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Theatre Students at India Field School
PhD candidate Matthew Gusul is leading 13 Department of Theatre students on a trip to India to assist with the development of Tamil Nadu’s first intergenerational theatre company.
The Department of Theatre hosted a panel discussion about their current student exchange between Bangkok University and Phoenix Theatre,which was announced last year.
Bella: The Colour of Love
Department of Theatre design professor Mary Kerr co-wrote and designed a play about the life of Bella Chagall – the writer, scholar, actress, and revolutionary who was also the wife of Marc Chagall, one of the most important artists of the 20th Century. The play debuted at the Toronto Centre for the Performing Arts’ Greenwin Theatre to great success.
Orbit premieres at Kingston
Associate theatre history professor Jennifer Wise’s play Orbit premiered at Queens University this October. Under the direction of Craig Walker, Head of the Queen's Department of Drama and former Artistic Director of Theatre Kingston, the play is based on the surviving letters of Galileo Galilei’s daughter Virginia, who was sent with her sister Livia to a convent to live out her life in seclusion and misery.
Department of Theatre Scholarship Recipients
Our students are earning some fantastic awards for their hard work and academic achievements! Congratulations!
all sorts of Phoenix alumni are nominated in Vancouver’s annual Jessie Richardson Awards for outstanding theatrical work.
Theatre professor Conrad Alexandrowicz’s new production Mother Tongue earned a good deal of praise when it opened in Vancouver in May.
Theatre faculty and alumni were all over the Theatre category in the 2014 M Awards.
Writing professor and noted playwright Kevin Kerr earned roundly strong reviews for directing his own play Unity (1918) at Phoenix Theatre this spring.
Fine Arts’ Distinguished Alumni for 2014
Phoenix Theatre alumus Michael Whitfield was named the Faculty of Fine Arts’ Distinguished Alumni for 2014. A veteran lighting designer with an enviable career illuminating professional stages across North America, he literally got in on the ground floor of UVic’s Theatre department back in the early ‘60s.
Back in January, Department of Theatre professor Jennifer Wise was announced as the winner of the Canadian Jewish Playwriting Competition for her 2013 play The Girl Rabbi of the Golden West.
Phoenix wins more Spotlights
Our Department of Theatre was once again all over the Critics Choice Spotlight Awards, awarded annually by a group of Victoria’s theatre critics. The 13th annual awards saw students, faculty and alumni all sharing nominations, as well as two wins for the spring 2013 production of You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown: Musical Production and Performance in a Community Production (Ensemble).
High praise for The Skin of Our Teeth
The November 2013 Phoenix production of Thornton Wilder’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play The Skin of Our Teeth earned kudos from local critics, with the Times Colonist calling it “a theatrical extravaganza” and the CBC describing it as “the best dressed show in theatre in this town.”
Spotlight on Alumni goes apocalyptic
The Department of Theatre’s annual Spotlight on Alumni production saw alum Ingrid Hansen and Kathleen Greenfield return with their quirky comedy Kitt & Jane: An Interactive Survival Guide to the Near Post-Apocalyptic Future. Media cover of the show was brisk, with the CBC describing it as “simple yet effective theatricality.”
Theatre alumnus Ian Case talks local theatre
Ian Case, the always-busy local theatre legend and UVic’s new Director of Ceremonies and Special Events, delivered the preshow lecture ahead of the debut of Kitt & Jane in October. Always entertaining, Case’s engaging talk described the many ways his degree prepared him for a life in theatre—without ever having to leave Victoria.
Dept of Theatre PhD alumnus Will Weigler's compelling immersive theatre piece "From the Heart" was profiled on CBC Radio's "All Points West".
- Hear what Weigler and fellow UVic alum Krystal Cook had to say about this compelling and powerful experience.
Phoenix Theatre alum Amitai Marmorstein was profiled in the Times Colonist for his starring role in Neil Simon's "Brighton Beach Memoirs"—which was mounted by Phoenix professor Brian Richmond's Blue Bridge Theatre.
Four Phoenix alumni picked up awards at the Montreal Fringe: Chris Wilson (BFA'08) & Peter Carlone (BFA'08) of Peter N' Chris Show – Best English Comedy Award; Ingrid Hansen (BFA'09) & SNAFU Dance Theatre for Best English Production Overall; and Sam Mullins (BFA'08) won Best English Text for his play "Weaksauce". These three were also nominated for other awards, as well as the ones they won.
BLVD magazine profiled Fine Arts alum Mercedes Bátiz-Benét--a multi-disciplinary artist, writer and director whose latest film credit (camera & cinematography) is for the 2012 Juno-winning feature-length documentary about the singer/songwriter Feist, "Look At What The Light Did Now". Mercedes is also the artistic director of local Puente Theatre.
Monday Magazine held their annual M Awards this spring and the Phoenix Theatre grad-heavy Blue Bridge production of "Little Shop of Horrors" won four awards.
A 19th-century synagogue with a female Rabbi? Find out how history was made in Victoria back in 1895 with this one-night-only, world-premiere workshop performance of a new play by Theatre professor Jennifer Wise, staged in the beautiful historic sanctuary of the synagogue itself—the very location where the events of the play took place.
Fine Arts alum Kathleen Black (Writing/Theatre & Acting 2010) finds fame through "social farting" anti-smoking public service message.
The spring Phoenix production You're A Good Man Charlie Brown received a number of strong reviews.
What Would the Dean Do?
Curious what Fine Arts Dean and Theatre professor Sarah Blackstone did during her year-long sabbatical? Check out her new website focusing on her photography. "Whether I’m bird watching, taking photos, and/or flying an airplane, it’s all about wings and feathers when it comes to my hobbies," she says.
Department of Theatre professor Brian Richmond buys Victoria's historic Roxy movie theatre, and plans to convert into mixed usage space for his Blue Bridge Repertory Theatre.
- You can read about his plans in this Times Colonist piece.
Fine Arts featured 10 students at the annual spring Jamie Cassels Undergraduate Research Awards, including Department of Theatre's Stewart Gibbs, Sarah Johnson and Jennifer Taylor.
Reasons to be Pretty
The Times Colonist describes the spring Phoenix Theatre production Reasons to be Pretty as "one of the season's highlights" and CVV Magazine calls it "the best I’ve seen from Phoenix yet."
- Read the full reviews here.
- You can also read an interview with Reasons to be Pretty director Christine Willes in this Times Colonist article
To Bangkok, With Exchange
Department of Theatre professor Allan Stitchbury was in Thailand in February, presenting at the World Symposium on Global Encounters in Southeast Asian Performing Arts, co-hosted by Bangkok University and UVic. Stitchbury was also happy to announce a new student exchange program with Thailand's Bangkok University, which you can read about here.
Doctor Who composer and playwright Murray Gold spoke to students at Phoenix's Bishop Theatre in November, when he was in town working on the world premiere of his show, Kafka: The Musical. Kafka was being mounted by Theatre Inconnu and Phoenix alum Clayton Jevne.
Leslie Bland Proudly Canadian
Deptartment of Theatre instructor Leslie Bland is making a feature-length documentary about Hollywood's deep dark Canadian secrets, alongside noted humorist and author Ian Ferguson. Titled Gone South: How Canada Invented Hollywood, read about how the doc is planned to be launched alongside Ferguson's book of the same name in this Times Colonist article.
Department of Theatre alum Catherine Plant is Phoenix Theatre's new audience and client services liaison.
Good Person of Setzuan
Good Person of Setzuan is Phoenix Theatre's fall production. Director Conrad Alexandrowicz discusses the ideas behind the show.
Good Person of Setzuan gets good reviews.
Phoenix Theatre students and alumni one again make a strong showing at Victoria's annual Fringe Festival.
Victoria Foundation establishes new theatre award in memory of late Phoenix grad, Megan Newton.
Phoenix alumni win a wide range of theatre awards. Atomic Vaudeville's Ride the Cyclone, Peter N' Chris, and Meg Roe all take home various awards
Can you imagine getting the chance to work with a legendary Shakespearean master? This was the opportunity offered to more than a dozen talented actors, designers and aspiring directors at the Department of Theatre when the illustrious playwright, director and critic Charles Marowitz came to UVic this spring to direct his reinterpreted version of Hamlet.
Chocolate Woman Changes the World
Acclaimed Guna and Rappahannock actor and playwright Monique Mojica follows up the production of her play, Chocolate Woman Dreams the Milky Way at Vancouver’s Talking Stick Festival, with a UVic public lecture on the five-year process of creating the production.
The recent Phoenix Theatre production of Euridyce attracted quite a bit of attention from the media, primarily thanks to the dazzling visual design by Mary Kerr.
Say It With Dance
Assistant Theatre professor Conrad Alexandrowicz picks up $175,000 in grant funding to collaborate on an interdisciplinary project with famed poet and Writing professor Lorna Crozier, as well as Applied Theatre graduate student Kate Bessey, School of Music head of woodwinds Alexandra Pohran Dawkin, and associate Writing professor and experimental filmmaker Maureen Bradley.
Theatre Calgary’s Dennis Garnhum to Speak
Theatre Calgary artistic director and Department of Theatre grad Dennis Garnhum took a break from directing Pacific Opera Victoria's recent production of Carmen to visit the Phoenix and talk with the current crop of Theatre students.
Critics' Choice Awards
It's seven nominations and two wins for Phoenix Theatre productions in the 10th annual Critics' Choice Spotlight Awards
Who's behind the creative work for the actual awards given out at UVic's recent Legacy Awards? None other than our own Dean of Fine Arts, Sarah Blackstone, who's also in the Department of Theatre faculty.
Phoenix Theatre’s latest production, Rookery Nook, is getting plenty of local media coverage. This 1920s British farce written by Ben Travers and directed by Bindon Kinghorn got some good reviews, and Kinghorn himself was well-quoted about it. FFarce is a fine line between satire, which makes a point, and just a gentle prod in the ribs,” explains Kinghorn. “No one is meant to be offended by any portrayal of themselves on the stage; it’s written for pure fun and enjoyment.”
- Read more about the production here, then scroll down for a roundup of the reviews in the Times Colonist, Culture Vulture Victoria and the Martlet.
Are you a Department of Theatre grad who has a killer show just aching for a large audience? If so, you're in luck: Phoenix Theatre is currently accepting proposals for the upcoming 2012/ 2013 Spotlight on Alumni, which will form part of UVic’s 50th Anniversary season. (With that in mind, proposals that consider themes related to the 50th anniversary are encouraged.) Take your place in a proud Spotlight on Alumni lineup that includes past shows like Legoland, The Ugly Duchess, Love Kills, The Josephine Knot and Death of a Clown.
Applied Theatre sessional instructor Will Weigler’s doctoral dissertation about why audiences connect to live performances—what he describes as “ah-ha!” moments—was featured in both the Times Colonist and the Calgary Herald, as well as the Victoria News, and was interviewed for CFUV’s campus news show, U in the Ring, and on-air at CFAX 1070.
Theatre historian and Department of Theatre professor Jennifer Wise was announced as a finalist in the 2011 Herman Voaden National Playwriting Competition for her original UVic play The Moons of Jupiter. Written by Wise for 2009′s International Year of Astronomy, directed by Dean of Fine Arts Sarah Blackstone and workshopped by Theatre students and faculty, The Moons of Jupiter looked at the the family dynamics between famed astronomer Galileo and his children.
Department of Theatre professor Brian Richmond has been nominated for the People’s Order of British Columbia, a grassroots initiative spearheaded by scrappy online magazine, The Tyee. And while Richmond has done admirable work as part of UVic’s theatre faculty, it’s his brainchild Blue Bridge Theatre Company that has earned this stage veteran the nod.
UVic’s Fine Arts faculty are once again well-represented as nominees on the ballot for Monday Magazine’s annual M Awards. Included in the many categories now open for voting are Phoenix Theatre’s production of Yerma and Blue Bridge Theatre’s UVic-heavy A Streetcar Named Desire (Favourite Overall Production); the Belfry’s new play The Life Inside, which featured associate professor Jan Wood (Favourite New Play) . . . there’s even a theatre student project on the ballot: Jay Mitchell’s Fringe Festival favourite Z-Day: Anthem for the Post-Zombie Apocalypse (Favourite Musical).