Articles tagged with: Karen Fricker

  • Join us for the special two-day colloquium ‘The Changing Face of Theatre Criticism in the Digital Age,’ beginning February 21, 2014.

    Jill Dolan

    In photo: Jill Dolan

    Listening to theatre companies, they’ve never needed theatre critics more. Listening to them after a bad review, they’ve also never resented them more. This strange dance of mutual need has been going on since the first time someone recited dialogue on stage, and someone in the next day’s paper wrote “it doth sucked, verily.” But what of that relationship today? Do critics matter? Can anyone with a blog call themselves a theatre critic? Are critics there to serve theatre companies or readers? (John Law)

    See the complete article by John Law in the Niagara Falls Review about his upcoming participation in the two-day colloquium ‘The Changing Face of Theatre Criticism in the Digital Age‘ organized by Professor Karen Fricker of the Department of Dramatic Arts on the occasion of the special visit by Jill Dolan, Annan Professor in English, Professor of Theater in the Lewis Center for the Arts, Director, Program in Gender and Sexuality Studies, at Princeton University, noted theatre blogger (thefeministspectator.com) and a Walker Cultural Leader for 2013-14.  Special guests J. Kelly Nestruck of The Globe and Mail and Richard Ouzounian of the Toronto Star will join local guests and luminaries including cultural leaders like Jackie Maxwell, artistic director of the Shaw Festival, and Steve Solski, director of the St. Catharines Centre for the Performing Arts.

    The two day program begins this Friday morning with the public lecture, “Moving the Body Politic: How Feminism and Theatre Inspire Social Re-imaginings” by Professor Jill Dolan.  The lecture is presented in association with the Department of Dramatic Arts and the Centre for Women’s and Gender Studies.

    For a complete list of participants and more information please see the Brock News Article, the Department of Dramatic Arts and the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts web pages.

    Come join us! There is no charge to attend and engage in what will surely be a remarkable exchange of ideas and opinions in this “blossoming” cultural scene of Niagara (Professor Karen Fricker).

    All events will be live-streamed at BrockVideoCentre’s DART channel  [Click on the “live video” button on that page.]

    Tags: , , , , , , , , ,
    Categories: Announcements, Events, News

  • Brock community event looks at theatre criticism in the digital age

    (Source: The Brock News, Monday, February 10, 2014)

    An upcoming series of community discussions at Brock University later this month will debate the question: is everyone a critic?

    Media professionals, theatre experts, scholars and students will assemble in Sankey Chamber at Brock Feb. 21 and Feb. 22 to take part in the colloquium, The Changing Face of Theatre Criticism in the Digital Age, hosted by the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts.

    “The rise of blogging and Twitter, combined with the decline of print journalism, is raising important questions about what counts as legitimate, professional criticism,” says Karen Fricker, event co-ordinator and a professor of dramatic arts. “Our discussions will focus on the current critical scene in Niagara, as well as imagining possible futures for the arts in our community.”

    Panel members include two of Toronto’s most influential theatre critics: J. Kelly Nestruck of The Globe and Mail and Richard Ouzounian of the Toronto Star. Others include local figures like Jackie Maxwell, artistic director of the Shaw Festival, and Steve Solski, director of the St. Catharines Centre for the Performing Arts.

    The colloquium will also feature international critics: Jill Dolan, Princeton University professor and noted theatre blogger (thefeministspectator.com); Maddy Costa, a London, England blogger and journalist; and Andy Horwitz, founder of New York arts blog culturebot.net

    Dolan is visiting Brock as part of the Walker Cultural Leaders series. While here, she will deliver a public lecture, “Moving the Body Politic: How Feminism and Theatre Inspire Social Re-imaginings.” Her lecture, co-sponsored by the Department of Dramatic Arts and Centre for Women’s and Gender Studies at Brock, takes place Friday, Feb. 21, from 10 a.m. to 12 noon, also in Sankey Chamber.

    All of these events are free and open to the public.

    Funding for these events is provided by the Walker Cultural Leaders Series, the Brock Humanities Research Institute and the SSHRC Institutional Grant scheme, and the St. Catharines Performing Arts Centre.

    All events will be live-streamed.  [Click on “live video”]

    SCHEDULE: The Changing Face of Theatre Criticism in the Digital Age

    All events take place in Sankey Chamber at Brock University

    FRIDAY, FEB. 21:

    * 2 – 2:30 p.m.: Welcome
    Presentation by Brock dramatic arts students from the third-year class, Studies in Praxis – Theatre Criticism

    * 2:30 – 4 p.m.: Panel discussion “Critics and the arts in Niagara”

    • Jill Dolan (respondent)
    • Monica Dufault, artistic director, Essential Collective Theatre
    • David Fancy, associate professor of Dramatic Arts, Brock University, co-artistic director, neXt Company Theatre (chair)
    • John Law, arts and entertainment writer, Sun Media
    • Sara Palmieri, co-founder, In the Soil Festival
    • Stephen Remus, minister of energy, minds, and resources, Niagara Arts Centre
    • Steve Solski, director, St. Catharines Centre for the Performing Arts
    • Candice Turner-Smith, managing director, Niagara Symphony Orchestra

    * 4:15 – 5:45 p.m.: Panel discussion “Embedded criticism: a new way forward, or criticism-as-PR?”

    • Maddy Costa, critic and blogger
    • Karen Fricker
    • Andy Horwitz, founder, culturebot.org
    • Jackie Maxwell, artistic director, Shaw Festival
    • Jacob Gallagher-Ross, assistant professor of theatre, University of Buffalo (respondent)
    • Lawrence Switzky, assistant professor of Drama, University of Toronto at Mississauga (chair)

    SATURDAY, FEB. 22:

    * 10 – 10:30 a.m.: Welcome
    Presentation by Brock dramatic arts students from the third-year class, Studies in Praxis – Theatre Criticism

    * 10:30 a.m. – 12 noon: Panel discussion “Bloggers, critics, and cultural legitimation”

    • Jill Dolan
    • Karen Fricker (chair)
    • Andy Horwitz (respondent)
    • J. Kelly Nestruck, lead theatre critic, The Globe and Mail
    • Richard Ouzounian, lead theatre critic, Toronto Star
    • Holger Syme, chair, Department of English and Drama, University of Toronto at Mississauga, and blogger (disposito.net)
    • Odette Yazbeck, director of public relations, Shaw Festival

    * 12:15 – 1 p.m.: Colloquium wrap-up

    • Maddy Costa; Jill Dolan; Karen Fricker (chair); Rosemary Drage Hale, director of the Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, Brock University; and Andy Horwitz

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

  • Dramatic Arts Professor launches a new look at the Eurovision Song Contest

    Performing the 'New' Europe: Identities, Feelings and Politics at the Eurovision Song Contest

    Performing the ‘New’ Europe: Identities, Feelings and Politics at the Eurovision Song Contest

    Professor Karen Fricker of Brock University’s Dramatic Arts Department has spent the last decade attending “Europe’s favourite TV show”, the Eurovision Song Contest.

    Professor Fricker, who lectures in the praxis concentration, spent a week last May in Malmö, Sweden where she launched her new co-edited book Performing the ‘New’ Europe: Identities, Feelings and Politics at the Eurovision Song Contest at the centre of the annual pop song festival watched by over 170 million people all over the world.

    Performing the ‘New’ Europe: Identities, Feelings and Politics at the Eurovision Song Contest argues that this popular music competition is a symbolic contact zone between European cultures: an arena for European identification in which both national solidarity and participation in a European identity are confirmed, and a site where cultural struggles over the meanings, frontiers and limits of Europe are enacted.

    With her new book, Karen has received much attention as a Eurovision media expert. She covered the contest as a journalist for the Irish Times and wrote a blog post this year for the Guardian about the U.K. and Eurovision.

    The Department of Dramatic Arts is celebrating the launch of Professor Fricker’s book on September 26th in TH 235 from 5:00pm – 6:00pm. Refreshments and musical entertainment will be provided, as well as a brief and entertaining introduction to all things Eurovision.

    Tags: , ,
    Categories: Faculty & Instructors, News

  • Dramatic Arts Professor Karen Fricker receives Excellence in Teaching Award at McGill University

    The Department of Dramatic Arts at Brock University congratulates Professor Karen Fricker for her recent Award for Excellence in Teaching at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec.  Professor Fricker is the first recipient of The Charles Bronfman and Rita Mayo Award for Excellence in Teaching at the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada. This is based on evaluations of her Fall, 2013 course, Performing Québec in the Global Age. The award was granted by a jury consisting of Professors Robert Leckey and Nathalie Cooke, and MISC Director Will Straw.

    The Award was established in 2012 with a gift from Heather Munro-Blum and Leonard Solomon-Blum. The Award recognizes outstanding teaching at the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada in the Faculty of Arts, with special emphasis on advancing the interest of students in the study of Canada. All faculty in the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada are eligible for the Award, which has a total value of $1,000.

    The MISC congratulates Professor Fricker on this Award and thanks her for her excellent contributions to their teaching program.
    See the original news posting on the website of the MISC at McGill University.

    Tags: , ,
    Categories: Faculty & Instructors, News

  • Khalida: a play for the Arab Spring, opens in St. Catharines at the Sullivan-Mahoney Theatre

    khalida_12r15By Dr. Karen Fricker and staff

    The story told in Khalida, a new theatre production playing this week in St Catharines, might at first glance seem somewhat removed from the experience of many Canadians. Subtitled ‘a play for the Arab Spring’, it takes the form of the confession and testimony of Said, a man on the run from his native Middle Eastern country, which has become a battle zone.

    But the play’s origins couldn’t be more local: it springs from the friendship between author/director David Fancy, Associate Professor of Dramatic Arts at Brock, and the Iraqi actor Addil Hussain, who received a BA in Dramatic Arts degree from Brock in 2006.

    ‘Addil was Saddam Hussein’s favourite actor,’ Fancy explains. ‘He fled Iraq during the first Gulf War and, after living as a refugee in Jordan for six or seven years, finally ended up in Canada. He did a degree in the Drama in Education and Society stream at Brock and became a Canadian citizen’. Audiences might remember Hussain’s performances in two of the three plays performed in An Arabian Trilogy, a departmental Mainstage production in 2006. In the third play he performed the role of the father in Leila Tatadaffah Bil Rasass. Mun Youaniquha? (By the Warmth of the Bullet that Kills) set in modern-day Baghdad and written by another Brock graduate Abbas Aldilami.

    Fancy says he wrote the play ‘for the express purpose of continuing a conversation with Addil, having witnessed the challenges that he experienced as an individual and as an artist finding a voice as a new Canadian.’ The play is being produced by neXt Company Theatre, of which Fancy is co-artistic director.

    While his friendship with Hussain offers fascinating insight into Khalida’s origins, Fancy believes an appreciation of the production does not rely on this backstory. ‘This is about a person somewhere in the world who has experienced difficulty and is using creativity to frame that and move beyond it,’ he explains.

    The role of Said is being played by Toronto-based actor Jason Jazrawy, whose father is from Iraq. Jazrawy calls Said ‘an Arabic Everyman who whom all ethnicities can relate’ and says he welcomes the opportunity to ‘portray an Arab as a positive role model for a change,’ having found himself often cast as a terrorist jihadi because of his heritage.

    Alongside Khalida, neXt Company Theatre has facilitated a community engagement project, The Arab Spring Monologues, which features 9-10 Niagarans, including four Brock students and recent graduates, writing about how the Arab Spring connects with their own experience or with the region.

    Students from across the DART concentrations – Applied Theatre and Drama in Education, Theatre Praxis, Performance, and Production and Design – will be attending the production. The production presents an excellent model for the Brock students’ creative investigations in writing and dramaturgy, performance, and production, as well as personal and social identities and citizenship, remarks the Chair or the Department, David Vivian.

    As for Addil Hussain, he returned to the Middle East in 2010, and is now working as an actor in Baghdad. Despite being half a world away, this production of Khalida is very much on his radar. Via Facebook, he sent this message to Fancy and his collaborators: ‘Khalida was just a wish, and an idea, then became reality… I’m fully confident that Khalida is in great hands, hands with a great level of professionalism. Break a leg!’
    ———-
    Khalida plays at the Sullivan Mahoney Courthouse Theatre from 26 February-2 March. Tickets are available here. The Arab Spring Monologues play 5-7 pm on Saturday, March 2 at Robertson Hall, 85 Church Street, St. Catharines. Admission free; groups are requested to contact the company in advance here.

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

  • Dramatic arts prof interviewed on national radio

    Karen Fricker, assistant professor of Dramatic Arts, was inteviewed on CBC Radio's Q Monday morning.

    Karen Fricker, assistant professor of Dramatic Arts, was inteviewed on CBC Radio’s Q Monday morning.

    (Source: The Brock NewsMonday, January 21, 2013 | by )

    A Brock University dramatic arts professor was interviewed on national radio about the current state of affairs of entertainment giant Cirque du Soleil.

    Karen Fricker was a guest Monday on CBC Radio’s Q, a daily arts and culture magazine. The assistant professor talked about the implications of Montreal-based Cirque du Soleil’s recent announcement that it was laying off 400 people.

    “This is significant because Cirque du Soleil is a very strong brand and usually the coverage around it is positive,” Fricker said.

    The segment of the show, hosted by Jian Ghomeshi, looked at whether the company was in crisis and if the layoffs meant the end of a Canadian success story made world famous for its performances that incorporate gravity-defying acrobatics and stunning choreography.

    From Fricker’s perspective, Cirque du Soleil isn’t going anywhere but it has grown at an unsustainable rate.

    The company has even admitted to not having appropriate control over its spending.

    “That’s an important admission,” Fricker said. “They’re making money but they’re spending too much and (cutting jobs) is a line in the sand, a signal their practices need to change .”

    Fricker was joined by J. Kelly Nestruck, a theatre critic for the Globe and Mail, on the show.

    The segment will air again Monday night on CBC Radio One at 10 p.m. and can be heard online or as a podcast.

    Tags: , , , , ,
    Categories: Faculty & Instructors, News

  • Incoming DART professor reports about the Eurovision Contest from Baku, Azerbaijan

    karenfrickerA spotlight is shining on Azerbaijan this May as it hosts Eurovision, the annual European song contest known for its outlandish performances, and viewed on TV by more than 100 million people. But it’s not all glitz this year. While Azerbaijan attempts to show off its strength to the world, it’s also come under scrutiny by activist groups for its unsavoury human rights record, and its crackdown on anti-government protestors and journalists leading up to the contest.

    Karen Fricker is co-founder of the Eurovision and ‘New’ Europe academic research network who is covering the contest for the Irish Times. She recently reported on what these negative reports mean for the Eurovision Contest and Azerbaijan for the program Q hosted by Jian Ghomeshi on CBC Radio. She is a lecturer in contemporary theatre at Royal Holloway, University of London and deputy London theatre critic for Variety.  You can read more about her research activities in her profile at Royal Holloway. We are delighted that she will be joining her new colleagues at the Department of Dramatic Arts at Brock University in January 2013.

    You can listen to the report here or here. (22:44)

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