Articles tagged with: dramatic arts

  • 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. 20, 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, Department/Centre News, News

  • Brock prof and alumna explore circus performance in joint publication

    Associate Professor of Dramatic Arts Karen Fricker and MA graduate Hayley Malouin at the conference Circus and its Others II in Prague this past August. The two have recently published a special double issue of Performance Matters, titled “Circus and Its Others,” exploring questions around circus performance and gender, difference and dis/ability. (Photo by David Konecny)


    (From The Brock News, Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2018 | by Alison Innes)

    For many people, the circus is a place of mystery and wonder, filled with the extraordinary, unusual and strange.

    But what does it mean to be different and what does it mean to perform those differences?

    For Associate Professor of Dramatic Arts Karen Fricker and Brock alumna Hayley Malouin (BA ’15, MA ’17), these questions have led to a joint publication in the emerging field of circus studies.

    The pair launched a special double issue of the journal Performance Matters, titled “Circus and Its Others,” Aug. 28 in Prague at the similarly named Circus and Its Others II conference.

    Inspired by the inaugural Encounters with Circus and its Others conference organized by Fricker with assistance from Malouin in 2016, the publication features contributions from established scholars, graduate students and circus artists from around the world. Many of the contributors were in Prague to participate in the second conference and celebrate at the launch.

    The conference series brings together scholars from around the world to explore questions about the place of difference and “otherness” in contemporary circus.

    “We’re asking questions about circus in a way that allows people who have been working at these questions from different perspectives and different places to jump on board,” says Fricker.

    Malouin, who has an undergraduate degree from Brock in Dramatic Arts, explored ideas of public performance, political protest and public performance of the grotesque as part of her MA in Studies in Comparative Literature and the Arts.

    “Circus is an interesting cultural touchstone because it reflects societal norms about people, community and politics. This is in contrast to the image of circus – which circuses themselves cultivate – as existing on the margins of society,” says Malouin.

    The special issue of Performance Matters was her first foray into academic publishing. In addition to co-editing the issue with Fricker, Malouin worked with other circus scholars, including Brock student Taylor Zajdlik (BA ’15, MA ’17), on a section of the journal exploring questions of queerness and freakery in the circus.

    “It was a great experience to establish myself as someone with those skills,” says Malouin. “I really care about the work, I feel it’s important. It’s a substantial contribution to an emerging field.”

    The special edition also includes work by DART Associate Professor David Fancy on disability and the circus, making reference to a creative research project in which he participated involving intellectually disabled survivors of institutional abuse.

    The questions Fricker and Malouin are researching have application beyond the circus to culture as a whole.

    “What we’re looking at is how questions about difference and otherness play out in certain practices in the contemporary moment,” says Fricker. “And more broadly we’re asking, how do we work to make culture more inclusive?”

    The full issue can be read online for free.

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    Categories: Alumni, Events, Faculty & Instructors, News

  • Vocalist Fides Krucker to open Walker Cultural Leaders Series

    Internationally acclaimed artist and vocalist Fides Krucker, far right, will be the first presenter in the 2018-19 Walker Cultural Leaders Series, presenting on Sept. 19. (Photo by Cam MacLennan)


    (From The Brock News, Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2018 | by Sarah Moore)

    An innovative lecture and performance by renowned vocalist Fides Krucker will open the annual Walker Cultural Leaders Series when it returns to the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts (MIWSFPA) on Wednesday, Sept. 19.

    Krucker, a teacher, interdisciplinary artist and singer, will present in Studio C, located in room MWS 251 of the MIWSFPA.

    Working across Canada and internationally, Krucker has devoted 35 years to contemporary vocal practice. Her experience as a singer of contemporary opera and her interest in non-verbal human sound textures, as well as her strong belief in sustainable vocal practices serves as the basis for her emotionally integrated voice teaching method.

    Brock Assistant Theatre Professor Danielle Wilson is especially looking forward to bringing Krucker to the series this year, as her own research on voice and embodiment techniques in the rehearsal process has links to the work Krucker does.

    “I am excited for her to share her unique perspective on the connectivity of breath, voice, body and creative impulse,” said Wilson. “I had heard of Fides for years as a pioneer of voice work and when I saw In This Body, her show at Canadian Stage this past spring, I knew I had to work with her.”

    In her lecture and performance, Krucker will explore voice through non-verbal vocalization. She offers a unique opportunity for connection through breath; to slow down and connect to the deeply felt, unseen parts of body and mind.

    Wilson and Brock Associate Theatre Professor Gyllian Raby had the opportunity to work with Krucker once before on Sabina’s Splendid Brain, a production opening Friday, Sept. 14 at the Walker School.

    That collaboration further cemented Krucker’s well-deserved place as the series’ opener this year.

    “The connection to breath is at the heart of life,” Raby explained. “Fides is an acting teacher who can sing in five octaves and knows the human shape of poetry. I am honoured and inspired to see her work with our students.”

    Krucker’s concert and demonstration is free and open to the public.

    Seating is limited and is being offered on a first-come, first-served basis.

    The concert marks the first event in another great lineup of workshops and performances in this year’s Walker Cultural Leaders Series, bringing leading artists, performers, practitioners and academics to Brock’s MIWSFPA.

    Elizabeth Vlossak, Director of the Walker School, said the series aims to engage students and the community with outstanding programming and cultural opportunities.

    “Our dynamic and impressive lineup of professionals in this year’s series will present content that is engaging and lively while also being challenging and thought-provoking,” she said. “These sessions celebrate artistic endeavour and achievement, as well as the indelible role of culture in our society.”

    2018-19 Walker Cultural Leader Series:

    Alejandro Cartagena

    Public lecture: Oct. 17, 6 p.m., Robertson Theatre, FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre
    Exhibition opening: Oct. 17, 5 p.m., VISA Art Gallery and Student Exhibition Space
    Exhibition runs: Oct. 4 to Nov. 7

    Christine Cucciniello

    Zine-making workshop: Oct. 18, 4:30 to 7:30 p.m., MWS 229A (inside the Learning Commons).
    To reserve a spot, please contact Catherine Parayre at cparayre@brocku.ca

    David Jalbert

    Masterclass for piano students: Nov. 16, 2:30 to 4 p.m., Cairns Recital Hall, FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre
    Public recital (part of the Encore Series): Partridge Hall, FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre, at 7:30 p.m.

    David Psalmon

    Public talk and workshop: Towards a Contemporary Political Theatre
    Jan. 10 at 7 p.m., Marilyn I. Walker Theatre

    Alinka Echeverria

    Public lecture: Looking Back to Look Forward: The History of Photography in Contemporary Image-Making
    March 7 at 6 p.m., Robertson Theatre, FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre
    The Road to Tepeyac: Opening Reception March 7 at 5 p.m., VISA Gallery
    Exhibition runs March 5 to 26

    Walker String Quartet

    Vera Alekseeva and Anna Hughes (violin), Faith Lau (viola) and Gordon Cleland (cello)
    RBC Music@Noon performance: March 5, Cairns Recital Hall, FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre

    Adam Dickinson

    Author’s talk: March 18 from 1 to 2 p.m., MWS 156

    Shawn Serfas, Adam Dickinson and Lorène Bourgeois

    Serfas, Dickinson and Bourgeois will be celebrated during a book launch through Small Walker Press, which publishes books by professors and students at the MIWSFPA and in the Humanities.
    Guest speaker: acclaimed artist/critic John Kissick
    TBD, week of May 6, MWS 156

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    Categories: Announcements, Events, News, Walker Cultural Leader Series

  • Young artists thrive at MIWSFPA summer camps

    (From The Brock News, Wednesday, August 22, 2018 | by Sarah Moore)

    Young artists were given a backstage pass to the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts this summer as Brock’s Youth University held camps at the School for the first time this July and August.

    More than 70 students from as far as Toronto attended, and participated in camps that focused on arts media, performing arts, or performance props and effects.

    Angela McVittie, a parent of one of the participants, had positive feedback about the experience her daughter had at the camp.

    “My daughter attended Performance Props & Effects camp last week at Marilyn I. Walker and this was an outstanding camp – and an excellent venue!” she said. “She loved the smaller more intimate feel of this camp and said she had time to become friends with every one there.  The staff were incredible, inspiring and professional.  The venue was easy to get to, with plenty of parking.  I really hope camps will be continue to be offered there.”

    The Rodman Hall Art Centre also hosted programming at the school.

     

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    Categories: Events, News

  • Dramatic Arts TA recipient of multiple awards

    Brock’s Three Minute Thesis winner Kaitlyn Kerridge, and award winners Shasha Hu and Jonathan Brower all spoke at the Graduate Student Awards and Donor Recognition Celebration on Thursday, May 10.

    (adapted from: The Brock News Monday, May 14, 2018 | by )

    It wasn’t until he started at Brock University that Jonathan Brower was able to marry his passions: theatre, LGBTQ2 studies and spirituality.

    During the Graduate Student Awards and Donor Recognition Celebration held on campus Thursday, May 10, the Master of Social Justice and Equity Studies student spoke about how the University and its donors have made a difference in his life.

    An actor, playwright and producer, Brower told the more than 100 guests in attendance about how support from donors allows him to focus on his research and continue artistic pursuits, without having to worry about financial pressures.

    “For research to truly be enriched, you need to be able to immerse yourself in it completely,” he said. “Support from donors allows me to focus my creative energy on academia, rather than having to worry about how my bills are being paid. Every layer of support I have received lifts me closer to success.”

    Brower was the recipient of multiple awards at the celebration: a Bluma Appel Graduate Entrance Scholarship for Excellence in Social Sciences, the Scotiabank Graduate Award and a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council CGS Master’s Scholarship.Hosted by the Faculty of Graduate Studies, the awards event celebrated student success and thanked donors for their generous support of graduate students.

    Brower came to Niagara from Calgary, where he co-founded and ran a queer theatre company and wrote and produced a play, oblivion, about the struggle to reconcile faith and sexuality. The production toured Canada over three years, visiting major cities including Vancouver, Calgary, and Toronto, with a stop in St. Catharines last year.

    Starting his master’s at Brock seemed a fitting next step for the student researcher, whose work explores “queer religious agency through narrative inquiry and applied theatre.”

    “My own experience as a queer person in the Christian faith was marginalized, which led to the creation of oblivion,” Brower said. “This thesis project takes things a step further using collective theatre creation to bring the experiences of queer individuals from different faith backgrounds into conversation.”

    In 2017-18 Brower was a teaching Assistant in the Department of Dramatic Arts for the courses DART 1F91 Introduction to Theatre and Performance (Dr. Jacqueline Taucar, Instructor) and DART 4F56 Advanced Studies in Theatre (Professor Gyllian Raby).  He recently collaborated on WE WHO KNOW NOTHING ABOUT HIAWATHA ARE PROUD TO PRESENT HIAWATHA as part of the Rhizomes for the 2018 In The Soil Festival.

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

  • Brock calendar packed with high school events

    Port Colborne High School students were taken on a tour of campus Tuesday, May 8.

    (excerpted from: Brock News Tuesday, May 08, 2018 | by 

    Now that Winter Term has come to an end, it’s high season for high school students on campus.

    Brock has been buzzing with activity over the past two weeks, with secondary students from across Niagara and the GTA taking tours, listening to presentations, participating in lab demonstrations and getting a taste for life on campus.

    That jam-packed lineup continues this week, with the addition of the popular Scientifically Yours event May 10 and 11, and the Ontario Classics Conference May 10 to 12.

    “For many high school students, University campuses can seem very intimidating at first,” said Jamie Mandigo, Brock’s Vice-Provost, Enrolment Management and International. “Some have never set foot on a University campus while others may be the first in their family to apply and attend University. Providing students with a welcoming first impression of Brock is critical to reassuring them that they will have a positive student experience during their time with us.”

    Included in the many high school events that have happened recently at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts are:

    • April 27 — Stamford Collegiate performed at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts (MIWSFPA) as part of In the Soil Arts Festival.
    • May 5 — The Department of Dramatic Arts held its invitational and weekend tours for high school students.
    • May 7 — About 500 students from the District School Board of Niagara rehearsed at the MIWSFPA for Music Monday, before performing at the Meridian Centre that evening.
    • May 8 — About 60 Grade 10 and 11 students from Thorold High School, Eastdale Secondary School and Port Colborne High School visited for campus tours, presentations and a Dramatic Arts activity with Professor Joe Norris and his improv students; The Grade 9 drama students from Holy Cross Catholic Secondary School performed their original self-produced children’s play in the Marilyn I. Walker Theatre for elementary and secondary school students of the NCDSB.
    • May 9 — Niagara Catholic District School Board students rehearsed and participated in workshops at the MIWSFPA for Music Day before performing at the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre in downtown St. Catharines.
    • May 10 — The Grade 9 drama students from Holy Cross Catholic Secondary School performed their original self-produced children’s play in the Marilyn I. Walker Theatre for elementary and secondary school students of the NCDSB

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    Categories: Events, Future Students, In the Media, News

  • 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: Announcements, Current Students, Department/Centre News, News

  • Graduating students present gritty play about oil in Canada

    The cast of Lac/Athabasca takes the stage from April 12 to 14 in the Marilyn I. Walker Theatre for the last Dramatic Arts production of the 2017-18 season.

    For the final production of the regular 2017-18 season, Brock’s fourth-year Dramatic Arts students will tackle some hard-hitting Canadian issues.

    The DART 4F56 ensemble will present Len Falkenstein’s award-winning play Lac/Athabasca in the Marilyn I. Walker Theatre. The production, inspired by the Lac-Mégantic train explosion of 2013, tells the dark truth of the forces behind the disaster.

    Co-directed by Professor Gyllian Raby and student Mark Dickinson, the play premiered at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts on Thursday, April 12 and will continue nightly until Saturday, April 14.

    Production poster designed by Michelle Mohammed. click to download a PDF copy.

    Audiences follow the train filled with explosive fuel as it journeys across time and place, beginning with townsfolk sharing their experiences of the tragic event and lamenting for the lives lost. The crowd is taken to tour the magnificent Athabasca glacier and meets workers at the oil sand companies in Fort McMurray, witnessing Canada’s exploitation of its land and peoples from the 1800s to now. The beauty and terror of these encounters reveal a Canadian dream as twisted as the train tracks that stretch across it.

    The DART 4F56 students unanimously picked the play not only because of its Canadian roots, but also because “it’s about something that matters,” says Raby. The production tells the story of the train explosion, but audiences can also “expect to see a First Nations story play out,” she says.

    “We were fortunate enough to be advised by Adrienne Smoke of the Six Nations and William Constant, a Cree mentor, to make sure we were approaching the Indigenous story correctly.”

    On a daily basis, Canadians are reading about the problem of oil and the exploitation of natural resources. Lac/Athabasca is a deeply Canadian play that provokes reflection on corporate greed, environmental policies and the future transportation of oil.

    In addition to Dickinson, the 2017-18 Dramatic Arts fourth-year ensemble features cast members Mackenzie Kerr, Adrian Marchesano, Sarah Marks, Michelle Mohammed, Tarndeep Pannu, Naomi Richardson and Kaylyn Valdez-Scott. Set construction is by Helena Ciuciura, costume design by Samantha Mastrella, properties design by Rebecca Downing, sound design by Jillian Wardell, lighting design by Meryl Ochoa, and projections design and production management by Chelsea Wilson, assisted by guest instructor and Brock University Dramatic Arts alumnus, James McCoy. The production team also includes Allie Aubry as stage manager and Candice Burn as head of publicity.

    Lac/Athabasca plays Friday, April 13 and Saturday, April 14 at 7:30 p.m. at the MIWFSPA in downtown St. Catharines. Tickets are $5 (plus taxes and fees) from the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre box office at 905-688-0722 or online. Tickets will also be available at the door. Limited parking is available onsite.


    see the preview article by Mike Balsom on YourTV Niagara/Cogeco

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

  • Dramatic Arts students explore the theme of Expectation and Reality

    The popular One Act Festival is coming back to the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts this weekend. Pictured is the performance of All by Myself from the 2017 One Act Festival directed by Naomi Richardson, designed by Chelsea Wilson and featuring Rebecca Downing, Jessica Johnson, Alex Boychuk, Lauren Reed and David Poirier.

    The popular One Act Festival is returning to the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts this weekend.

    Students from the Dramatic Arts Directing II course (DART 3P54) have been hard at work developing their plays under the supervision and guidance of instructor Neil Silcox and teaching assistant Kevin Hobbs. The experiential course offers students practical and real-world experience as directors, dramaturges, performers, designers and theatre technicians, often for the first time.

    Silcox says “Brock does a great job of balancing out the theoretical and experiential aspects of dramatic arts” compared to the other programs he’s worked for.

    “Developing a strong understanding of theories and then being able to get on your feet and actually do it is the only way to learn to do performing arts,” Silcox says.

    Directing II students are responsible for selecting a script, auditioning a cast, rehearsing, designing the show and co-ordinating with the dramatic arts production team on all technical needs.

    This year, the festival is presenting six shows under the theme “Expectation and Reality.”

    Silcox says he discovered the theme “after reading through each of the students’ chosen acts side by side.”

    “We didn’t offer this theme to the students and make them try to select something,” he says.

    This process allows the students to have full control and individuality with their acts, but also challenges them to tweak their shows in a way that highlights the theme more.

    “Although it may seem cliché, audience members should expect the unexpected,” says Silcox.

    The shows range from century old to extremely contemporary, absurdism to strongly political, all exploring this year’s theme from a unique angle.

    Shows being presented this year include Articulation by Alicia Richardson, Your Mother’s Butt by Alan Ball, Echo by Joseph T. Shipley, The Little Stone House by George Calderon, The Lesson by Eugene Ionesco, and The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre by Allan Knee.

    All shows take place in the Marilyn I. Walker Theatre of the MIWSFPA on Saturday, March 24 and Sunday, March 25 starting at 7 p.m. each night. Admission is pay-what-you-can and limited paid parking is available nearby. For more information on the 2018 One Act Festival, visit the Dramatic Arts website.

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    Categories: Current Students, Events, In the Media, News

  • Dramatic Arts offers three-day lineup of events

    Ruth Howard of Jumblies Theatre, Kerr Mesner of Arcadia University, and Lina de Guevara of Puente Theatre, will be part of three days of programming presented by Brock’s Department of Dramatic Arts from March 15 to 17.

    It will be a busy week for Brock’s Department of Dramatic Arts, with a theatrical performance, panel discussion and series of public workshops all lined up in a matter of three days.

    The programming, sponsored by the Walker Cultural Leader Series, takes place Thursday, March 15 to Saturday, March 17 at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts (MIWSFPA) in downtown St. Catharines.

    Kerr Mesner, of Pennsylvania’s Arcadia University, will kick-off the three-day lineup Thursday with the debut of In Transit: Artistic Interventions in Precarious Times. The one-person performance piece combines multimedia, live theatrical performance and audience engagement to create an evocative and thought-provoking dramatic experience. His autoethnographic theatrical piece explores the intersections of queer identities, Christianity’s contributions to anti-queer violence and the challenges of embodying transgender identities within current political contexts.

    Mesner weaves a story arc between live theatrical performances from his 2017 piece, In Transit, and multimedia excerpts from the film version of his 2014 play, Intervention, that was part of his doctoral dissertation.

    He performs in the Marilyn I. Walker (MIW) Theatre Thursday, March 15 from 7 to 9 p.m.

    On Friday, March 16, a panel discussion, “Tensions of Engagement in the Canadian Immigrant Theatre Context,” will take place in the MIW Theatre at 7 p.m.

    Ruth Howard of Jumblies Theatre, Lina de Guevara of Puente Theatre and Professor Yasmine Kandil of Brock University will discuss how applied theatre with immigrants and refugees in Canada has evolved over the past few decades. Moderated by Brock Professor Natalie Alvarez, the panel will examine whether the medium has had a positive and tangible impact on this community, and on settler Canadians.

    Kandil began her immigrant journey in Victoria, B.C., where she worked on multiple projects exploring celebration as a means for immigrant youth to claim a space in their new home. She is currently engaged in the second phase of devising a theatre piece that examines narratives of immigration and settlement for Brock students and local immigrants and refugees in relation to expectations, obstacles and assimilation.

    Beginning Saturday, March 17, Brock’s visiting scholars and theatre makers, including two panelists from the previous evening’s event, will present workshops about their work in the Dramatic Arts field.

    Howard, founder of Toronto-based Jumblies Theatre, explores her recent Four Lands touring project in a workshop held in Studio B of the MIWSFPA from 10 a.m. to noon. Her work on issues of diversity has won many awards. Jumblies Theatre is known for its work with minority groups, engaging non-artists and a larger spectrum of participants through community-based theatre.

    Following from 1 to 3 p.m. in Studio C will be de Guevara’s workshop, which examines the different tools used to research immigrant and refugee narratives. She was the first immigrant artist to establish a theatre company in Victoria that focused solely on promoting the narratives of immigration and settlement, with the purpose of bridging the gap between the minority group and predominantly white culture of Victoria. Her work has spread to other provinces in Canada since she began her Canadian journey almost 40 years ago.

    Admission to all three days of programming is free thanks to sponsorship from the Walker Cultural Leader Series, founded by Marilyn I. Walker. However, participants are asked to register for the March workshops in advance through Eventbrite.

    The Walker Cultural Leader Series brings leading artists, performers, practitioners and academics to the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts at Brock University.

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    Categories: Announcements, Department/Centre News, Events, In the Media, News, Walker Cultural Leader Series