Articles tagged with: Joe Norris

  • Dramatic Arts grad’s road to success was paved at Brock

    Jacelyn Holmes (BA ’08) is set to release her debut album this winter and credits her success in the arts to her start in Brock’s Department of Dramatic Arts.


    (From The Brock News, Thursday, Sept. 21, 2018 | by Sarah Moore)

    Among many things, Brock University taught Jacelyn Holmes (BA ’08) to defy her anxiety and be fearless.

    The Dramatic Arts alumna learned to harness the confidence she embraced in University and now uses it each time she takes the stage to sing.

    With the 10th anniversary of her graduating class set to be celebrated at Brock Homecoming this weekend, Holmes couldn’t help but reminisce about her artistic journey and how her Brock degree helped her achieve her career goals.

    “It’s been an interesting ride so far and it’s funny to recount where I am and what I’ve done,” said Holmes, who studied at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts before its move to the new downtown St. Catharines facility.

    After graduating, Holmes was involved in theatre productions and was cast in various television spots before realizing that her true passion was in the music industry.

    She has since landed gigs playing for the Toronto Jazz Festival, Canadian Music Week, the Niagara Grape and Wine Festival as well as booking international tours and showcases in Europe, Central America, the Caribbean, Asia and the U.S. She will be releasing her debut album in February, with a Christmas album to follow later next year.

    “Now that it’s all coming together, I’m excited to continue honouring my commitment to learning through art and creativity and discovering myself as an artist,” she said.

    An actress since childhood, her lifelong dream had always been to work in theatre and film — making the Dramatic Arts Department at Brock a perfect fit.

    “It was an amazing education,” she recounted. “At Brock, you spend four years constantly putting it all out there, learning to be vulnerable and available to failure in an environment where you can thrive with help from acclaimed professionals. It’s quite a beautiful thing.”

    Although her passion for the craft was evident, struggling with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and anxiety made focusing on schoolwork extremely difficult.

    “When I got to university, it became very apparent that I was not working at the same level as other people,” she recalled. “That brought out insecurities, shame and questions of why I was even there. I felt like I was drowning.”

    Holmes credited the support she received from Brock’s A-Z Learning Services for helping her overcome those barriers.

    “Feeling empowered to go and ask for the help that I needed or extra time on tests really allowed me to excel,” she said. “The staff at the Learning Centre were patient and taught me how to apply all that I had learned to my schoolwork and in the real world.”

    Her grades went up, she was awarded scholarships and would even receive the Spirit of Brock Award — given to the student who embodies the spirit of Maj.-Gen. Sir Isaac Brock, by inspiring other students — in 2008.

    Department of Dramatic Arts Chair Joe Norris congratulated Holmes on all of her success and her ability to channel the skills she developed with her degree to find success in the arts and life overall.

    “Professors in the Department of Dramatic Arts aspire to inspire students in the entire range of their creative endeavours,” he said.

    Holmes agreed that her theatre background has been key to her success as a performing vocalist.

    “It was because of my theatre background that I am able to perform; it taught me to be fearless,” she said. “Some people would think that someone with anxiety would have a hard time getting up on stage, but it is my escape — and that feels awesome.”

    Shelley Huxley, Brock’s Director of Alumni Relations, said she is always pleased to hear of student successes.

    The Brock University Alumni Association works diligently, she adds, “to keep alumni informed about what’s happening at the University, and we work to connect alumni with each other for personal and professional gain.”

    “As the largest constituency of the University, alumni are our most loyal supporters and our best ambassadors,” she said. “We want our alumni to care about the University long after they’ve graduated. Engaged alumni benefit both the University and each other, but more importantly, engaged alumni help raise the reputation of Brock, and by virtue, the reputation of their degree in the marketplace.”

    This year’s Homecoming celebration takes place from Friday, Sept. 21 to Sunday, Sept. 23 with a variety of activities happening on campus and in the community.

     

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    Categories: Alumni, News

  • Dramatic Arts grads in Toronto Fringe Festival spotlight

    (From The Brock News, Tuesday, August 18, 2018)

    Two plays featuring Brock Dramatic Arts graduates will be playing this week in Toronto as part of the Best of Fringe.

    First Dates, a play about love, loss and people aching to connect, is written and directed by Niagara Falls native and former DART student Wes Berger and features music by his brother, musician and Brock alumnus Aaron Berger (BA ’17).

    Also featured during the Best of Fringe event is Anywhere, the newest work by award-winning playwright Michael Ross Albert starring Brock alumna Cass Van Wyck (BA ’13). The thriller, set in an Airbnb, follows a cordial relationship between strangers that escalates into a tense battle for control.

    Anywhere and First Dates were both selected as 2018 Patron’s Picks at the Toronto Fringe Festival.

    “On behalf of the department, we want to congratulate Wes, Cass and Aaron,” says Professor Joe Norris, Chair of the Department of Dramatic Arts. “As always, we celebrate our students’ successes and are pleased their hard and talented work is recognized in the Ontario theatre community.”

    The Toronto Fringe Theatre Festival provides opportunities for emerging and established artists to share their productions with the community in an affordable and accessible way. The Best of Fringe remounts selected productions at the Studio Theatre, Toronto Centre for the Arts to give patrons a second chance to see the shows.

    Also in July was the Hamilton Fringe Festival, which showcased another production filled with Brock talent. September Songs was directed by Colin Bruce Anthes (BA ’14) and featured five Brock grads. The show will be coming to the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre Nov. 1 to 3.

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    Categories: Alumni, Events, News, Plays

  • Brock students on Broadway

    Cast members from the student-run Mirror Theatre had the unique opportunity to perform in the heart of the New York City theatre district recently.

    On Wednesday, April 25, the cast members performed vignettes from their applied theatre work at the Marriott Marquis hotel.

    Mirror Theatre is a comprised primarily of Brock Dramatic Arts students that produce and perform interactive scenes on a variety of social issues. The group is coached by Dramatic Arts Chair and Professor of Drama in Education and Applied Theatre Joe Norris. It gives students the opportunity to apply the knowledge they learn in their courses in real-world situations. Through experiential education, the students develop life and learning skills that will prepare them for their careers and future studies.

    Mirror Theatre was invited to attend the Arts Based Educational Research (ABER) business meeting in New York City by the ABER Special Interest Group of the American Educational Research Association. At the conference, they presented “Employing Playbuilding Research and Pedagogy in Addressing Educational and Social Issues Facing Youth.” Their scenes addressed issues of academic integrity, seeking help, dealing with gossip, refusing unsafe working conditions, parental pressures and healthy eating.

    Regent cheque for Mirror Theatre

    Regent cheque presented to Mirror Theatre for $500.

    The trip was partially funded by the Regent Student Livings’ Dramatic Arts Student Independent and Outreach Projects fund. Recently, Mitch Allanson (BA ’16) presented Abby Rollo, Mirror Theatre’s President and Lindsey Abrams, Treasurer a cheque for $500. This award will be available to DART students each year and is part of Regent Student Livings investment in the success of the students at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts.

    Cast members of Mirror Theatre include, Lindsey Abrams, Dani Shae Barkley, Kaedyn Brouse, Candice De Freitas Braz, Aaron Drake, Nadia Ganesh, Rosa Moreno, Mike Metz, Abby Rollo, Sumer Seth, Dawson Strangway and Director Joe Norris.

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    Categories: Current Students, Faculty & Instructors, News, Performance Season

  • Brock to host Heritage Fair Wednesday

    Giovann Contini was invited to tour the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts after selecting the school as the subject of his Heritage Fair project.

    Brock will open its doors to more than 100 young history enthusiasts this week.

    The University will host the annual Niagara Catholic Regional Heritage Fair on Wednesday, April 18, welcoming more than 100 elementary students to present their projects.

    Also known as the Historica Fairs Program, the educational fair encourages Niagara Catholic District School Board students in Grades 4 to 8 to develop awareness and interest in Canadian history. Students spend several weeks creating their history projects, which are then presented in class and showcased in their respective school’s gymnasium. The most promising projects then advance to the regional event, held at Brock.

    Students participating in Wednesday’s fair engage in a full day of learning, with morning workshops on Indigenous culture and an afternoon excursion to the Niagara Falls History Museum.

    When mulling over options for his project, Giovann Contini knew there was a building in downtown St. Catharines he was eager to feature — the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts (MIWSFPA).

    Heritage Fair project

    Grade 6 student Giovann Contini chose to do his Heritage Fair project on the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts.

    The Grade 6 student from St. Michael Catholic Elementary School in Niagara-on-the-Lake was drawn to the school because of his love for the arts.

    “At first, I was going to choose the topic of Canadian military weapons through the ages, but I realized I wasn’t as interested in that topic as I thought,” he said. “As I started to look into other topics, I got really excited about what the MIWSFPA was. Since it’s so new, I figured it would be a great opportunity to do something that no one else has done.”

    When Associate Professor of Dramatic Arts Joe Norris got news that Contini was presenting his project on the MIWSFPA, he invited him to the downtown campus for a private tour and interview session.

    “After the tour, I really felt like I would love to go to this school when I’m older. It just has so much to offer,” Contini said.

    Included in the project, to be showcased on Wednesday, are paintings created by Contini.

    He drew inspiration “from the sketches in the painting studio that the Brock students were working on,” he said. As his paintings progressed, he added colours to the black, grey and white background, “symbolizing how art brings colours into our lives and makes it more interesting.”

    The Heritage Fair runs from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the Pond Inlet. This event is open to the public between 4:15 and 4:45 p.m.

    Five winners from regionals will advance to the Provincial Fair in Toronto in June.

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    Categories: Future students, News

  • 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

  • The State of Our Art: Drama in Education and Applied Theatre in Ontario

    The Department of Dramatic Arts, Brock University and the Walker Cultural Leader Series presents:

    The Second Drama in Education and Applied Theatre Symposium.

    January 26 and 27, 2018

    Our world as we know it is rapidly changing, with scholars identifying present events as ‘post-normal’ (O’Connor and Anderson 2015). In this climate of anxiety and political uncertainty, how is the practice of drama in education and applied theatre a means to respond to and attempt to speak back to these times? The lectures and workshops will offer key insights into how our scholars use this practice to grapple with these issues.

    Featuring Julie Salverson (Queens University), Kathleen Gallagher (OISE), and workshops by by Professors: Kathleen Gallagher, Joe Norris (replacing Kathy Lundy as listed in the PDF), Julie Salverson, Larry Schwartz, and Belarie Zatzman.

    for more information download this PDF.

    Keynote: Friday, January 26 7:30pm
    Professor Julie Salverson, Queens University

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

    All of us today, as scholars, artists and citizens, are challenged with listening to and telling forward the story of this home we call Canada. As we consider this task, where are the possibilities for change, for hope, and for honest listening – listening not to consume and extract (what scholar Dylan Robinson calls hungry listening) but to acknowledge and attend? I will talk about ways to think and feel about what it means to witness and respond to calls for justice as whole people who draw upon a rich variety of resources. How do all of us, individually and collectively, honour our own heritage, traditions and teachers? How do we bring these to the table and to how we live, work and attend? What do each of us offer to the conversation? This is about what it means to be “on the ground”, to negotiate the challenge to witness with the alarm and feeling of consequence that entails a meeting with a traumatized environment. I will draw on Karen Barad’s performative metaphysics, Donna Haraway’s “staying with the trouble” and E.V.Walter’s discussion of “places of experience” to re-imagine my ideas of foolish witness.

    Keynote: Saturday, January 27 9:00am
    Professor Kathleen Gallagher, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education

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

    In this keynote, I will use a case study of one research site in Lucknow, India, in my current multi-sited, applied theatre research, Youth, Theatre, Radical Hope and the Ethical Imaginary: an intercultural investigation of drama pedagogy, performance and civic engagement (2014-2019) to consider how drama can ‘speak back to these times’ if we deem- as some social innovation theorists do- the social world as made and imagined. How have the students in India, and how might we in our various pedagogical and creating contexts, use theatre to understand social systems and imagine a progressive sociality? In India, using drama, performance and critical dialogues, the work is both deeply political and radically hopeful through the ways in which it reorients, redefines and revisions the social world. Their classroom practice follows from a 19th century feminist theatre history, I will argue, that enables a transformative ambition, just what is needed in these harrowing global times. As democracies thin under populist and neoliberal regimes across most nation states, the young people and their teachers in India have long understood the power of collective opposition as a social practice and political resistance, but they have also seized upon drama and performance as the most powerful means to this end. Social innovation scholars have suggested that by harnessing what they are calling “collective intelligence”, it may be possible to dramatically improve societies’ ability to tackle seemingly intractable social problems. The students at Prerna school in India have positioned theatre as a “language of care” and a central tool for understanding the political economy and deconstructing the forces of oppression. It is time for all of us to harness the unimaginable, in our classrooms, on our stages, and in the street.

    Workshops: Saturday, January 27, 2018
    DART Studio A workshops: Julie Salverson (10:30 am-1:00 pm) / Belarie Zatzman (2:30-5:00 pm)
    DART Studio C workshops: Joe Norris (10:30 am-1:00 pm) / David Booth (2:30-5:00 pm)
    DART Studio D workshops: Larry Swartz (10:30 am-1:00 pm) / Kathleen Gallagher (2:30-5:00 pm)

    Julie Salverson, Queens University.
    10:30 – 1:00, Studio A
    Who we are as witnesses
    I have facilitated a few sessions this year based on a Quaker practice of holding a question in the light. The question for this workshop is: how can we live together better? I will speak for a few minutes about the deep preparation I require to enter the thorny territory of witnessing, the heritage, traditions and teachings that inform my work, and what a response to these times means to me. I will then invite people in the room to speak to this. There will be no direct interaction or discussion, this is about witnessing and listening.

    Joe Norris, Department of Dramatic Arts, Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts, Brock University.
    10:30 – 1:00 Studio C
    Reexamining Canadian History through Story Circles, Picture Interpretation, Tableaus, Choral Speech and Writing in Role
    Award winner for his publications in his pioneering work in playbuilding as research, duoethnography, a form of dialogic research, and alternative forms of arts-based assessment, Joe also devotes considerable time developing and piloting units of teaching the curriculum through drama. While this workshop will focus specifically on the Klondike, the approaches used can be applied to many curricular topics.

    Larry Swartz, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE), University of Toronto.
    10:30 – 1:00 Studio D
    MORE THAN A PLAY
    This practical interactive workshop will demonstrate strategies for using minimal and dialogue scripts to enhance interpretation skills, to build community and to address social justice issues. Handout provided.

    Belarie Zatzman, Department of Theatre, School of Arts, Media, Performance and Design, York University.
    2:30 -5:00 Studio A
    Performing Objects
    In this workshop, we will consider participatory practices that can be used in history, art and drama classes, or in museum / gallery contexts. We will explore applied theatre strategies for examining and interpreting “performing objects” in order to help us construct our encounters with archival objects or artworks, from the present.

    David Booth, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE), University of Toronto.
    2:30 -5:00 Studio C
    A Novel Approach to Drama
    This workshop will explore the Young Adult novel as a source and inspiration for improvised role playing leading to dramatic scene building. This genre of contemporary literature is written especially for our students, and explores issues of coming of age, relationships, social justice, and identity. As teachers, we can use the themes and events in these texts as stimuli for interpreting, exploring and inventing situations and scenarios as a whole class, working in groups and partners, as we construct our scenes into a playmaking conclusion.

    Kathleen Gallagher, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto.
    2:30 -5:00 Studio D
    Verbatim Theatre: telling other people’s stories
    Physical, ethical, social, and artistic questions converge at the centre of Verbatim Theatre practice. This session will invite participants to explore and examine some of the techniques and practices that are currently in use, in the evolving genre of Verbatim Theatre. Part story-telling, part composite, part-mimicry, part invention, the work will invite critical discussion about the skills, the social value, and the creative impulses connected to this form of theatre-making. Extending its reach beyond theatre and performance, Verbatim has found a place, too, in social science research. Harnessed to ideas about power relations and ‘collaborative’, multi-vocal, qualitative research practices and forms of dissemination, this genre of theatre further opens up discussions about the ever-expanding defi nitions of research methodology.

    Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts, Brock University
    A free community event, please register for the workshops:
    the-state-of-our-art-symposium-workshops.eventbrite.com
    (Maximum 20 per session)

    for more information download this PDF.

    Please note that limited parking is available at the MIWSFPA for guests and presenters on a first come, first served basis.

    Due to multiple event programming on the evening of Friday, January 26 please allow ample time to find nearby parking.

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    Categories: Events, News, Visiting Artists

  • Reflective Practice & Book Launch

    Join us to celebrate the launch of three new books that focus on the role of reflection for professional development, research and teaching. Meet co-editors Joe Norris, Dramatic Arts, Brock University, Rick Sawyer, Education, Washington State University, Vancouver and Hilary Brown, Faculty of Education, Brock University for discussion and Q & A.

    Register online

    Questions? cpi@brocku.ca or 905.688.5550 x3933

    Open to the Brock University community.

    Reflective Practice with Colleagues and Students: Collaborative Approaches
    Tuesday October 18
    12:00 pm-1:00 pm
    TH 253

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    Categories: Announcements, Faculty & Instructors, News

  • Active Citizenship: Drama in Education & Applied Theatre Symposium

    When:
    Friday, January 29, 2016, 7 – 8:30 pm Keynote by Kathy Lundy, with a response by Jonothan Neelands (Open to Public)
    Saturday January 30, 2016, 10 – 4 pm, Workshops by Kathy Lundy and Juliana Saxton (by registration only)
    Sunday January 31, 2016, 10 – 4 pm, Workshop by Jonothan Neelands (by registration only)

    Locations: Friday: Dramatic Arts Theatre, 15 Artists’ Common, Saturday & Sunday: MW 207 & 211, 15 Artists’ Common

    A symposium on the role of Drama in Education and Applied Theatre in exploring concepts of citizenship, community and care as they relate to living with others in structured and unstructured spaces.

    Please contact Yasmine Kandil and Joe Norris for more information.

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    Categories: Events

  • Trio of awards for dramatic arts professor

    (Source: The Brock NewsTuesday, May 19, 2015 | by . Photo: Joe Norris was recently presented with two international awards and one from Brock for his unique approach to research.)

    It has been a busy spring for Joe Norris.

    In the midst of packing up his office to transfer to the new Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts, the dramatic arts professor added three newly acquired items to take with him: two awards from the American Educational Research Association and one from Brock University.

    Norris and Richard D. Sawyer from Washington State University captured the association’s Significant Contribution to Educational Measurement and Research Methodology Award.

    They were recognized for their book, Understanding Qualitative Research: Duoethnography, which Norris and Sawyer co-wrote. The book details the duo’s new research methodology called “duoethnography.”

    This involves two people conversing with one another on the same subject from very different viewpoints. As they gain insights and knowledge through the course of the conversation, the two people begin to change their perspectives. These changes in viewpoints become the research data.

    This differs from traditional information-gathering methods, such as using questionnaires, surveys, interviews, observations and other methods.

    Norris’s second American Educational Research Association recognition is the 2015 Tom Barone Award for Distinguished Contributions to Arts-Based Educational Research, which is given every three years for a lifetime of dedicated research.

    “It is rewarding to know that something you’ve created supports the work of a large number of people,” says Norris of his recognitions and his focus on creating and developing unique research methodologies. “People have come up to me and said I’ve been able to provide a rationale that gives them justification for what they want or need to do.”

    Among his many activities, Norris is credited with transforming playbuilding into a research methodology that uses theatrical devices to create performance/workshops that deepen our understanding of the social world.

    Here, the participatory research “data” includes audience members’ responses to what they see on the stage or video. The audience addresses the problems they see being acted out, teaching themselves about the topic in the process.

    To add to his collection, Norris also won the Faculty of Humanities’ 2015 Humanities Award for Excellence in Research and Creative Activity.

    “Professor Norris’s accumulated record of work in theatre and social issues has certainly earned him this award,” says Carol Merriam, Interim Dean of the Faculty of Humanities.

    “His use of his skills and talents in the exploration of social issues, including mental health issues, violence in the workplace and the negative impacts of alcohol, and the involvement of his students in this work, is especially impressive.”

    Norris says he is heartened by the “generosity, playfulness and rigour” of students involved in his research projects, particularly Mirror Theatre, which he co-ordinates. Norris is currently exploring the pros and cons of the written word compared to other media, such as visual work, performances, dance, music and video.

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    Categories: Faculty & Instructors, In the Media, News

  • Story, Drama, & Video in Personal and Social Contexts – A Research Celebration!

    Mary Code (left), graduate of the Department of Dramatic Arts, is pursuing her MEd at the Faculty of Education at Brock University. Gillian Fournier OCT (right) also a graduate of the Department of Dramatic Arts, MEd from the Faculty of Education at Brock University, is currently teaching at Ridley College in St. Catharines, ON.

    Mary Code (left), graduate of the Department of Dramatic Arts, is pursuing her MEd at the Faculty of Education at Brock University. Gillian Fournier OCT (right) also a graduate of the Department of Dramatic Arts, MEd from the Faculty of Education at Brock University, is currently teaching at Ridley College in St. Catharines, ON.

    On February 28th, 2015 approximately 30 people participated in the Drama in Education and Applied Theatre symposium “Story, Drama, & Video in Personal and Social Contexts” at Rodman Hall of Brock University. The symposium included presentations by former and present graduate students, faculty members, instructors, and a performance by current Drama in Education /Applied Theatre (DIE/AT) students of the Department of Dramatic Arts.

    Professors Yasmine Kandil and Joe Norris, assisted by Kat Gottli (BA Dramatic Arts, MEd Teaching, Learning and Development) organized the event to “create a space for dialogue between students, faculty, instructors, and community members about how we conduct our research and the challenges and rewards of using story, drama, or video to mobilize our work with different target groups.”  The symposium was an opportunity for instructors and students of the Department of Dramatic Arts to share their research and participate in dialogue about the theories and practices of students, colleagues, and mentors in this ever-growing field.

    The day began with a performance by third year DIE/AT students about youth at risk in the alternative education programs and was followed by a rich talkback about the themes explored in the piece.
    (A Better Tomorrow. Jenna Klomp, Victoria Van Sickle, Spencer Walker, Michelle Lemme, Melissa Butera, Maddy DeLuca.)

    In the field of Drama in Education there were presentations that explored the use of drama to engage and better understand cyberbullying (Exploring Cyberbullying Through Drama for Social Intervention. Gillian Fournier, OCT, MEd), identity formation in relation to social media (Do they “like” me? An exploration of the 21st century student’s new socialization experience and its implication for pedagogical practiceMary Code, MEd student, Faculty of Education), body image and self-loathing amongst school children (I’m perfect/Imperfect: Dramatic Explorations of body image with elementary and post-secondary students. Dr. Kari-Lynn Winters, Faculty of Education), Romeo and Juliet as Educational Theatre through Facebook (Facebook Romeo and Juliet as Educational Theatre: An Improbable Fiction? Helen Zdriluk, MEd, Department of Dramatic Arts), and the important roles that artists can play within the classroom environment and curriculum delivery (Playlinks: Investigating an Artist-in-the-Classroom Approach to Enhanced Student Learning. Dr. Debra McLauchlan, Faculty of Education).

    Applied Theatre presentations included topics such as the pitfalls of charity work in the field of international development and the importance of creating change that is sustainable (Keep your coins: We want changeRox Chwalulk, OCT, MEd), as well as an examination of the ethical considerations in the use of personal stories for raising awareness and celebrating experiences of immigration and settling (Personal Stories in Applied Theatre: Redefining the Blurred Lines. Dr. Yasmine Kandil, Department of Dramatic Arts).

    On the topic of Research Dissemination one presentation explored the use of web-based videos to share and mobilize research initiatives (Disseminating Performative Research Through Web-based Videos. Dr. Joe Norris, Department of Dramatic Arts).  From the area of Social Justice and Equity Studies a presentation examined anti-oppressive literature in elementary school classrooms (They’re trying to trick us!” Making sense of anti-oppressive children’s literature in the elementary school classroom. Kate Paterson, MA student, Social Justice and Equity Studies).

    Professor Kandil came from Victoria, British Columbia to join the Department of Dramatic Arts in 2014. Her research investigates the effective methods of Theatre for Development practice by understanding the conditions that provide autonomy and empowerment for marginalized communities.  Her dissertation (University of Victoria) showcases two long-term projects: one carried out with a community of garbage pickers living in the slums of Cairo, and the other with immigrant and refugee youth in Victoria, B.C. Professor Kandil’s current research investigates the relationship between not-for-profit organizations’ arts-based projects and participant autonomy and privacy in projects that depict participants’ real-life experiences.  The outcome will be to produce a guidebook, for use of organizations and artists, which would outline the parameters and ethical considerations when working with people’s real-life stories in community-based theatre projects.

    Please see the following links for more information and to contact Professor Kandil.

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