Articles tagged with: Dramatic Arts

  • MIWSFPA offers ticket promotion in honour of International Women’s Day

    Brock Dramatic Arts students Manchari Paranthahan and Meryl Ochoa in the production of Top Girls playing at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts March 2 to 10.

    (Source: The Brock News | Wednesday, March 13, 2018)

    The Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts is offering a special Top Girls promotion in honour of International Women’s Day.

    Tickets for the Brock production’s March 9 and 10 performances will be two for the price of one when buyers mention International Women’s Day.

    The promotion will be available in person at the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre box office or by phone at 905-688-0722. Box office hours are Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

    Top Girls, Brock’s second mainstage production of the year, is a contemporary play that takes a critical look at women and their relationship to power and success.

    More information on the show is available on the Brock News.

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    Categories: Announcements, Events, In the Media, News, Plays

  • Community collaboration leads to a new play by Brock prof

    (Source: The Brock News | Monday, February 12, 2018 by Alison Innes)

    It was a simple, yet powerful statement.

    “We need to pay attention to the lives of Niagara’s migrant agricultural workers,” René Lopez, a worker advocate, said to Brock University Associate Professor David Fancy in 2010.

    That conversation began a journey of community collaboration that lead to the production of Our Lady of Delicias by the Essential Collective Theatre, which runs from Friday, Feb. 23 until Sunday, March 4 at the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre.

    Fancy, a professor with the Dramatic Arts program, collaborated with dozens of migrant workers and Dramatic Arts students for two years to develop the play. The story features the character of Rangel, a Mexican migrant worker who has been travelling to Canada for years to work in the vineyards and greenhouses of Niagara.

    “I’m excited by this new script,” says Essential Collective Theatres’ Monica Dufault, a long-term Brock instructor who is directing the production. “It explores migrant worker issues in considerable depth with a real artistry that I’m keen to share with audiences.”

    “Having lived in Niagara for more than a dozen years now, I still feel that this is a reality that is consciously ignored: the lives of people who are our neighbours,” says Fancy.

    The cast of four, including Carla Melo, Juan Carlos Velis, Camila Diaz-Varela and Josée Young, features an exceptional range of Canadian acting talent with extensive stage and screen credits. Brock Dramatic Arts graduates James McCoy and Jo Pacinda are creating the design and costume design for the production.

    What: Our Lady of Delicias, performed by the Essential Collective Theatre

    When: Friday, Feb. 23 to Sunday, March 4

    Where: Robertson Theatre, FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre

    SPECIAL OFFER: Present your ECT show program or ticket stub to receive a 20% discount on tickets for Top Girls presented by the Department of Dramatic Arts!

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    Categories: Events, Faculty & Instructors, In the Media, News, Plays

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

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

    Date: Tuesday Feb. 13

    Time: 10:30 am

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

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

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

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    Categories: Events, News, Visiting Artists

  • Acting exercise helps prepare co-op students for workplace

    From small talk at the water cooler to encounters with testy photocopiers, students embarking on co-op work-terms never quite know the situations they may experience in their new workplace.

    To help lessen stress and increase comfort heading into a new environment, Brock Dramatic Arts students recently visited their co-op peers to share some scenarios they may be faced with.

    Comprised primarily of Dramatic Arts students under the direction of Joe Norris, Dramatic Arts Chair and Professor of Drama in Education and Applied Theatre, Mirror Theatre spent time in three Co-op Education classes over the past few weeks to provide guidance and reassurance by acting out scenes in Sean O’Sullivan Theatre.

    Dramatic Arts exercise in co-op class

    Co-op students Daniel O’Leary, left, and Marsel Avdic, right, play tug of war with fourth-year Dramatic Arts student and Mirror Theatre member Sumer Seth during an ‘Awkward Elevator’ scene.

    The group write and present interactive scenes on a variety of social issues, with the latest art-based research project exploring the interpersonal dynamics of work placements from entry to exit.

    Using applied theatre, experiential and problem-based learning theories and techniques, the students present scenes that address worker safety, on-site learning, asking for help, dealing with unreasonable demands and degree of personal sharing and assessment. Audience members redirect the scenes from their seat and, at times, come on stage to try to act out their thoughts through role-play.

    The initiative was intended to generate discussion amongst the co-op students on a variety of work-related topics in the 0N90 class.

    Students were asked to put themselves in the actors’ shoes in order to understand how they would handle each of the given situations in real life.

    “I would recommend this type of interactive learning in future classes,” said second-year Public Health co-op student Micaela Snow following the exercise. “I feel like the presentation gave us a deeper understanding of expectations and work etiquette rather than if we just listened to the professor talking about it.”

    Julia Zhu, Brock’s Associate Director of Co-op Education, hoped the experience helped to “facilitate ‘a rehearsal for life’ by offering an opportunity for students to safely test out their approach to impromptu social, ethical and culture situations.”

    Course facilitator Ashley Haroutunian said she was impressed by the level of engagement students displayed as they watched the vignettes and participated in the discussions and re-enactments.

    “They demonstrated a keen ability to reflect and contribute thoughtful observations and suggestions to help the players navigate the challenging workplace scenarios and conflicts,” she said. “Professor Norris and his students did an excellent job of supporting their learning by inviting, encouraging and involving students in the process.”

    Mirror Theatre has previously worked with Brock’s English as a Second Language Services in addressing academic integrity issues; Student Health, examining mental health and drinking issues; Health and Safety, discussing violence in the workplace; a Health Sciences class, articulating challenges of patient care; and the Centre for Pedagogical Innovation’s TA training sessions. The group’s members are heading to New York in April to present their arts-based research at the American Educational Research Association.

    Mirror Theatre members who participated in the recent co-op exercises include fourth-year Con-Ed Dramatic Arts students Mike Metz and Lindsey Abrams, third-year Psychology and Dramatic Arts student Nadia Ganesh, fourth-year Dramatic Arts and Education student Aaron Drake, fourth-year Con-Ed student Abby Rollo, second-year Con-Ed Dramatic Arts student Dani Shae Barkley, fourth-year Dramatic Arts student Sumer Seth and first-year Dramatic Arts student Dawson Strangway.

    Speaking with Mirror Theatre members on how this group has impacted their lives, Mike Metz, fourth year Con-Ed Dramatic Arts student says, “When I started Mirror Theatre in my first year, I was a Con-Ed math student. Mirror Theatre was one of the major reasons I decided to switch my major to Drama.”

    Lindsey Abrams, fourth year Con-Ed Dramatic Arts student adds, “Mirror Theatre has given me the opportunity to explore my love for theatre through different lenses as an actor, prospective educator, and learner.  I get the opportunity to explore all different areas of theatre that can be presented, and feel as though I am always a part of a team.”

    When Nadia Ganesh, third year Psychology and Dramatic Arts student was asked what she enjoys about participating in Mirror Theatre, she said, “I love the fact that Mirror Theatre gives me the ability to impact the lives of others even if it is only in a minor way. If it’s just making one person laugh, I’m happy that I’ve had the opportunity to affect that individual in a positive way.”

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    Categories: Announcements, Current Students, Faculty & Instructors, In the Media, News

  • PANTALONE’S PALACE, DART’S First Mainstage for 2017-18, opens October 27!

    Pantalone’s Palace

    Love and power collide in this fun-filled, fast paced physical comedy.

    Written and Directed by Mike Griffin

    Set & Costume Design by: Kelly Wolf
    Lighting Design by Chris Malkowski
    Sound Design by: James McCoy
    Mask Maker: Gina Bastone
    Assistant Direction by: Helena Ciuciura

    Hardworking Columbina just wants to enjoy the majestic Wooers’ Woods in peace after a long day’s work, but the greedy business tycoon Pantalone is scheming. When Columbina discovers his plot to build the biggest casino in the world, she knows she must take action. Armed with her wits and her lovesick friends, she aims to set things right in this fun-filled, fast paced, physical comedy that explores the meeting of contemporary life and classical Commedia dell’Arte.

    When: October 27 – November 4, 2017
    FRIDAY, OCT. 27 & SATURDAY, OCT. 28 at 7:30 pm
    SUNDAY, OCT. 29 at 2:00 pm
    FRIDAY, NOV. 3 at 11:30 am & 7:30 pm
    SATURDAY, NOV. 4 at 7:30 pm

    The Department invites teachers and educators to bring their students to see this exciting new production of Commedia dell’arte.
    Read the Special Invitation to learn more.

    See the article in the Brock News.

    See the teaser video.

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

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    Categories: Events, News, Performance Season, Plays

  • Brock University engages with community at Burlington Performing Arts Centre

    Brock University Dramatic Arts faculty and students engage with young theatre artists and teachers at the Burlington Performing Arts Centre

    This past Tuesday Oct. 17, the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts participated in “Career Day – Life in the Theatre Industry” at the Burlington Performing Arts Centre. This event welcomed approximately 150 students/teachers from seven different schools and three different district school boards.

    The day consisted of interactive workshops and demonstrations to explore the many diverse careers available in the theatre industry, a live theatrical performance, and the opportunity to have one-on-one conversations with representatives and students of the leading college and university programs offering performance and production related theatre courses. It was a great opportunity for students to delve into the vocations of the theatre world in a creative and experiential manner.

    Throughout the day many teachers mentioned how successful the event was and how it fits so successfully into the secondary curriculum.

    The Department of Dramatic Arts looks forward to meeting these young artists again when they apply for future studies at Brock University!

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    Categories: News

  • Brock co-led research to study police training in mental illness

    Dr. Natalie Alvarez, an associate professor in the Department of Dramatic Arts

    (Source: The Brock NewsWednesday, September 13, 2017 | by Cathy Majtenyi)

    It’s the heat of the moment. A person in mental health distress is waving a knife in the air, yelling or screaming or perhaps even silent. A police officer is on the scene.

    What happens next?

    It’s a question that undoubtedly will come up in Toronto police Constable James Forcillo’s appeal trial, which started Monday. Forcillo was convicted of attempted murder for the 2013 shooting of 18-year-old Sammy Yatim on a Toronto streetcar.

    It’s also a question that Brock University researchers Natalie Alvarez and Yasmine Kandil are exploring in their research on how to use theatre to train police officers.

    Dr. Yasmine Kandil

    Dr. Yasmine Kandil

    Alvarez, an associate professor in the Department of Dramatic Arts, along with Yasmine Kandil, an assistant professor in Dramatic Arts, are co-leading a study that will create and evaluate the effectiveness of a type of scenario-based police training grounded in problem-based training methods the team refers to as ‘forum scenarios.’

    In forum scenarios, a scene is played out for an audience. The scene is then performed again, but an audience member can step in to intervene by making different choices, creating a different outcome and changing the way a particular issue is viewed or dealt with. It’s a form of teaching and learning that promotes the principles of procedural justice.

    Theatre educators Alvarez and Kandil of Brock’s Department of Dramatic Arts, and Wilfred Laurier forensic psychologist Jennifer Lavoie, alongside their cross-Canada team with specializations in mental illness and de-escalation training, are partnering with the Durham Regional Police and collaborators from the Ontario Police College.

    The federal government’s Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council has awarded the team a $310,960 grant to carry out the four-year study.

    “Experiential learning through forum methods is much more effective in integrating knowledge, being able to apply that knowledge and retain it long term,” says Alvarez. The study builds on Alvarez’s upcoming book that examines the use of immersive simulations in a variety of training and educational contexts.

    Experts involved in the scenarios aim to teach police officers how to recognize behavioural characteristics of various mental illnesses that may present barriers to communication in high-stakes encounters, the impacts and consequences that certain actions will have on the person in crisis, and how to de-escalate volatile situations.

    “We want to recreate situations where the officer perceives a situation where there’s an imminent threat, they’re under extreme stress, and they have to make refined, ethical judgments in that moment of stress,” says Alvarez.

    The team will also address mental health stigmas and misconceptions.

    For Alvarez, the research is not just academic.

    “My oldest sister suffers from schizophrenia and she’s become an advocate for the rights of people living with mental illness,” says Alvarez, adding that her sister frequently gives talks to RCMP officers on the subject.

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    Categories: Faculty & Instructors, In the Media, Media Releases, News

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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    Categories: Alumni, Announcements, Current Students, News, Visiting Artists

  • DART 4F56 presents Neighborhood 3: Requisition of Doom

    There’s something strange in the neighbourhood…

    The Department of Dramatic Arts 4F56 Ensemble presents Neighborhood 3: Requisition of Doom by Jennifer Haley, a chilling play that blurs the line between the real and the virtual in present day suburbia. This production runs April 21and 22, 2017, and will be held in the Marilyn I. Walker Theatre, at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts, 15 Artists’ Common.

    The kids are obsessed with Neighborhood 3, a new video game that uses GPS technology to map their own suburban homes into a battle terrain. Pets start disappearing, players freak out, and suddenly the parents can no longer keep track of their teens. As the young players battle a legion of zombies to reach the Final House, they confront their family’s dysfunctions as well as the dreaded Neighborhood Association. In this community, good parenting is nowhere to be found and the adults’ lackadaisical involvement in their teens’ lives has devastating repercussions.

    Award winning playwright Jennifer Haley, referred to as “the first major playwright of the digital age” by New York Theatre, focuses her theatrical work on virtual reality and its effect on families. Her cautionary tale explores the transition from technological escapism to violent obsession. Neighborhood 3: Requisition of Doom asks ‘what is the impact of the virtual on the real? Can real life violence be blamed on violent video games? Who is raising your child – you or your iPad?’

    Production managed by Linda Duong, and built by Dana Morin, Neighborhood 3 is directed by Gyllian Raby (Professor) and Olivia De Sousa, and designed by Kaitlyn Seguin (set), Nicole James (properties), Allison Pressnail (projections and lighting), Sydney Francolini (sound), John Clancy (costume), Rachelle Scott, and Demetri Tsioros (choreography and fights). The 4F56 Ensemble further includes Sarah Bradford, Nikka Collison, Caroline Coon, Ben Fallis, Lena Hall, Chantal Hatton, Alexandra Li Tomulescu, Jonah McGrath, Elena Milenkovski, Dana Morin, and Elizabeth Pereira.

    Plan to join us for this provocative and unsettling melodrama held in Marilyn I. Walker Theatre, at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts, 15 Artists’ Common, in downtown St. Catharines. Neighborhood 3: Requisition of Doom runs April 21 and 22, 2017 at 7:30 pm. There will be a free preview day on April 21 at 11:30 am. Tickets are $5 (applicable fees and taxes are extra) and are available for purchase at the FirstOntario Performing Arts Box Office at 905.688.0722; toll-free 1.855.515.0722; e-mail: boxoffice@firstontariopac.ca; or online: firstontariopac.ca

     

     

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    Categories: Events, Plays

  • ONE ACT FESTIVAL 2017

    Theatre students take charge in Brock University’s ONE ACT FESTIVAL 2017!

    Every year, Brock University’s Department of Dramatic Arts presents an exciting festival of ten one-act plays, all completely directed by, designed by and starring the bright and talented students of the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts. This year’s ONE ACT FESTIVAL 2017 will be held at the Marilyn I. Walker Theatre on April 7 and 8, 2017, and promises an engaging and diverse variety of experiences for the theatre-going audience.

    The ONE ACT FESTIVAL 2017 is presented in two parts over two days. Both parts are performed each day of the festival. Audiences may choose to view the full run of plays in one day, or watch one part per day.

    Part One (April 7 at 2 pm & April 8 at 7:30 pm): Part Two (April 7 at 7:30 pm & April 8 at 2 pm):
     

    Pillow

    by Frederick Stroppel

    Directed by: Kelli Sitarski

    Designed by: Aislinn Doran & Allie Aubry

     

    The Tarantino Variation

    by Seth Kramer

    Directed by: Samantha Mastrella

    Designed by: Jillian Wardell & Alex Agostinho

    A Florentine Tragedy (excerpt)

    by Oscar Wilde

    Directed by: Mark Dickinson

    Designed by: Allie Aubry & Aislinn Doran

    Ghost Trio

    by Samuel Beckett

    Directed by: Helena Ciuciura

    Designed by: Laura Burton & Ariel Nelson

    One for the Road

    by Harold Pinter

    Directed by: Michelle Mohammed

    Designed by: Alex Agostinho & Jillian Wardell

    Check Please

    by Jonathan Rand

    Directed by: Candice Burn

    Designed by: Ariel Nelson & Laura Burton

    The Cowboy

    by Patrick Holland

    Directed by: Mackenzie Kerr

    Designed by: Jillian Wardell & Alex Agostinho

    Irene and Lillian Forever

    by Bonnie Farmer

    Directed by: Tarndeep Pannu

    Designed by: Allie Aubry & Aislinn Doran

    Batteries Not Included

    by Caitlin English

    Directed by: Iain Beaumont

    Designed by: Chelsea Wilson

    All By Myself

    by Robert Scott

    Directed by: Naomi Richardson

    Designed by: Chelsea Wilson

    As the final assignment for the third-year Directing II class, each directing student chooses a one-act play to produce for the ONE ACT FESTIVAL 2017. This year, the directing and design students are mentored by Visiting Director (and retired faculty member) Professor Virginia Reh, collaborating with Professor David Vivian. The students direct, design and perform ten short plays as they complete their courses in directing and theatrical design.

    Topics of the plays include the exploration of human relations in historical settings through to the thrills and chills of contemporary life. Professor Virginia Reh states, “Over the years I have enjoyed watching the young directors select challenging plays and grow their confidence and artistry during the 10 weeks of rehearsal development. Completing the One Act Festival is a capstone achievement as they prepare for their final year of study.

    This is the first year the directing and design students have collaborated together to realize the festival. Professor David Vivian states, “As we complete the second season at 15 Artists’ Common our students will bring their bold visions to life in a reconfigured Marilyn I. Walker Theatre. With every production we learn about innovative possibilities provided by our excellent new facility.”

    The festival will be held in the Marilyn I. Walker Theatre at 15 Artists’ Common, downtown St. Catharines on April 7 and 8, 2017. Part One will be performed on April 7 at 2 pm and April 8 at 7:30 pm. Part Two will be performed on April 7 at 7:30 pm and April 8 at 2 pm. Seating at this event is limited. Tickets are available at the door, and admission is “pay-what-you-can.”

    Parking is not 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 http://www.stcatharines.ca/en/livein/ParkingLotsGarages.asp for a list of parking locations.

    Such performances from the Department of Dramatic Arts 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.

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    Categories: Events, Plays