Articles tagged with: Dramatic Arts

  • Much work to be done on live theatre’s road to recovery, says Brock prof

    Editor’s note: The following article tells about the challenges, enthusiasm for, and success in relaunching the performing arts in the Niagara Region, now 18 months into the pandemic. Students of the Centre for Studies in Arts and Culture may register for the course taught by Professor Fricker, DART 1P91 Introduction to Theatre and Performance, as part of their degree program.


    (above) Brock Dramatic Arts graduate Amanda McDonnell (BA ’15), who is part of the front of house team at the Shaw Festival, welcomed audiences back this summer.

    THURSDAY, AUGUST 26, 2021 | by 

    After 17 months, the live theatrical experience is slowly making its return — but not without challenges ahead, says Brock theatre expert Karen Fricker.

    “Amidst the adversity that live performing arts have been faced with through the pandemic, a wonderful thing has happened this summer: the return of live theatrical performance, because it has been able to be outside,” says the Associate Professor and Undergraduate Program Officer in Dramatic Arts (DART), who is an expert in theatre criticism, theatre theory and contemporary theatre.

    The Shaw and Stratford Festivals, two of Ontario’s most celebrated repertory companies, have been staging performances outdoors under canopies (tents with no walls) with mandatory masks for audiences in addition to capacity limits in accordance with provincial guidance. Both festivals are taking audience, artist and staff safety seriously, with COVID-19 protocols in place, says Fricker, who is also a theatre critic for the Toronto Star, writing about performances in the city as well as the Shaw and Stratford Festivals each summer.

    Although these outdoor performances do not come close to hosting the usual number of spectators, Fricker says this is a “big step in the right direction.”

    “Artists are being paid and creativity is happening,” she says, adding that while “innovative digital work has been heroic during the pandemic, experiencing live performances in a shared space is a joyous return.”

    Brock’s Dramatic Arts Department engages with the Shaw Festival in numerous ways, including the annual DART/Shaw internship and course-based experiences with Shaw artists and arts workers. A number of DART students and graduates work at the festival in front of house, producing and administration, and creative capacities.

    Seeing some of those familiar faces at Shaw this summer has been a particular highlight, Fricker says.

    While outdoor performances are a step in the right direction, Fricker says there is still more work to do. There will be limited live, in-person programming in the performing arts sector this fall, mainly due to unclear guidance from the provincial government around reopening, she says.

    In the early summer, the performing arts industry lobbied the government to address live performances in the official stages of reopening. Now that the performing arts have been included, companies have been able to plan. However, “you can’t just lift a theatre production off in a few weeks; you need a runway,” Fricker says.

    Colleen Smith, Executive Director of the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre (PAC) adjacent to Brock’s Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts, says the team at the PAC has experienced these challenges first-hand.

    “Never did any of us whose lives revolve around bringing together artists and audiences believe that we would witness the end of the age-old adage, ‘the show must go on,’” she says. “In fact, the show stopped for months at a time. It’s been an unbelievable period of disruption, heartache and loss of purpose for so many artists and arts workers.”

    Smith says that “buoyed by our partners at the City of St. Catharines and Brock University, as well as the support from our Board of Directors, we have used the first half of 2021 to develop a three-year recovery strategy that will place the PAC firmly within our community as a centre for creative and artistic experiences and learning.”

    The PAC is planning a gradual return, starting with the annual Celebration of Nations gathering, which will be in a hybrid format in September.

    Among the local theatre organizations taking important steps to make innovative work and engage the public in Niagara safely is the young people’s theatre company Carousel Players, which is focusing on new play development in August and September.

    “We are experimenting with a range of forms, including clown, puppetry and mask,” says Artistic Director and Brock graduate Monica Dufault (MA ’11). “We want to offer new pieces that are dynamic and theatrically alive when we meet our audiences again.”

    The company will present an outdoor performance, The Giant Puppet Party, for Culture Days in October, a new digital play for ages 12 to 17 called Meet Chloe starting in November, and a school touring production of The Velveteen Rabbit for ages four to seven in March 2022.

    Suitcase in Point, another St. Catharines-based theatre company, recently announced the launch of a reimagined In the Soil Arts Festival running Friday, Aug. 27 to Saturday, Sept. 25. The festival includes opportunities to see live, original theatre, new music, comedy acts, installations and participatory workshops. All-inclusive festival passes are available for purchase online.

    DART graduate Deanna Jones (BA ’02), the Artistic Director of Suitcase in Point and In the Soil, says the limits of the last 17 months have been a “unique test on our arts organization and the arts community at large.”

    “We knew this 13th edition of our annual In the Soil Arts Festival would be different, and we were determined to find inspired ways to get off of our screens and offer artists and audiences safe ways to connect — in person.”

    During In the Soil, artists from Essential Collective Theatre will be set up on James and St. Paul Street interviewing community members about their pandemic experiences. Working on this initiative are DART graduates Jordine de Guzman (BA ’20), Kristina Ojaperv (BA ’19) and Ren Reid (BA ’20). The project will culminate in the Pandemic Stories Project, a new play to be read at St. Catharines’ Culture Days in early October.

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    Categories: Alumni, Announcements, Current Students, Events, Faculty & Instructors, Future Students, In the Media, Media Releases, News, Uncategorised

  • DART, MUSI and MARS present in Toronto at PLS (Poculi Ludique Societas) Festival of Medieval Theatre

    vsCOLLEAGUES, STUDENTS, FRIENDS & FAMILY, If you were in Toronto in early June you were fortunate to see a performance of:

    Visitatio Sepulchri
    (the Visit to the Sepulchre)

    A 12th-CENTURY EASTER MUSIC DRAMA
    acting version transcribed and translated
    by W. L. Smoldon from the ‘Fleury Playbook’

    A collaboration between:
    Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies,
    Department of Dramatic Arts, Department of Music

    Part of the PLS (Poculi Ludique Societas) Festival of Medieval Theatre.

    When: Saturday, June 6, 7 p.m.
    Sunday, June 7, 2:30 p.m.
    Where: Trinity College Chapel University of Toronto,  6 Hoskin Avenue

    Music Director: Dr. Brian Power, Department of Music
    Stage Director: Professor Virginia Reh, Department of Dramatic Arts

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    The company of Visitatio Sepulchri in the Trinity College Chapel. Photograph by Mrs. Chin Tso.

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  • Looking for a unique Spring/Summer course? sign-up for Introduction to Physical Theatre

    Theatre Beyond Words - object-based theatre and full-body mask

    Theatre Beyond Words – object-based theatre and full-body mask

    Looking for a unique Spring/Summer course? sign-up for a three week-long intensive Introduction to Physical Theatre taught by the resident theatre company of Brock University, Theatre Beyond Words, during the Spring session of 2012.

    DART 2F04: Physical Theatre – Education through Collective Creation
    Students will explore a wide range of physical theatre styles (mask, mime, pantomime, graphics, theatrical clown, and commedia dell’arte) by recreating a series of scenes from professional repertoire using masks, puppets, costumes and sets from international touring theatre ensemble and Brock Resident Theatre Company, Theatre Beyond Words. This is a 3-week intensive, full-credit course, running 6 hours per day, 5 days per week. There will be a final performance for invited friends, family and staff at the end of the 3 three weeks. As this is a practicum course, attendance at all classes is mandatory.

    More information about this full-credit course may be found here. Enrollment is limited to 20 students. Don’t delay!
    Applicants without previous theatre training at Brock University may enrol with permission of the instructor.

    for more information contact dramatic.arts@brocku.ca

     

     

    Here are some examples of the masks and object-based theatre used by Theatre Beyond Words:

    dart_2f04_composite_72

    And here’s a trailer for their current show on tour, created and performed by Brock students:

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  • A New Spring Session course – DART 1F01: Acting for Non Majors

    img_6810cr-220dart_minor_infosheetv2-flatheader-sm

    Are you interested in Acting, but not a Dramatic Arts Major?
    OR
    Are you a Primary/Junior Concurrent Education Student looking for an introductory course in Acting?
    OR
    Are you looking for an active, engaging Spring Intensive Course?

    DART 1F01: Acting for Non Majors

    Monday, May 2 – Friday, May 13, 2011
    M T W TH F  9:00h  – 16:30h  TH 141

    This course is a rigorous introduction to acting for non majors. There are no pre requisites and no restrictions.

    Contact dramatic@brocku.ca for more information, ext. 5255
    Brock University

    DEPARTMENT OF DRAMATIC ARTS

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