Articles tagged with: joe norris

  • Brock project aims to improve long-term care for veterans and brain injury patients

    Brock University alumni now with Mirror Theatre perform a scene in Understanding person-centred care: Finding dignity within the shadows, a video series as part of a research project between Brock and Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre.

    (From: The Brock News, THURSDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2019 | by Dan Dakin)

    Two Brock University faculty members from seemingly unrelated disciplines have collaborated on a project aimed at improving the relations of those involved in long-term care.

    Associate Professor of Recreation and Leisure Studies Colleen Whyte, and Professor of Dramatic Arts Joe Norris, were at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto Wednesday, Oct. 2 for the premiere of Understanding person-centred care: Finding dignity within the shadows.

    Two years ago, Sunnybrook Professional Practice and Education Leader Leanne Hughes came to Whyte with a research idea about how to help staff and family deal with the challenges associated with two specific groups in long-term care: veterans living with dementia and patients recovering from traumatic brain injuries.

    “I’ve known Leanne for 15 years and we’ve done research together in the past,” Whyte said. “She came to me and said: This is an issue we have. How do you think we could look at researching it?’”

    “What we’re looking at are person-centred approaches,” said Hughes, referring to a growing emphasis in health care that invites patients and family members to be involved in decision-making and strategizing ways to care for individual patients from a wide-range of services. It’s a more collaborative care model than a traditional top-down medical approach to care.

    In the fall of 2018, Whyte led research that included focus groups of those working in long-term care at the Toronto hospital such as doctors and hospital staff, as well as families of those in care.

    Brock University professors Joe Norris and Colleen Whyte hand a USB drive to Leanne Hughes from Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. Brock and Sunnybook partnered on a research project that included a 20-part video around patient-centred care. Pictured from left are Brock alumni Nadia Ganesh, Candice De Freitas Braz and Mike Metz, Hughes, Norris, Brock master’s student Kevin Hobbs, Whyte and Brock alumni Bernadette Kahnert.

    “We interviewed people who are doing this every day,” Whyte said. “This research is about taking the principles of person-centred care and trying to see how they are translated on a daily basis, when all partners experience unexpected challenges.”

    With the focus group data in hand, Whyte then turned to Norris, Chair of Brock’s Department of Dramatic Arts, who worked with the student-run Mirror Theatre to translate the conversations into dramatic action, known as ethnodrama and applied theatre.

    “We took the focus group transcripts, read them, analyzed them and created dramatic scenes,” said Norris. “The purpose is to evoke conversations.”

    The result is a 20-part video series, each dealing with a different component of the long-term care experience. They range from something as simple the challenge of what to pack when a family member is moved into a new living situation to what to do when a patient whose mind no longer has much of a filter says something that crosses a line.

    “It’s all about answering the question of ‘How do we treat each other with respect in stressful situations?’” Norris said.

    He said the Dramatic Arts students who were acting the parts in the videos — including the patients who are represented as shadowed silhouettes rather than specific people — learned about more than just acting.

    “Many cast members say they don’t only get extra-curricular experience with theatre, they get the experience of dealing with a range of topics. It’s like an extra class for them,” he said.

    With the video series now complete, the next stage of the project is to create workshops for staff and families.

    “It gives staff some insight and helps them think, ‘If I’m in this situation, let me strategize and be thoughtful about what options I have,’” she said. “It will equip new staff with possibilities and allow existing staff to be reflective about their approaches.”

    Brock University alumni Nadia Ganesh, Bernadette Kahnert, Lindsay Detta and Candice De Freitas Braz interpret a scene from Finding dignity within the shadows at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto Wednesday, Oct. 2.

    Hughes said when the final videos were shown to those working with veterans suffering from dementia and patients dealing with brain injuries, the staff were impressed with how accurate they were in reflecting the situations they deal with.

    “It has been an absolute pleasure to see students take this data and enact it,” Hughes said. “We were in awe of their ability. They did a fantastic job.”

    The project, which was funded by a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Insight Development Grant and a Practice-Based Research and Innovation Seed Grant from Sunnybrook, will continue with the development of facilitator tools and training sessions. Those will be developed and led by Norris and Kevin Hobbs, a master’s student in Social Justice and Equity Studies, who directed the Finding dignity within the shadows series and incorporated the research into his master’s thesis.

    “They’re training videos, but not in the sense of, ‘Here’s how you give a needle,” said Norris. “It’s more of a dialogic conversation where our audiences are invited to comment on the scenes and add their own insights and stories.”

    Watch the full Understanding Person-Centred Care video below and individual scene videos can be found at this link

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    Categories: Alumni, Department/Centre News, Faculty & Instructors, In the Media, News, Uncategorised

  • All the world’s a stage for Brock student turned Shaw Festival intern

    Brock Dramatic Arts student Mae Smith gets acquainted with the Shaw Festival theatre in Niagara-on-the-Lake on her first day as the festival’s newest intern.


    (From The Brock News, April 25, 2019 | By: Sarah Ackles)

    Brock Dramatic Arts student Mae Smith is ready to put her in-class learning to the test as she embarks on an eight-week internship with the venerable Shaw Festival.

    Smith, who began in the new role this week, will use her production and design skills as she works alongside Kevin Lamotte, Shaw’s Head of Lighting, Wayne Reierson, Head of Props, and other Shaw staff on the productions of BrigadoonThe Lady Killers, and Sex.

    The shows will run at the festival this summer and fall in Niagara-on-the-Lake.

    Kate Hennig, Associate Artistic Director of the Shaw Festival, said the internship allows students to gain experience in a range of festival activities under the direction of industry professionals.

    Kate Hennig (left), Associate Artistic Director of the Shaw Festival, meets with Mae Smith, Brock’s Department of Dramatic Arts 2019 Shaw Festival intern.

    “In addition to her daily work calls, Mae will have access to the onstage and backstage life of one of North America’s busiest repertory theatres,” she said. “She will meet theatre artists from across Canada and around the world, and will have unique opportunities to attend many lectures, discussions and ancillary events during her residency.”

    Smith said she’s looking forward to the experiential learning opportunities the internship provides and to developing techniques and strategies for staging a production.

    “I’ve had a lot of practical experiences at Brock, but this internship will be quite specific and I’m excited to learn more about lighting design and props construction,” she said. “I also hope I can gain connections with other professionals that will open more career opportunities for me.”

    Brock’s Department of Dramatic Arts (DART) has partnered with the Shaw Festival to provide student internships since 2011.

    Dramatic Arts alumna Michelle Mohammed (BA ’18) was 2018’s intern and worked alongside Peter Hinton on Oh! What a Lovely War. She vlogged about her experiences at the festival on the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Art’s YouTube channel throughout the process.

    Smith will provide weekly updates as well, which will also be shared through the Marilyn I. Walker social media accounts.

    DART students are eligible to apply for this intensive residency following the successful completion of DART 4Y92: Text and Performance at the Shaw Festival Theatre, taught by instructor Barbara Worthy. Students attended festival performances and interacted with festival staff and actors during the course.

    Co-ops and summer contract work at the Shaw has also been available to DART students over the years, and some alumni of the program have even gone on to work for the festival full time.

    Department Chair Joe Norris said all of the internship candidates this year were exceptional students, but Smith was ultimately chosen because her skills and interests were the “best fit” for the particular productions the Shaw Festival is staging this season.

    “The Shaw internship creates a stepping stone between the university world and the student’s future career path,” he said. “Mae will be able to bridge what she’s learned in the classroom with the processes that the Shaw utilizes, and gain experience in a professional environment.”

    Smith is excited to learn more about the inner-workings of the festival and utilize the experience to bolster her resume going forward.

    “I’m really grateful for the opportunity,” she said. “I feel the internship will help me figure out where I want to situate myself in theatre and help me plan my professional path.”

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    Categories: Current Students, Department/Centre News, News

  • MIWSFPA faculty, alumni nominated for 2019 St. Catharines Arts Awards

    Visual Arts alumna Kylie Haveron (BA ’18) is among the nominees selected for the Emerging Artist category for the 2019 City of St. Catharines Arts Awards.


    (From The Brock News, January 31, 2019 | By: Sarah Ackles)

    Congratulations are in order for the numerous faculty members and alumni of Brock’s Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts (MIWSFPA) nominated for the 2019 City of St. Catharines Arts Awards.

    The awards recognize and celebrate excellence in all areas of artistic creation and seek to increase the visibility of St. Catharines’ artists and cultural industries, honour cultural leaders and their achievements and cultivate financial and volunteer support for the arts sector.

    Visual Arts alumna Kylie Haveron (BA ’18) is among the nominees selected for the Emerging Artist category, while Dramatic Arts Chair Joe Norris and Assistant Theatre Professor Danielle Wilson were both nominated for the Arts in Education award.

    Nominated in the Established Artist category are Wayne Corlis (BA ’05, MA ’12), who majored in Visual Arts and earned a master’s in Studies in Comparative Literatures and Arts, and Colin Anthes (BA ’14, MA ’16), who completed a combined Psychology/Dramatic Arts degree with a minor in Philosophy and a master’s degree in Philosophy. Anthes currently works as a part-time instructor in Brock’s Department of Dramatic Arts.

    Nominated in the Making a Difference category is alumna Emma German (BA ’14), who majored in Visual Arts and worked as a curator at the City of St. Catharines and Brock’s Rodman Hall Art Centre.

    Also nominated in the same category is the Willow Arts Community, a non-profit arts organization based at Rodman Hall that provides free artistic training and exhibition opportunities to community members with lived experience of mental health and addiction.

    The recipients of the City of St. Catharines Arts Awards will be recognized at a reception on Friday, May 3 at the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre. Tickets will be available in March.

    A full list of nominees is available online.

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    Categories: Alumni, Faculty & Instructors, News

  • DART Faculty co-direct a Play in Four Hours at Curriculum and Pedagogy conference in New Orleans

    Classroom Territoriality (Left to Right) Joe Norris, Rich Edmonson, Sharon Gile, Rick Breault, Janis McTeer


    A Play in Four Hours

    Using the playbuilding research process, Dramatic Arts Chair Joe Norris and graduate student Kevin Hobbs co-directed delegates at the Curriculum and Pedagogy conference in New Orleans, Oct. 17 and 18.

    After two, one and one-half hour devising sessions, and a one-hour rehearsal, they performed their series of nine vignettes, entitled: The Shape of School, at the closing conference event. The emergent themes included territoriality of classroom spaces, the pervasiveness of heteronormativity in the school yard, forms of administrative control of students and teachers, perceived status of particular schools and competing educational philosophies. It was concluded that these and other issues are strong undercurrents that contribute to the ethos of school experiences.

    Audience members participated in workshopping the scenes through body sculpting and discussions, with one conference delegate claiming that the images and issues would haunt her for some time to come.

     In addition to Norris and Hobbs, the participating playwrights were Rick Breault, Ashland University; Sharon Gile, Claflin University; Janis McTeer, Kent State University; Karen Morris, RJ Reynold High School, North Carolina; Sam Tanner, Penn State University; and Miryam Espinosa-Dulanto, Rich Edmonson, and Zulema Williams all from University of Texas, Rio Grande Valley.

     

    The Shape of Schools (Left to Right) Kevin Hobbs, Sam Tanner, Sharon Gile, Janis McTeer

    Leave it at the Door (Left to Right) Sharon Gile, Janis McTeer, Kevin Hobbs and Rick Breault

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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    Categories: Department/Centre News, Events, Faculty & Instructors, News

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • Dramatic Arts presents: 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.    see the article in the Brock News

    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: Department/Centre News, Events, Walker Cultural Leader Series

  • 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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