[Phoenix-eNews] BackstagePASS> Our new "Classrooms" | Season Update | Department News | Spooky Halloween events!

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Wed Oct 28 16:46:40 PDT 2020

@UVic Newsletter
Phoenix Theatre: BackstagePASS
	October 2020 • Act 14 • Scene 2

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Behind the Scenes <#enews> | 2021 Season <#season> | News <#news> | 
Halloween Events <#Halloween> | Phoenix Phacts <#events>| Kudos <#sponsor>


      Behind the Scenes: Returning to the "Classroom" with new ways of

Walking through the halls of the Phoenix building, the Department of 
Theatre is missing some of the hustle and bustle of previous years.  But 
behind the passing masked faces and closed doors sporting notes that say 
“In a Zoom meeting!” there’s evidence of ingenuity and a tight-knit 
community familiar to those who know how resilient theatre practitioners 

While most classes at UVic have moved to online learning, the Department 
of Theatre has been given permission for many of our essential, 
experienced-based courses to return to the classroom under strict health 
and safety work plans. Other larger theatre courses are taking advantage 
of current technology to expand on usual classroom opportunities with 
national guests and new high-tech, virtual platforms.

Professor Jan Wood’s 
third-year acting class, comprising of 12 students, has moved into the 
much-larger stage of the Chief Dan George theatre to allow for maximum 
distancing while they practice their craft (see banner image). Applied 
Theatre Prof. Yasmine Kandil 
also working in-person with her second-year students on their projects 
in the McIntyre Studio. /“The students are thrilled and very 
appreciative to be working face-to-face,”/ says Kandil. /“They are 
relishing the experience of being together, relating to one another, and 
able to savour the embodied form of expression.”/

/<https://tarabeagan.com>/Meanwhile, the fourth-year Canadian Theatre 
History course, has drawn almost 60 students from Theatre and across 
campus into Prof. Sasha Kovacs’s 
virtual classroom. Kovacs has used the necessity of teaching on Zoom as 
an opportunity to break traditional geographic restraints by bringing 
prominent Canadian theatre artists from across the country to share 
their work and experiences directly with students.

Guest artists include the recently Siminovitch Prize-nominated 
<https://siminovitchprize.com/the-prize/2020-2/finalists/> playwright 
and director Tara Beagan <https://tarabeagan.com>(shown left) of the 
Indigenous arts company Article 11 <http://article11.ca>; as well as the 
previous Siminovitch recipient <https://siminovitchprize.com/>, 
director, creator and mentor, Maiko Yamamoto 
<https://theatrereplacement.org/company/> of Theatre Replacement 
<https://theatrereplacement.org>; and artistic producer and director 
Cole Alvis <http://www.lemontreecreations.ca/about> of the 
Dora-nominated queer theatre company lemonTree creations 
<http://www.lemontreecreations.ca> and manidoons collective 
<https://www.manidoons.com>; the founding artistic director and 
disability advocate James Sanders <https://realwheels.ca/staff-board/> 
of Realwheels Theatre <https://realwheels.ca>); and Dora Mavor Moore 
Award-winning director and dramaturge Nina Lee Aquino 
<http://www.canadiantheatre.com/dict.pl?term=Aquino, Nina Lee> (show 
below right) of Factory Theatre <https://www.factorytheatre.ca>. 
<http://www.canadiantheatre.com/dict.pl?term=Aquino, Nina Lee>

Kovacs worked with Belfry Theatre Artistic Director Michael Shamata to 
integrate the previous in-person Belfry at UVic Series into her online 
class this year.  Now in its third year, this series has brought over 
two dozen visiting Belfry playwrights, directors, designers, actors 
<https://finearts.uvic.ca/theatre/news-events/> and others into the 
Phoenix to engage with our students—from some of Canada’s most 
successful actors like Martha Burns and Benedict Campbell 
to up-and-coming playwrights like Matthew MacKenzie 
<http://www.punctuatetheatre.com/the-team> with his hit show /Bears 
<https://www.belfry.bc.ca/bears/>/, and the much-lauded design team for 
/The Ministry of Grace 
<https://www.belfry.bc.ca/the-ministry-of-grace/#sp_copy>/, Andy Moro 
<https://andymoro.com> and Jeff Chief 
<http://article11.ca/?page_id=239>(which just won Victoria’s Critics’ 
Choice Outstanding Design Award).

/“Our Canadian Theatre History class is enriched enormously by the 
inaugural digital version of the Belfry at UVic series,”/ says Kovacs./“Not 
only do these conversations connect students to critical wisdom 
regarding theatre creation today from some of the country’s most 
celebrated artistic leaders, they also offer opportunities for students 
to consider the ongoing legacy of performance histories that we discuss 
and debate in class.”/

Likewise, technical theatre lab instructor Simon Farrow 
has embraced new technology for his lighting courses. The technology is 
so new, the company Electronic Theatre Controls just releasedAugment3d 
for EOS lighting consoles 
this September. This software allows students to program and visualize 
their lighting designs from their own computers. From teaching lighting 
angles and colour mixing at the first-year level, to designing and 
programming complex moving light rigs using a 3D model of the Roger 
Bishop Theatre (shown right) for his third-year students, Augment3d is 
helping to bring student’s work to life in this virtual world.

When planning distanced classes for the fall, Farrow was excited about 
the new software that could make sure our technical students would not 
miss out on this important opportunity. /“Focusing on 3D modeling and 
programming using visualization now will help our students keep right on 
track when we can work together in the theatre again,”/ says Farrow.


      Season: Planning for Spring of 2021

The department is looking towards the spring of 2021 with hopeful plans 
of offering a shortened season for our audiences—even if it's only over 
the internet. It’s essential that we can produce plays so that our 
third- and fourth-year students can earn the necessary performance, 
design and production credits required for their degrees. Currently, our 
faculty directors are reviewing a play for each year’s class “bubble” 
that allows for distancing during the performance and rehearsal process. 
Please stay tuned for further developments! 

      Send us your feedback!

In the meantime, as we plan for the spring, we want to hear from you 
about your preferences for attending a play at the Phoenix, whether in 
person or streaming online. Your guidance will help us develop our plans 
for next term. Thank you!

  * *Click here to fill-in the short four-question survey. *

We also rely on the support of our regular ticket holders and donors to 
offset the costs of making theatre. These costs, while different this 
year, will not be any less than previous years. Please consider 
supporting the Phoenix as you might have previously, so the quality of 
our students’ education can be maintained through these trying times.

  * *Click here to make a online donation online now.

*Questions? *
Our box office is open with shortened hours to help answer questions, 
help with the survey, or accept donations over the phone. Hours are 
listed on the voice mail at *250-721-8000.*


      *News: New grant helps the Phoenix stage equality*

The Department of Theatre is excited to announce that we have received a 
$64,000 grant from UVic’s Strategic Framework 
<https://www.uvic.ca/strategicframework/index.php>Impact Fund that will 
assist with initiatives to improve the equity, diversity and inclusion 
in the educational, research, community outreach, and programing 
opportunities at the Phoenix.

The theatre department also recently formed a committee that has 
already started initial work on an anti-racism plan for the department.

Under the stewardship of Profs. Yasmine Kandil 
and Sasha Kovacs 
collaboration with seven other departments and units on campus—the three 
year project entitled “Staging Equality: anti-racism & de-colonization 
through arts-based community engagement” will help connect the campus to 
the wider Victoria community to enhance conversations and exposure to 
theatre and the arts on issues relating to race, diversity and inclusion.

“While traditional theatre production is currently restricted by the 
COVID-19 pandemic,” says Dr. Kovacs, “we can use this time to lead 
important conversations and re-imagine how theatre can address issues 
pertaining to systemic racism, the meaning of diversity, actionable 
equity, and Indigenization.”

Over the three-year project, this initiative will create paid 
opportunities for students, artists, and community members within and 
beyond the UVic campus and will culminate in an outdoor theatre 
performance led by an Indigenous artist-in-residence (in collaboration 
with students and faculty) that addresses the Indigenous histories of 
the land on which UVic resides.

“By the project’s end, we will have also created a collaborative 
interdisciplinary team, composed of students, interdepartmental faculty 
and community partners, and developed and tested news way of working for 
one of UVic’s most community-engaged and experiential learning 
programs,” says Dr. Kandil.

Drs. Kovacs and Kandil send thanks to colleagues in Curriculum & 
Instruction <https://www.uvic.ca/education/curriculum/index.php> (Dr. 
Monica Prendergast); English (Dr. Sheila Rabillard); First People’s 
House <https://www.uvic.ca/services/indigenous/house/> (Dr. Robina 
Thomas); Gender Studies 
<https://www.uvic.ca/humanities/gender/index.php> (Dr. Christine Sy); 
Psychology <https://www.uvic.ca/socialsciences/psychology/index.php> 
(Dr. Catherine Costigan); Visual Arts 
<https://www.uvic.ca/finearts/visualarts/index.php> (Professor Carey 
Newman); and Writing <https://www.uvic.ca/finearts/writing/> (Professor 
Maureen Bradley) for their partnership in this project.


      SPOOKY Halloween Events!

Theatre people LOVE the spooky season and our alumni have some scary 
events for you to join in on the fun!

Theatre SKAM has relaunched their Pop-Up Theatre Home Delivery 
<https://skam.ca/pop-up/>series with two new shows this fall. Recent 
alumna*Olivia Wheeler’s <https://www.oliviagwheeler.com> (BFA ’20)* 
original story, /The Quest for the Moon,/ uses beautiful shadow puppetry 
to tell the story of a young fox who embarks on a journey to find his 
best friend, the Moon. /Silly & Scary Stories/ tells spooky folktales 
using shadow play. Pop-Up shows can be booked to come to you, October 
23-31, 2020, during 15-minute slots from 6:30-9:30pm.

Through his role in the Parliamentary Education Office 
<https://www.leg.bc.ca/learn-about-us/educational-programs-workshops> in 
BC’s Legislature, alumnus *Nicholas Guerreiro (BFA ‘18)* has organized a 
special spooky online event featuring a visitation with the spirit of 
famed architect Francis Rattenbury to explore the legislature’s eeriest 
tales, from a vanishing house, to the premier’s double, to the strange 
secrets of the piano-playing speaker. Rattenbury may also tell the tale 
of his own demise! Written and performed live daily by Guerreiro, tune 
in for this free event daily at 2pm or 7pm until October 30 

Blue Bridge Theatre <https://bluebridgetheatre.ca> is resurrecting Bram 
Stoker’s iconic novel, /Dracula/ with an adaptation by Theatre professor 
*Brian Richmond 
for an online reading that includes alumni *Victor Dolhai**(BFA ’07)**, 
Kholby Wardell**(BFA ’08)**, Laura-Jane Tresidder**(BFA ’15)**, Paul 
Fauteux **(BFA ’94) *and previous student *Jacob Richmond*. Readings are 
in two parts (“In Black” and “In White”) running October 29 -31.

Alumni *Mack Gordon (BFA ’08) *and *Ming Hudson (BFA ’07) *have teamed 
up to perform in a virtual audio drama of /A War of the Worlds 
<https://vimeo.com/465021431>/ that Gordon helped adapt from the novel 
by HG Wells. Set in 2021 in Chicago (where Gordon’s company Theatre in 
the Dark <https://www.theatreinthedark.com> is located), the online 
production includes performers from Vancouver, Chicago, and New Orleans 
and runs until November 21 at 6pm (PST). Gordon, now living back in 
Vancouver during the pandemic, was recently interviewed by Vancouver 

*Charles Ross (BFA ’98) *will perform his one-man parody of the hit 
Netflix series /Stranger Things /both streaming online and in person as 
a fundraiser for his friends and co-alumni at Theatre SKAM. /One Man 
Stranger Things (A Parody) <https://skam.ca/one-man-stranger-things/>/ 
runs live on November 6 online, however, for every $20 donated prior to 
November 5 <https://www.canadahelps.org/en/dn/53195>, you will be 
entered to win exclusive in-house tickets for the live show.

      Phoenix Phacts: Alumni Appointments, Awards, and Opportunities

<https://vimeo.com/447236203>Congratulations to recent grad *Taiwo 
Afolabi (PhD ‘20)* for his appointment to the University of Regina’s 
Faculty of Media, Art and Performance 
<https://www.uregina.ca/mediaartperformance/> as assistant professor of 
Socially Engaged Creative Practices. In August, he appeared on the OMNI 
TV program /New Canadians/ <https://newcanadians.tv/omni/>as part of a 
panel discussion on how his experience as a UVic Crossing Borders 
Scholar provided opportunities to find connections in the community. He 
also spoke as part of the Creative Mornings series about the artistic 
process entitled “Stress: To Peel or Not to Peel?” 
<https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BvZztJU5SFg> Taiwo leaves Victoria as 
well as his position as the Manager of Artistic and Community Engagement 
with the Belfry Theatre, but not before sitting down for avideo chat 
with artistic director Michael Shamata <https://vimeo.com/447236203> 
about his time at the Belfry.

Watch for alumna *Emily Piggford 
<https://www.cbc.ca/mediacentre/bio/emily-piggford> (BFA’11)* on your TV 
screens this fall as she plays Esther Ishikawa, the excessively 
efficient forensic accountant in CBC’s latest hit miniseries /The Sounds 
<https://fb.watch/1gaqq7fIRG/>/. <https://fb.watch/1gaqq7fIRG/> 
traveled to New Zealand last year to shoot this psychological thriller 
that you can also watch on CBC Gem. You may also recognize Emily from 
her roles in /The Umbrella Academy/, /Warigami,/ or /That’s My DJ./ You 
can watch The Sounds online for free on CBC Gem 

The Belfry Theatre’s Incubator program 
encourages and nurtures local theatre artists to develop new works, and 
this year they have expanded to include as many artists as possible. 
We’re proud to see many current Theatre students and alumni as part of 
this program, including *Hannah Mariko Bell* *(BFA ’19),* Bragi Theatre 
<https://www.facebook.com/BragiTheatre/> (including *Nicholas Guerreiro 
(BFA ’18)*, *Annie Konstantinova, *and*Julie McGuire*); Impulse Theatre 
<http://www.impulsetheatre.ca> (with *Andrew Barrett (BFA ’12) 
*and*Patricia Reilly (BFA ’11)*); The Fear Projects (with *Molly 
Beatrice (BFA ’19), Emily Hay (BFA ’20), Hailee Jake Friesen (BFA ’20), 
*and*Alexander Moorman (BFA ’20)*); Collectivus Theatre 
<https://www.facebook.com/CollectivusT/> (with Ellery Lamm (Writing MFA) 
and *Anna Marie Anderson (BFA ’18)*); and Rage Sweater Theatre 
<https://www.facebook.com/RageSweaterTheatre/>(with previous students 
*Monica Ogden *and*K.P Dennis*). Victoria can anticipate an amazing 
array of interesting projects that will grow out of this important 
initiative. Thanks Belfry!

This summer, current student *Justin Francis Lee *began assisting as the 
Project Coordinator for The Canadian Play Thing. 
<https://www.plaything.ca> Instigated in March by alumna and playwright 
*Janet Munsil (BFA’ 89)*, The Canadian Play Thing has presented 60 live 
readings with more than 300 actor-readers. This fall they partnered with 
Intrepid Theatre and UVic Coop to further support his role, for which 
Justin has developed new programs like The Apartment of Writing 
<https://www.plaything.ca/apartmentofwriting>, where four UVic writing 
grads developed a script for the four-episode audio-drama called /A Way 
Out/ (which will be recorded in November) as well as the 
<https://www.plaything.ca/playwright-to-playwright>series, where 
emerging and established playwrights read from their work and interview 
each other (supported by the Playwrights Guild of Canada 
<https://playwrightsguild.ca>). Theatre alumna *Lauren Frost* *(BFA 
’20)* has also been assisting The Canadian Play Thing as the Outreach 

Congrats to Theatre SKAM <https://skam.ca> for winning the CRD Arts 
Commission Regional Impact Award at this fall’s Victoria Regional Arts 
for their amazing outdoor SKAMpede Festival. 
<https://skam.ca/skampede2020/> This $5000 prize, recognizing 
outstanding impact made by a local festival, event, or organization, was 
presented to their Production Manager and recent alumnus *Logan Swain 
(BFA ’20) *(shown below). A special thank you to Phoenix alum, SKAM’s 
Artistic Producer *Matthew Payne (BFA ’93) *for making an impact on so 
many Phoenix alumni by hiring and mentoring dozens and dozens of our 
theatre artists over 
25-years history.

Other awards given out at the October 3rd online event 
two Critics’ Choice Awards for Theatre Inconnu’s production of /Curious 
Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time/ 
with alumnus *Clayton Jevne* as Artistic Director and The Amplify Award 
to Atomic Vaudeville <https://atomicvaudeville.com> with alumni *Britt 
Small (BFA’98 / MFA ’04) *and previous student*Jacob Richmond*.

Also at the Victoria Regional Arts Awards, *Acting Dean, Allana 
announced the creation of the Faculty of Fine Arts Student Community 
Impact Award by the Dean’s External Advisory Committee (DEAC). This 
annual award recognizes a full-time undergraduate student in Fine 
Arts who demonstrates either exceptional individual achievement or an 
outstanding effort within a local arts organization. Our faculty and 
readers of this eNews will be aware that our Fine Arts students play an 
important role in Victoria's arts scene and many begin or live out their 
professional careers here in Victoria.

And for even more awards, at the 17th annual Victoria Book Prizes 
ceremony <http://victoriabookprizes.ca/winners/>, Theatre and Writing 
alumnus and current Writing instructor *Mark Leiren-Young 
<http://leiren-young.com> (BFA ’85)* won the Children’s Book Prize for 
/Orcas Everywhere: The Mystery and History of Killer Whales 


      Connect with the Phoenix Theatre

Don't forgot to join, like and follow us on *Facebook, * 
<https://www.facebook.com/UVicPhoenixTheatre/> *Twitter 
<https://twitter.com/UVicPhoenix>* or *Instagram* 
<https://www.instagram.com/phoenixtheatreuvic/>** – for more Phoenix, 
alumni and theatre-based stories.


      Supporting our Students Kudos:

An amazingly huge THANK YOU to the Phoenix Theatre's many individual 
donors <https://finearts.uvic.ca/theatre/donations/> and corporate 
sponsors for their support of our programs and talented students! Find 
out how your company can reach our 10,000 audience members and UVic 
community of over 25,000.Contact us <mailto:aholierh at uvic.ca> to discuss 
a customized sponsorship package to meet your goals.


Phoenix eNews is a regular email magazine for those interested in the 
Phoenix Theatre, the not-for-profit productions at the University of 
Victoria's Department of Theatre, PO Box 1700, STN CSC, Victoria, BC, 
V8W 2Y2 Canada. The University of Victoria is a Registered Charity. 
Charitable Registration No. 10816 2470 RR0001

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© University of Victoria 2020


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