Articles tagged with: MIWSFPA

  • 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 faculty, staff, students and grads performing at In the Soil

    (Source: The Brock News | Wednesday, April 25, 2018 by Alison Innes)

    It’s a festival born out of love for the local community and the arts.

    In the Soil, the three-day, multi-layered and multi-disciplinary festival in St. Catharines, is celebrating its 10th anniversary this weekend, and Brock has played an important role in its growth.

    The festival started as an idea sparked at a Centre for the Arts performance in Sean O’Sullivan Theatre, where Annie Wilson (BA’03), Joe Lapinski (BA’99) and Sara Palmieri (BA ’03) wondered how they help showcase Niagara talent. Three more former Brock students came on board to found the festival in 2009: Deanna Jones (BA ’02), Natasha Pedros (BA ’04) and Jordy Yack.

    They wanted to bring people together with local artists to create a shared experience and celebrate Niagara’s arts scene.

    Brock’s support of In the Soil has been important from the start, says Wilson, who studied Theatre and English.

    “To have the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts right in the downtown core is a dream come true and so is the opportunity to collaborate with so many incredible profs and friends over there,” says Wilson. “Brock University has supported In the Soil Arts Festival from day one and the ongoing investment in us has allowed us to grow it into what it is today.”

    Suitcase in Point Theatre Company, a theatre group founded by graduates from Brock’s Dramatic Arts program, took over organizing the festival in 2012. The group worked to sharpen the festival’s interdisciplinary approach and now has a tradition of showcasing the latest work in theatre, literature, music, film, comedy and site-specific installations.

    Many Brock students, staff, faculty, and grads are exhibiting and performing at this year’s festival in various venues around the downtown core, including:

    • Adrian Thiessen (BA ’10), president and creative head of Fourgrounds Media, will be showing his piece “Please Do Not Disturb the Grapes,” which gives a bird’s perspective of Niagara wine country as part of Rhizomes at Silver Spire United Church.
    • We Who Know Nothing, a theatre group centred in the Department of Dramatic Arts and led by Associate Professor Gillian Raby, will be performing a short piece on colonialism and First Nations histories.
    • Also at Rhizomes, Twitches & Itches Theatre, an ensemble made up largely of Dramatic Arts graduates, will be presenting emerging theatre voices in “The Comments Section,” a collaboration between young artists.
    • Arnie McBay (MA ’13), Visual Arts Facilities Technician at MIWSFPA, and English Professor Gregory Betts will be showing “Signs of Our Discontent” (The Textures of Our Solitude). The site-specific installation at the corner of St. Paul and Garden Park responds to the fading advertisements painted on downtown buildings.
    • Fourth-year Visual Arts student Amber Lee Williams video performance “Self Portrait As A Female Fountain” explores themes of identity and is an extension of her exhibition “Hidden Mother” on until Saturday, April 28 at the MIWSFPA.
    • Dramatic Arts student Matthew Beard is the founder of Big Chicken Improv, an improv group that includes various Brock students. They will be performing long- and short-form improv on Saturday evening.

    Prior to the festival, the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts will be hosting a special event on the evening of April 27 for students from Stamford Collegiate.
    The MIWSFPA is also a festival sponsor.

    What: In the Soil Arts Festival

    When: Friday, April 27 to Sunday, April 29

    Where: Downtown St. Catharines

    Tickets and event details: inthesoil.on.ca

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    Categories: Alumni, Current Students, Events, Faculty & Instructors, News

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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