Brock was probably my biggest takeaway that I still rely on 12 years later,” the 33-year-old said. “To keep going, to keep pursuing, and if a door is closed in my face, then there’s 10 more doors that I can open.”

    After the wrap of Brothers Size in Toronto, Stewart is headed back to work in St. Catharines.

    He wants to continue his outreach work and bring more eclectic and diverse artists to St. Catharines.

    He said instructors at Brock encouraged him to explore his sense of self and find cultural connections through the performing arts — and he wants to do the same for others.

    “My experience at Brock helped open me up to recognizing who I am as a black man and encouraged me use that voice and speak from my perspective whenever I can,” he said. “Now I’m on this representation kick, running workshops, doing outreach and looking at how to bring some more colour — in more ways than one — to the artistic landscape.”

    Brothers Size runs until Saturday, June 1 at the Young Centre for the Performing Arts at 50 Tank House Lane in Toronto. More information and tickets are available at Soulpepper.ca

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    Categories: Alumni, Faculty & Instructors, News

  • Vocalist Fides Krucker to open Walker Cultural Leaders Series

    Internationally acclaimed artist and vocalist Fides Krucker, far right, will be the first presenter in the 2018-19 Walker Cultural Leaders Series, presenting on Sept. 19. (Photo by Cam MacLennan)


    (From The Brock News, Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2018 | by Sarah Moore)

    An innovative lecture and performance by renowned vocalist Fides Krucker will open the annual Walker Cultural Leaders Series when it returns to the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts (MIWSFPA) on Wednesday, Sept. 19.

    Krucker, a teacher, interdisciplinary artist and singer, will present in Studio C, located in room MWS 251 of the MIWSFPA.

    Working across Canada and internationally, Krucker has devoted 35 years to contemporary vocal practice. Her experience as a singer of contemporary opera and her interest in non-verbal human sound textures, as well as her strong belief in sustainable vocal practices serves as the basis for her emotionally integrated voice teaching method.

    Brock Assistant Theatre Professor Danielle Wilson is especially looking forward to bringing Krucker to the series this year, as her own research on voice and embodiment techniques in the rehearsal process has links to the work Krucker does.

    “I am excited for her to share her unique perspective on the connectivity of breath, voice, body and creative impulse,” said Wilson. “I had heard of Fides for years as a pioneer of voice work and when I saw In This Body, her show at Canadian Stage this past spring, I knew I had to work with her.”

    In her lecture and performance, Krucker will explore voice through non-verbal vocalization. She offers a unique opportunity for connection through breath; to slow down and connect to the deeply felt, unseen parts of body and mind.

    Wilson and Brock Associate Theatre Professor Gyllian Raby had the opportunity to work with Krucker once before on Sabina’s Splendid Brain, a production opening Friday, Sept. 14 at the Walker School.

    That collaboration further cemented Krucker’s well-deserved place as the series’ opener this year.

    “The connection to breath is at the heart of life,” Raby explained. “Fides is an acting teacher who can sing in five octaves and knows the human shape of poetry. I am honoured and inspired to see her work with our students.”

    Krucker’s concert and demonstration is free and open to the public.

    Seating is limited and is being offered on a first-come, first-served basis.

    The concert marks the first event in another great lineup of workshops and performances in this year’s Walker Cultural Leaders Series, bringing leading artists, performers, practitioners and academics to Brock’s MIWSFPA.

    Elizabeth Vlossak, Director of the Walker School, said the series aims to engage students and the community with outstanding programming and cultural opportunities.

    “Our dynamic and impressive lineup of professionals in this year’s series will present content that is engaging and lively while also being challenging and thought-provoking,” she said. “These sessions celebrate artistic endeavour and achievement, as well as the indelible role of culture in our society.”

    2018-19 Walker Cultural Leader Series:

    Alejandro Cartagena

    Public lecture: Oct. 17, 6 p.m., Robertson Theatre, FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre
    Exhibition opening: Oct. 17, 5 p.m., VISA Art Gallery and Student Exhibition Space
    Exhibition runs: Oct. 4 to Nov. 7

    Christine Cucciniello

    Zine-making workshop: Oct. 18, 4:30 to 7:30 p.m., MWS 229A (inside the Learning Commons).
    To reserve a spot, please contact Catherine Parayre at cparayre@brocku.ca

    David Jalbert

    Masterclass for piano students: Nov. 16, 2:30 to 4 p.m., Cairns Recital Hall, FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre
    Public recital (part of the Encore Series): Partridge Hall, FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre, at 7:30 p.m.

    David Psalmon

    Public talk and workshop: Towards a Contemporary Political Theatre
    Jan. 10 at 7 p.m., Marilyn I. Walker Theatre

    Alinka Echeverria

    Public lecture: Looking Back to Look Forward: The History of Photography in Contemporary Image-Making
    March 7 at 6 p.m., Robertson Theatre, FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre
    The Road to Tepeyac: Opening Reception March 7 at 5 p.m., VISA Gallery
    Exhibition runs March 5 to 26

    Walker String Quartet

    Vera Alekseeva and Anna Hughes (violin), Faith Lau (viola) and Gordon Cleland (cello)
    RBC Music@Noon performance: March 5, Cairns Recital Hall, FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre

    Adam Dickinson

    Author’s talk: March 18 from 1 to 2 p.m., MWS 156

    Shawn Serfas, Adam Dickinson and Lorène Bourgeois

    Serfas, Dickinson and Bourgeois will be celebrated during a book launch through Small Walker Press, which publishes books by professors and students at the MIWSFPA and in the Humanities.
    Guest speaker: acclaimed artist/critic John Kissick
    TBD, week of May 6, MWS 156

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    Categories: Announcements, Events, News

  • Sabina’s Splendid Brain opens at MIWSFPA Sept. 14

    Cellist Grace Snippe (BMus ’16), left, and Danielle Wilson bring the story of 20th century psychoanalyst Sabina Spielrein to life in Sabina’s Splendid Brain. The performance opens on Sept. 14 at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts. (Photo by George Enns.)


    (From The Brock News, Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2018 | by Sarah Moore)

    While Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung have become synonymous with psychoanalysis, the name Sabina Spielrein might leave you drawing a blank.

    The Stolen Theatre Collective hopes to change that by bringing the rarely told story of the Russian-Jewish psychoanalyst to life in a new production at Brock beginning next week.

    Sabina’s Splendid Brain, which opens Sept. 14 at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts (MIWSFPA), chronicles the life of the tenacious and passionate Spielrein as she struggles through the circumstances of her family, her education and her therapy, the professional barriers facing women and wartime anti-Semitism.

    Spielrein was often known in relation to her famous colleagues: first as a patient, then as a lover of Jung, and later as a student and friend of Freud. As a psychoanalyst in her own right, however, she moved beyond them both to become one of the great thinkers in 20th century psychology.

    Her work was all but wiped from the history books due to Joseph Stalin’s repression of intellectuals and the Nazi invasion of her hometown of Rostov-on-Don, where she and her daughters were killed. Her diaries were recently discovered, however, and her publications were re-examined to reveal the profound impact that her work had on her teachers and peers.

    “Sabina had to fight for her voice,” said Brock Associate Theatre Professor Gyllian Raby, the production’s Director. “She walks the boundary between genius and delusion, and this production invites the audience to experience her journey from a screaming teenager with spittle in her hair to the woman who wowed Freud’s intellectual Vienna Circle.”

    Scripted by Carol Sinclair, Sabina’s Splendid Brain is rendered on stage in sets by Nigel Scott, projections by Karyn McCallum and lighting by James McCoy (BA ’14), and features performances by Brock Assistant Theatre Professor Danielle Wilson and cellist Grace Snippe (BMus ’16).

    “This is a project that fully explores the interdisciplinarity between the arts that was the founding dream of the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts,” said Wilson, who is also the co-founder and co-artistic director of Stolen Theatre Collective. “Music, theatre and philosophy are a natural trio in this story of how psychoanalysis helped shape modern consciousness.”

    Fides Krucker, a Canadian interpreter, vocalist, opera singer and teacher, collaborated on the interdisciplinary production with Stolen Theatre. Her innovative vocal techniques and interdisciplinary work will be further highlighted later this month as part of the Walker Cultural Leaders Series on Wednesday, Sept. 19 at the MIWSFPA.

    Sabina’s Splendid Brain opens with back-to-back weekend performances Sept. 14, 15, 20, 21 and 22, all beginning at 7:30 p.m. Additional matinee performances will take place on Sept. 16 and 23 at 2 p.m.

    All performances are held at the Marilyn I. Walker Theatre in the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts, located at 15 Artists’ Common in St. Catharines.

    Tickets are pay-what-you-can-afford ($10, $25, $40 and $55) and can only be purchased in advance through the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre box office.

    Limited paid parking is available on-site, but city parking is available within close proximity to the venue.

    For more information on the production, please contact info@stolentheatrecollective.ca

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    Categories: Alumni, Events, Faculty & Instructors, News, Plays

  • TOP GIRLS: opens March 2!

    by Caryl Churchill.

    Directed by DANIELLE WILSON
    Set Design by NIGEL SCOTT
    Costume Design by KELLY WOLF
    Lighting Design by JENNIFER JIMENEZ
    Original Music by MAX HOLTEN-ANDERSEN
    Assistant Direction by MICHELLE MOHAMMED
    Dialect Coaching by JANE GOODERHAM

    When: March 2-10, 2018

    FRIDAY, MARCH 2 and SATURDAY, MARCH 3 at 7:30 pm
    SUNDAY, MARCH 4 at 2:00 pm
    FRIDAY, MARCH 9 at 11:30 am and 7:30 pm
    SATURDAY, MARCH 10 at 7:30 pm

    What would you sacrifice to get to the top?
    Top Girls opens at the MIWSFPA on March 2.

    TOP GIRLS, by celebrated playwright Caryl Churchill and directed by Danielle Wilson, runs from Friday, March 2, 2018 to Saturday, March 10, 2018 in the Marilyn I. Walker Theatre, at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts, 15 Artists’ Common, St. Catharines.

    Manchari Paranthahan as Nell, Meryl Ochoa as Win, in Top Girls at Brock University.

    The Department of Dramatic Arts, part of Brock University’s Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts, is proud to present an original production of this venerable play about women and power. First produced in 1982, last seen in Niagara at the Shaw Festival in 2015, this contemporary play tells the story of Marlene, a career-driven woman who is only interested in women’s success in business.

    The play is an exploration and critical look at women and their relationship to power and success. For the director, Professor Danielle Wilson, the main question at the heart of the play is “what would you sacrifice to get to the top?”

    The play follows the story of Marlene, who in 1980’s London has just been promoted to managing director of the Top Girls Employment Agency. With a magic realist twist we see Marlene celebrate her success at a dinner party with five women from history, literature, and art, and as the drink begins to flow, so do their stories of family, adventure, and loss which overlap in witty and humorous dialogue.

    Manchari Paranthahan as Nell, Meryl Ochoa as Win, Helena Ciurciura as Marlene, in Top Girls at Brock University.

    Throughout the play we also meet the real-life women in Marlene’s life at the office. They struggle to rise to the top of the corporate ladder but are held back by lack of opportunity and the harsh competitiveness of the business world.

    The themes and story of the play are extremely topical.  The play examines the challenges of working women who choose self-promotion and career over motherhood, family, domesticity. We learn of the cost of Marlene’s ‘successful’ life. Set during the reign of the British Prime Minster Margaret Thatcher, known as the “Iron Lady”, the play asks whether it was an advance to have a woman prime minister if we elected someone with policies like hers.

    TOP GIRLS highlights the contradictions between feminism and capitalism. A running theme throughout the play is the secrets that underpin Marlene’s success which in some ways serve to perpetuate the patriarchal structure common in many workplaces. We only learn of these secrets in the final confrontational scene with her closest family, Joyce and her daughter, Angie.

    The play is directed by Dramatic Arts faculty Danielle Wilson. Professional collaborating artists include set designer Nigel Scott, costume designer by Kelly Wolf, lighting designer Jennifer Jimenez and music composer Max Holten-Andersen. Jane Gooderham is the Dialect Coach.

    Helena Ciurciura as Marlene, Emma McCormick as Angie, in Top Girls at Brock University.

    TOP GIRLS showcases the talents of students in the Department of Dramatic Arts undergraduate program. Michelle Mohammed is the Assistant Director, Alicia Marie Bender is the Stage Manager, Whiney Braybrook-Byl is Assistant Stage Manager. Performers include: Helena Ciuciura, Emma McCormick, Samantha Mastrella, Meryl Ochoa, Manchari Paranthahan, Catherine Tait and Kristina Ojaperv.

    READ ALL ABOUT IT!

    Director Danielle Wilson discusses feminism, ambition, #MeToo and the unique challenge of mounting this play in a brief interview found at the bottom of this page.

    Fourth-year student and Assistant Director for the production, Michelle Mohammed, is writing about the development of the show in a dedicated blog: darttopgirls.wordpress.com and dartcritics.com

    The public presentation program of the Department of Dramatic Arts is an integral part of the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts’ mandate to contribute to regional cultural development and build community connections by engaging our audiences with the breadth of talent and creativity of the students, staff, guest artists and faculty of Brock University.

    The Department invites teachers and educators to bring their students to see this exciting production of TOP GIRLS.
    Read the Special Invitation to learn more.

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

    Purchase tickets at the FirstOntario PAC Box Office
    905.688.0722 or online firstontariopac.ca
    Tickets: $18 Adults|$15 Seniors/Students| $5 eyeGo | $12 Groups
    *Applicable fees and taxes are extra

    See the article in the Brock News.


    We asked the director of Top Girls, Professor Danielle Wilson, about feminism, ambition, and the unique challenges of mounting this play.

    What type of feminist beliefs does Top Girls draw upon?

    The play is an exploration and critical look at women and their relationship to power and success. For me the main question at the heart of the play is “what would you sacrifice to get to the top?” Something is always sacrificed, whether it be relationships, personal integrity, mental health, leisure time etc., in the pursuit of success. Top Girls looks specifically at women’s responsibilities and relationships with each other in a capitalistic and individualistic society. It tackles these issues in a broader political spectrum vs. it being about women overcoming their oppression. You can’t get away from being a woman in this play, no matter how hard these women try. What I understand is that the play was inspired by two streams of feminism: one which is about changing the economic situation for everyone which is more collectively oriented and one that accepts and supports an individual’s success over the collective gain. Top Girls examines an individualistic society in which the few thrive at the expense of many and one in which isolated female success overshadows the plight of the majority.

    How do you connect the feminism of the 1980’s portrayed in Top Girls to feminist movements and/or beliefs today? How do you think our students will understand the representation of feminist thought in your production?

    Fourth wave feminism, which we are seeing now, tends to be more collectively oriented. Social media started an entire #MeToo movement, which questions abuse of power. Top Girls discusses power and success in relationship to women. The main character in the play, Marlene, tends to use what one might call more ‘masculine’ tactics in the workplace. The entire corporate structure has been built on more masculine characteristics of leadership. When a woman is in a top position, masculine qualities can run contrary to what is expected of her gender, so she may be perceived as cold or distant or a bitch. Margaret Thatcher, who serves as an unseen character in the play was described as the ‘Iron Lady”, but no man who ruled in the way she did was ever called the ‘Iron Man’, he was just a man. She even had voice lessons to help her sound more masculine so that her cabinet would take her seriously. One of the characters in the play, Nell says that “an employer is going to have doubts about a lady, whether she’s got the guts to push through to a closing situation. They think we’re too nice. They think we listen to the buyer’s doubts. They think we consider his needs and his feelings.” We’re becoming aware that there is more than one way to lead and it is not an imperative to oppress or step on others in order to succeed.

    I think students will recognize the issues being debated between Marlene and Joyce as they each argue opposite political viewpoints. Today, there is definitely a more collectively oriented mindset as evidenced by the Occupy movement, Idle No More, and the #MeToo movement. There is resistance to the social and economic status quo. Young people, both men and women, are building strength through bonds with each other and challenging systemic abuse, racial profiling, and poor economic prospects.

    What is “the top”?

    I think it depends on the person. Success and reaching ‘the top’ is complicated and is defined by each person differently. For some it may be reaching the top over someone else, for others it may be reaching the top of one’s own potential.

    Marlene’s character seems to be the one striving for the “top” and stepping on anyone in her way, should we be feeling empathy for her? Should we like or dislike her? What should we be learning from her actions?

    I think ultimately it will be up to the audience to decide how they feel about her.  We learn a lot about her personal life in the third act and what she has sacrificed to get to where she is. Caryl Churchill, the playwright, has written a complex character who is flawed, but what human being isn’t? Some may admire and empathize with her actions. She did what she had to do. Others may not. We see both sides of the story in the final act in which she has a showdown with her sister, Joyce, who has taken a very different path in life. Ultimately, Churchill has written a play that involves more questions than answers, but that’s the beauty of it, you get to chew over these questions after the play is over. To me, that’s the mark of a great play.

    Are there significant challenges with this production that our audience would be interested in knowing about?

    The play involves a big dinner party at the very beginning. Caryl Churchill has written overlapping dialogue where people are talking over each other, like at a real dinner party. It has been challenging to choose what the audience hears and doesn’t hear.  Sometimes the audience will hear both and have to choose which to listen to. It has been both a challenge as a director and as an actor. Not only must the actors learn their lines, but they must also learn when they begin speaking in the middle of someone else’s line.

     

    February 17, 2018
    /dv

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    Categories: Events, Performance Season, Plays

  • Brock Dramatic Arts alumni nominated for St. Catharines Arts Awards

    The Department of Dramatic Arts is proud to announce that several DART graduates and one of our DART professors have been nominated for the Emerging Artist award at this year’s St. Catharines Arts Awards!

    More information can be found at this news entry on the main MIWSFPA website. Congratulations, and good luck!

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    Categories: Alumni, Announcements, Faculty & Instructors, In the Media, News

  • The Ash Mouth Man leaves audience with a bitter reality in comedic form

    Stolen Theatre Collective’s Ash Mouth Man – stolentheatrecollective.ca

    (Source: The Brock Press, Tuesday, September 20, 2016 | by Kat Powell)

    The Ash Mouth Man, a brand new original play written by Brock Dramatic Arts (DART) faculty and Stolen Theatre Collective’s (STC) Gillian Raby and Danielle Wilson, opened Thursday September 15 at the Marilyn I. Walker Theatre in partnership with the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre. Prior to any acting, those attending are participants in the experience of the show; the Ash Mouth Man brings audiences into an interactive and “up close and personal” space; audience members are asked to contribute names, landmarks, and interact with objects from the start. The show, inspired by the short story Dead Sea Fruits by Australian author Kaaron Warren, takes audiences back to the 1950s where we find Lorna (played by Danielle Wilson), a progressive female dentist who works almost exclusively on Pretty Girl Street ‘where the girls don’t eat’.

    Throughout the show, we see Lorna undergo somewhat of a transformation. Her equal-parts blissful and frustrating marriage to Harry (played by STC co-founder and co-artistic director Fede Holten) acts as somewhat of a catalyst to her vulnerability. We observe as Lorna struggles with self-doubt, trust and her worth. We watch as Lorna changes from someone who takes pity on the ‘Pretty Girls’ (played by Colin B. Anthes and Sean Aileen McLelland) whose teeth are falling out from malnourishment and have delusional dreams of a mythical (or so we think) figure called the Ash Mouth Man, to one who puts herself on the same level as them.

    One can definitely appreciate the production’s set design and interactive and captivating style, and applaud the fairly seamless application of the dark comedic style to somewhat of a heavy underlying topic. This show without a doubt leaves audiences with something to think about. Nearing the end of the show, audiences are left with a ‘story’ to bring home to their families and their friends. The Ash Mouth Man is not just a show, but a conversation starter.

    The Ash Mouth Man is currently playing at the Marilyn I. Walker Theatre at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts until September 25. Tickets are available through the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre Box Office online, in person, or by phone at (905) 688-0722.

     

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    Categories: Faculty & Instructors, In the Media, News

  • Stolen Theatre back on the scene

    (Source: Niagara Falls Review, Wednesday, September 14, 2016 | by John Law. Photo caption: Danielle Wilson co-wrote and stars in Stolen Theatre Collective’s The Ash Mouth Man, opening Sept. 15. PHOTO: John Law /Postmedia network)

    The small, immersive company is back Sept. 15 with a brand new play written by Wilson and director Gyllian Raby, the “film noir comedy” The Ash Mouth Man. Nine shows are scheduled for the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine & Performing Arts, and as always, things will get intimate. At just 48 seats per performance, it’ll feel like an up close and personal play.

    It’s a style Wilson loves – the company’s previous show, Harold Pinter’s The Dumb Waiter, was limited to just 28 seats.

    “We really enjoy playing with the atmosphere of a piece, and giving the audience a different experience,” she says. “It’s hard to disengage when you’re that (close). It gives you a much more visceral experience when you’re that close.”

    Wilson, a teacher with Brock University’s Department of Dramatic Arts, and husband Fede Holten – a playwright and Niagara winemaker – formed Stolen Theatre Collective in 2007 as a way to do original and unique material in different ways. They managed three shows in four years before tight schedules forced the four-year layoff.

    “We were super happy to be back,” says Wilson. “We had great attendance for the show (and) got a lot of good press. A lot of people didn’t know who we were, and I felt we put (ourselves) back in people’s minds.
    “We’re all so busy, we all have other jobs and things to do.”

    The Ash Mouth Man is a blending of two short stories Wilson and Raby wrote separately. Once combined, it formed an odd, comical tale about a female dentist named Lorna in the ’50s – Canada’s 31st female dentist, to be precise – who works in a ward for people with disorders. The patients share an urban legend about a figure named the ‘Ash Mouth Man,’ whose kiss will make everything taste like ashes afterwards.

    “It took us awhile to figure out, what is the genre? We’re dabbling in aspects of film noir but there’s also a lightness to it.”

    The show stars Walker, Holten, Colin Bruce Anthes and Sean McClelland.

    Opening a regular show is hard enough – for Wilson, staging and starring in her own play is next level stress.

    “It definitely feels like a bigger risk,” she says. “We’re putting our own work out there that nobody’s seen before, and we don’t know how it’s going to be received.”

    jlaw@postmedia.com

    • WHAT: The Ash Mouth Man
    • WHO: Stolen Theatre Collective
    • WHERE: Marilyn I. Walker Theatre; 15 Artists’ Common; St. Catharines
    • WHEN: Sept. 15 to 25
    • TICKETS: $20; student/seniors/arts worker $15  www.firstontariopac.ca

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  • Stolen Theatre Collective and Brock University’s Department of Dramatic Arts present The Ash Mouth Man

    16r10_the_ash_mouth_manFor those who enjoy comedy with a dark undertow, plan to join us for the world premiere of The Ash Mouth Man, an original theatre work to be held in the Marilyn I. Walker Theatre at 15 Artists’ Common.

    Meet Lorna, who in the ‘50’s, is the 31st lady dentist in Canada. A bit of a social misfit, Lorna works on Pretty Girl Street, treating people with all kinds of disorders. Gradually, she discovers the dark forces lurking beneath the too perfect fantasy of her life – where even the Royal Mail Canada Man might carry a threat. She survives a sex scandal, discovers unusual and groundbreaking therapies, and with some help from her friends in the audience, confronts the timeless mythic figure of the Ash Mouth Man…Betty Crocker’s smile has never been so frightening.

    Inspired by Australian short story writer Kaaron Warren, director Gyllian Raby, and actor Danielle Wilson created the script, with the assistance of Wilson’s and Federico Holten-Andersen’s Stolen Theatre Collective company. The acting ensemble, led by Wilson, features Federico Holten-Andersen, Colin Bruce Anthes and Sean McClelland. Original music is by Max Holten-Andersen, set and lighting design is by Nigel Scott, costume design is by Genevieve Habib and stage management is by Dramatic Arts student Kaitlyn Séguin.

    The Marilyn I. Walker Theatre will be transformed into an intimate theatre space, which allows seating for 48 people per performance, running approximately 70 minutes in length.

    Danielle Wilson and Gyllian Raby are grateful for the community support for Stolen Theatre Collective’s endeavor. The City of St. Catharines Cultural Investment, the Walker Cultural Leader Foundation, The Match of Minds program and the Humanities Research Institute match the investment of the company members in creating original work out of our city. Wilson states, “Gyllian and I are very excited to be collaborating on an original Canadian piece after our production of Twelfth Night which we co-directed in 2013.”

    Presented by Stolen Theatre Collective and Brock University Department of Dramatic Arts
    September 15-18 & 23-25, 2016
    Evening shows (Thurs., Fri. and Sat.) at 8 p.m. (no Thurs., Sept. 22nd show); Sat. & Sun. matinees at 2 p.m.
    Marilyn I. Walker Theatre, Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts, 15 Artists’ Common, St. Catharines
    Limited seating, only 48 seats available per performance with a total of nine performances
    Tickets: $20† adult/senior; $15† student/art worker; $5 eyeGo program
    †Applicable fees and taxes are extra.
    Order tickets from the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre Box Office: 905.688.0722 or Toll Free: 1.855.515.0722; online: firstontariopac.ca

    Limited paid parking is available on-site, however, there are more than 1,000 spots available in nearby parking garages, surface lots and on city streets within a five-minute walk to our address at 15 Artists’ Common. Visit www.stcatharines.ca/en/livein/ParkingLotsGarages.asp for a list of parking locations.

    For interviews please contact: 
Marie Balsom, Communications Coordinator, Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts
 T: 905-688-5550, ext. 4765 | E: mbalsom@brocku.ca  | W: www.brocku.ca/miwsfpa

    For all other inquiries, please contact: Danielle Wilson 

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  • The Department of Dramatic Arts presents: Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet)

    WRITTEN BY: Ann-Marie Macdonald
    DIRECTED BY: Danielle Wilson
    ASSISTED BY: Mark Harrigan
    SET DESIGN BY: Nigel Scott
    COSTUMES BY: Kelly Wolf
    SOUND DESIGN BY: Gavin Fearon
    LIGHTING DESIGN BY: Yasmine Kandil
    FIGHT DIRECTION BY: Jamie Treschak

    Show dates/times: Feb. 26 & 27 and March 4 & 5 at 7:30 p.m.
    Matinee performances: Feb. 28 at 2:00 p.m. & March 4 at 11:30 a.m.

    Performed in the Dramatic Arts Theatre, Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts, 15 Artists’ Common, St. Catharines.

    purchase tickets here

    What would happen if Desdemona and Juliet didn’t die? Constance Ledbelly, an overlooked academic, is transported into Shakespeare’s Othello and Romeo and Juliet, becomes entangled in the plays, meets these iconic women and changes the plots entirely.

    Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet) showcases the talents of students in the Department of Dramatic Arts undergraduate program, including the performers: Raylene Turner; Katelyn Lander; Elizabeth Amos; Alexandra Li Tomulescu; Michael Fusillo; Robert Herr; Josh Sanger; and Jeremy Knapton. See the media release below for a complete list of artists and collaborators.

    Check out A Shakespearean whirlwind: Behind the Scenes with Goodnight Desdemona @BrockuDART and see dartcritics.com to follow development of this production.

    Teachers and faculty should read this letter about group bookings and discounts.

    A Study Guide is available for review, prepared by Assistant Director Mark Harrigan: download to print a copy (PDF)

    See the media release below or via this downloadable PDF for more details about the production and to schedule your participation in the media day:


    Media Release:

    Ann-Marie MacDonald’s award-winning Canadian classic, Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet), on stage at the Dramatic Arts Theatre in downtown St. Catharines

    The Department of Dramatic Arts (DART) is proud to present Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet), a clever, lively comedic tale of self-discovery, to be held in the Dramatic Arts Theatre at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts, 15 Artists’ Common, from February 26 – March 5, 2016.

    Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet) was first performed in Toronto in 1988, and went on to be performed nationally and internationally. It has become one of Ann-Marie MacDonald’s most popular plays. Winner of the Governor General’s Award for Drama, Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet) is a feminist re-envisioning of Othello and Romeo and Juliet. Set at Queen’s University in Kingston, overlooked and under-appreciated academic Constance Ledbelly has spent the last ten years ghost writing for a professor while trying to prove her theory that Othello and Romeo and Juliet were originally comedies written by an unknown author that Shakespeare plundered and made into tragedies. When she deciphers the ancient ‘Gustav Manuscript,’ Constance is propelled smack dab into the tragic turning points of each play, saving both Desdemona and Juliet from their tragic fates. The result is a topsy-turvy ride through the recesses of her own mind as Constance learns to appreciate her own self-worth, find confidence and discover who she really is.

    Heading up the creative team is Director Danielle Wilson who is also an actor and voice coach. In 2006, she moved to St. Catharines to take up her current position at Brock University where she teaches voice and performance. She is also active in the local theatre scene as a vocal coach and director, and is the co-artistic director of Stolen Theatre Collective. This is Professor Wilson’s fourth mainstage direction for Brock University’s Department of Dramatic Arts and her first production for the new DART theatre opened in September 2015.

    Assistant Director Mark Harrigan is a fourth year BA (Honours) Dramatic Arts student. Lighting design is by Professor Yasmine Kandil with sound design by Gavin Fearon (assisted by student Kelsey Burcher). DART is delighted to engage guest artists to complete their creative team: set design by Nigel Scott (assisted by student Charlotte Nazari), costume design by Kelly Wolf, and fight direction by Jamie Treschak. Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet) showcases the talents of students in the Department of Dramatic Arts undergraduate program, including the performers: Raylene Turner; Katelyn Lander; Elizabeth Amos; Alexandra Li Tomulescu; Michael Fusillo; Robert Herr; Josh Sanger; and Jeremy Knapton. The student Stage Manager is Oriana Marrone, assisted by Kaitlyn Seguin and Elena Milenkowski. Second year students in Stagecraft build and operate the show under the direction of the Production Manager Brian Cumberland, Technical Director Gavin Fearon (assisted by student Jennifer Dewan) and Head of Wardrobe Roberta Doylend assisted by students Dana Morin (Properties Co-ordinator) and Paige Patterson (Wardrobe Assistant).

    Danielle Wilson states, “I wanted to do a play with strong female characters, which is surprisingly difficult to find in 2016. Ann-Marie MacDonald brilliantly revises Shakespeare’s Juliet and Desdemona by exploring the role of gender in romantic alliances and questioning their boundaries.”

    Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet) runs February 26 and 27 at 7:30 pm; February 28 at 2 pm; March 4 at 11:30 am and 7:30 pm; and March 5 at 7:30 pm, and will be held in the Dramatic Arts Theatre, Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts, 15 Artists’ Common, St. Catharines. Tickets are $18 Adults; $15 Students/Seniors; $12 Groups (10+); $5 eyeGo high school program, and are available through the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre Box Office at 905.688.0722, online: firstontariopac.ca; or e-mail: boxoffice@firstontariopac.ca

    Such programs from the Department of Dramatic Arts (https://brocku.ca/miwsfpa/dramaticarts) are an integral part of the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts’ mandate in building connections between the community and the breadth of talent and creativity at Brock University.

    Limited paid parking is available on-site, however, there are more than 1,000 spots available in nearby parking garages, surface lots and on city streets within a five-minute walk to our address at 15 Artists’ Common. Visit stcatharines.ca/en/livein/ParkingLotsGarages.asp for a list of parking locations.

    Media Day: Thursday, February 18 at 5 pm, held at the Dramatic Arts Theatre, 15 Artists’ Common, St. Catharines, ON.

    For interviews please contact:

    Marie Balsom, Communications Coordinator, Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts
    T: 905-688-5550, ext. 4765 | E: mbalsom@brocku.ca | W: brocku.ca/miwsfpa


    Video Teaser:

     

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  • Lion in the Streets

    Written by Judith Thompson

    Directed by Danielle Wilson
    Designed by David Vivian

    Lion in the Streets is a beautiful nightmare.
    – Danielle Wilson, director

    February 16, 2012 – 7:30 pm
    February 17, 2012 – matinee 11:30 am AND 7:30 pm
    February 18, 2012 – 7:30 pm

    Adult $15 : Students/Seniors $12 : eyeGO $5 : Group Rates $10
    Buy tickets at arts.brocku.ca

    All DART Students receive ONE free ticket.

    Lion in the Streets is a play in which the obsessions of the characters erupt forth in heightened, surreal and imagistic language. The young protagonist, a Portuguese immigrant to Toronto named Isobel, is a ghost in a purgatorial condition. She deftly moves in and out of critical, extreme moments in each of the characters lives while searching for the man who killed her seventeen years prior. Twentieth century music underscores the critical moments in these characters’ lives animated with contemporary movement inspired by dance company La La La Human Steps. This unique mixture complements and elucidates surreal moments while revealing Thompson’s brilliant, sparkling humor. The production embodies our contemporary quest for faith, truth, and a ‘state of grace’ while contending with the absurdity of daily life.

    Lion in the Streets is written by award-winning Canadian Playwright Judith Thompson.  Premiered at the Tarragon Theatre in 1990 the play won the Chalmers Outstanding New Play Award in 1991. Thompson’s plays embrace subconscious elements of human experience not often seen on stage, capturing audience’s attention across the country. Canadian theatre companies regularly perform her work, such as Soulpepper’s 2011 production of White Biting Dog at the Young Center in Toronto.Lion in the Streets continues to be one of Thompson’s most known and most popular plays. High School students will be confronted with daring subject matter which could provide context and relevance to their lives. The play explores themes of repressed violence and sexuality, the search for identity and the powerful nature of love and forgiveness.  While the subject matter is dark, Thompson has crafted this exquisitely surreal play with moments of humor, hope and redemption or what she calls “moments of grace”.

    Contemporary movement will be choreographed by Gerald Trentham, Artistic Director of Toronto’s Pounds Per Square Inch Performance company. Our production will showcase 8 second to fourth year Brock students, playing a total of 29 roles, with additional assistance from students studying the areas of production, stagecraft, design and directing.

    With this production both Director Danielle Wilson and scenographer David Vivian look forward to honoring the wit and intelligence of our departed colleague, Dr Marlene Moser, a leading scholar of the oeuvre of Judith Thompson. Moser’s published thesis entitled “Postmodern Feminist Readings of Identity in selected works of Judith Thompson, Margaret Hollingsworth and Patricia Gruben” (Ph.D. Thesis, 1998. Graduate Center for Study of Drama University of Toronto) and the article “Identities of Ambivalence: Judith Thompson’s Perfect Pie” (Theatre Research in Canada, Volume 27 Number 1/ Spring 2006), explore themes of gender, narrative, identification of the subject and patriarchal abuse, dwelling upon their relationship to the stage, the language and how the audience will perceive them.

    High School Teachers and Educators: please read this letter for detailed information about the production, curriculum ties, and student matinee booking.

     

    Lion in the Streets: A Study Guide, is an introduction to our production, prepared by our Dramaturge and Third Year DART student, Erica Charles. Included are: 1) Collaboration, 2) Play Synopsis, 3) The Playwright: Judith Thompson, 4) Director’s Notes, 5) Designer’s Notes, 6) Isobel and her Lion, 7) Symbolism, 8) Images, 9) An Interview with Judith Thompson by Eleanor Wachtel, 10) Additional References, 11) List of Figures, 12) Endnotes and Bibliography.

    Download your PDF copy of Lion in the Streets: A Study Guide
    (PDF, 8.7 MB, remotely hosted)

    Download a copy of the poster (PDF, 1 MB)
    Download a copy of the poster (PDF, 1 MB)

    Buy tickets at arts.brocku.ca


    Press:

    “Dramatic Arts play explores the death of a young girl” – see the article in The Brock News


    Photos:

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    Categories: Events, Plays