Articles tagged with: Mike Griffin

  • Popular One Act Festival returns to Marilyn I. Walker Theatre

    Dramatic Arts students in the Directing II course are presenting a series of short plays as part of the upcoming One Act Festival on Friday, March 22 and Saturday, March 23 at the Marilyn I. Walker Theatre.


    (From The Brock News, March 18, 2019 | By: Sarah Ackles)

    Brock’s Dramatic Arts students will bring the intricacies of human interaction, the banality of small-town life and even the future of ‘designer babies’ to the stage in the upcoming One Act Festival.

    Opening at the Marilyn I. Walker Theatre of the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts (MIWSFPA) on Friday, March 22, the popular One Act Festival will stage eight student-led productions in a two-night run.

    A yearly endeavour, the festival puts students in the Directing II course in the spotlight as they bring a selection of one-act plays to life. The students are responsible for the entire production process, including the selection of a script, auditioning the cast, rehearsing, designing the show and co-ordinating with the Dramatic Arts (DART) production team on all technical needs.

    The course’s instructor, Mike Griffin, said the One Act Festival is one of his favourite parts of the DART program.

    An exciting mentoring process happens, he explained, as students from all years collaborate to create theatre under the leadership of the third-year directing class.

    “As the student actors and directors come together, they put into practice the skills they have been developing throughout their courses, which supports them as they teach each other, grow as artists and inspire the next round of future directors,” he said.

    This year’s productions are all being presented under the theme ‘Rise.’

    Lauren Reid, a third-year DART major and Director of On the Porch One Crisp Spring Morning, said the inclusive and collaborative nature of the One Act Festival makes for a valuable learning experience.

    “Everyone is so open and willing to help me with this great opportunity and to make it the best it can be,” she said. “I have a great team on all sides that are there to support me whenever I need help, and I think this course is a great way for people to explore different opportunities within the DART and theatre community, in general.”

    For second-year DART student Holly Hebert, the festival allows her to “actively participate in the growth of a production.”

    “As an actor in Winter Games, Director Chris Murillo had us engage in a number of exercises that built our relationships, our impulses and developed our One Act to become an incredibly stimulating process,” she added.

    The students encourage the community to attend, promising the roster of shows in the festival are “emotionally active” and will often have audiences “on the edge of their seats.”

    The One Act Festival runs on Friday, March 22 and Saturday, March 23, at 7:30 p.m. each night. All shows take place in the Marilyn I. Walker Theatre of the MIWSFPA at 15 Artists’ Common.

    Admission is pay-what-you-can at the door.

    For more information on the 2018 One Act Festival, visit the Current Season page on the DART website.

    One Act Festival 2019

    Inside the Department of the Exterior
    Directed by: Josh Loewen
    Playwright: Philip Hall
    Actors: Jared Geden, Samantha Rideout

    Another Sense
    Directed by: Rina Wilkins
    Playwright: Melissa Major
    Actors: Madison Andrews, Bianca Taylor

    Winter Games  
    Directed by: Rachel Bonds
    Playwright: Chris Murillo
    Actors: Alex Sykes, Holly Hebert, Leah Rantala

    The Worker
    Directed by: Rachel Frederick
    Playwright: Walter Wykes
    Actors: Paige Hunt-Harmon, Asenia Lyall, Diego Blanco

    Baby Factory  
    Directed by: Tyler Simpson
    Playwright: Stephen Bittrich
    Actors: Tristan Holmes, Luke Huffman, Meryl Ochoa, Nathan Rossi, Elizabeth Martin

    Nightstand  
    Directed by: Uchenna Edozie-Egbuna
    Playwright: Fergus Church
    Actors: Molly Lacey, Luca D’Amico

    One Night Fran
    Directed by: Frances Johnson
    Playwright: Adam Szudrich
    Actors: Kristina Miller, Aly Markov, Sarah Rowe

    On the Porch One Crisp Spring Morning
    Directed by: Lauren Reid
    Playwright: Alex Dremann
    Actors: Alexandra, Chubaty Boychuk and Joanna Tran

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  • Public roundtable to explore Antigone’s relevance to modern society

    Students in Brock’s Department of Dramatic Arts have been working for months to bring the classic Greek tragedy Antigone to the mainstage this weekend. The production will have a six-show run at the Marilyn I. Walker Theatre in downtown St. Catharines, opening on Friday, Oct. 26. Seen during last week’s media call are actors Catherine Tait (Antigone), left, and Alexandra Chubaty Boychuk (Ismene).


    (From The Brock News, Thursday Oct. 25, 2018 | By Jaquelyn Bezaire)

    Gender inequality, corruption and the conflict between personal beliefs and the laws of society are all at the centre of Brock’s new mainstage production, Antigone.

    And although the classic Greek tragedy is more than 2,500 years old, a roundtable discussion will be held at the University next week to discuss its relevance to today.

    Elizabeth Vlossak, History Professor and Director of the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts (MIWSFPA), hopes to delve into the reasons why Antigone is one of the most read, performed and adapted plays in all of dramatic literature.

    On Wednesday, Oct. 31, she will moderate the roundtable that will include a panel of professors from Brock’s departments of Classics, Political Science, Philosophy and Dramatic Arts.

    Faculty, staff, students and the community are invited to join the panellists in the conversation, which begins at 3 p.m. in the Scotiabank Atrium of the Cairns Family Health and Bioscience Research Complex.

    The informative and lively discussion will highlight the importance of Antigone and the connections that can be made across academic disciplines.

    The panellists will explain why Antigone is not only studied in courses about Ancient Greece but is also used to explore political theory, gender dynamics and various religious and moral problems.

    Panellists include professors Roberto Nickel (Classics), Adam Rappold (Classics), Athena Colman (Philosophy), Stefan Dolgert (Political Science) and Mike Griffin (Dramatic Arts).

    Vlossak organized the event in part to promote the upcoming production of Antigone, which opens Friday, Oct 26. The play is presented by Brock’s Department of Dramatic Arts.

    “One of my goals as Director of the MIWSFPA has been to increase student, faculty and public awareness, interest and participation in our programming at the school,” said Vlossak. “But this interdisciplinary panel discussion is also about bridging the two campuses. It’s bringing faculty from different departments together to share their expertise with students and the public, and it’s showcasing how the fine and performing arts can be incorporated into all of our teaching, learning and research, as well as our everyday lives, in meaningful ways.”

    The roundtable will begin by exploring the world of Sophocles and Antigone’s significance in ancient drama and performance.

    Other topics of discussion include the legacy of Antigone in the fields of politics and philosophy, the continued pedagogical value of studying Antigone, and the play’s relevance in the current political climate.

    “Antigone still inspires political rebels today, who find in her obstinate resistance a role model for action in the present,” said Dolgert. “Antigone is for those who refuse to accept the tired cliché that politics is ‘the art of the possible,’ as it is her seemingly irrational affirmation of the impossible that ultimately prevails.”

    Griffin, a Dramatic Arts lecturer and the production’s Director, will join the panel and explain why he chose the play for Brock’s mainstage performance.

    He hopes to “paint Antigone as a strong woman,” and aims to show how themes of the #MeToo movement are reflected throughout the production.

    Antigone runs Oct. 26 and 27 at 7:30 p.m., Oct. 28 at 2 p.m. and Nov. 2 and 3 at 7:30 p.m. There will also be a high school matinee on Nov. 2 at 11:30 a.m.

    The production will be held in MIWSFPA’s Marilyn I. Walker Theatre in downtown St. Catharines. Tickets are available through the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre box office at 905-688-0722 or on the PAC website.

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  • Antigone explores modern ideas through classic Greek tragedy

    Students in the DART undergraduate program have been rehearsing for months to bring the classic Greek tragedy Antigone to life on stage with a run beginning Oct. 26


    (From The Brock News, Friday Oct. 15, 2018 | By Sarah Moore)

    Sophocles’ Antigone may be more than 2,500 years old, but its relevance to the #MeToo and civil rights movements of today makes it resonate as strongly now as when it was first written.

    The new mainstage production from Brock University’s Department of Dramatic Arts (DART) tells the story of a woman rebelling against patriarchy and the establishment — a woman who is willing to sacrifice everything to stand up for what she believes is right.

    Antigone’s tragic protest against King Creon’s prohibition of mourning her dead brother makes the audience question what choice we have when our personal beliefs conflict with the laws of the state. The play also examines the effects that gender inequality and unbridled power have on society.

    DART faculty member Mike Griffin, who adapted and directs the production that will run at the Marilyn I. Walker Theatre, said the classic Greek tragedy was the perfect fit for the first mainstage performance of the 2018-19 season.

    “Antigone is one of the oldest examples of a powerful, independent female character in theatre and literature,” he said. “It is eerily unfortunate that this ancient world, in which she was born, has many similarities to the one we currently live in, and through that I think the play really speaks to today.

    “I also think it’s a fantastic challenge for my students to dive into a story that is really valued as such an influential, classical text.”

    Adam Rappold, Assistant Professor in the Department of Classics, worked with Griffin and the cast to dissect the Greek text and highlight major themes of the play pertinent to today’s audiences.

    “It is a work which manages to be, at once, both bewitchingly alien while still also familiar enough that it could have been ripped from today’s headlines,” Rappold said. “More pressingly for our current moment, it is likely the voice and personality of Antigone herself who continues to speak to audiences — a powerful and decidedly female scream of rage against iniquity and oppression, which, even after more than two centuries, refuses to be silenced.”

    With a contemporary approach to an ancient story, this production blends classical text with movement and image-based storytelling and explores a rich score of ensemble choral voices. The adaptation explores a shattered world touched by both contemporary and ancient times through a collage of poetry and physical theatre.

    “My vision is to paint Antigone as a strong woman, with the caveat that a strong woman should not be a stereotype but a norm that we are very familiar with,” Griffin said. “Hopefully her presence in standing up for what she believes in is something that can potentially propel audiences forward to feel confident in thinking that ‘when injustice happens to me, I will stand up for what’s right.’”

    The set and costumes for Antigone were designed by Brock Dramatic Arts Instructor Kelly Wolf, lighting was designed by Chris Malkowski and sound designed by Visual Arts Media Resource Co-ordinator Max Holten-Anderson (BMus ’10).

    The production showcases the talents of students in the DART undergraduate program. Student performers include Catherine Tait, Tristan Holmes, Alexandra Chubaty Boychuk, Matt Burt, Taj-Alexander Crozier, Tyler Simpson, Colin Williams, Mae Smith, Grace Martins, Samantha Rideout, Katie Cole, Diego Blanco, Heather Janser and James Dengate.

    Other student crew members include: Avery Delaney (Dresser), Peter Herbert (Stage Carpenter), Molly Lacey (Dresser), Sid Malcolm (Sound Operator), Heidi Nickel (Lighting Operator) and Jackson Wagner (Props Runner).

    Antigone runs Oct. 26 and Oct. 27 at 7:30 p.m., Oct. 28 at 2 p.m., and Nov. 2 and 3 at 7:30 p.m. There will be a high school matinee on Nov. 2 at 11:30 a.m. The evening performance on Nov. 2 will include an American Sign Language interpreter for members of the deaf and hard-of-hearing community.

    The production will run at the Marilyn I. Walker Theatre at Brock’s Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts in downtown St. Catharines.

    Tickets for the show are $18 for adults and $15 for students and seniors. There’s also a $10 group rate and a $5 eyeGo high school program rate available. Tickets are available through the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre box office at 905-688-0722 or on the PAC website.

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