A Necessary Evolution
A part of the Survival and Reinvention mini-conference.
Friday, July 9, 2021 | 11:00 - 1:00
Sponsored by the University of Toronto, BMO Lab in Creative Research in the Arts, Performance, Emerging Technologies and AI
(CHAIR: KIRSTY SEDGMAN) PASCALE AEBISCHER, SÉBASTIEN HEINS, KELSEY JACOBSON, JORDAN TANNAHILL, JOSEPH JUKNIEVICH, MICHELLE MACARTHUR, RACHAEL NICHOLAS & DANI SNYDER-YOUNG
Live discussion on Zoom; spoken in English with live translation from English to French available in the chat. No ASL interpretation will be offered for this event.
Kirsty Sedgman (University of Bristol) - Kirsty is an award-winning scholar specialising in audience research and cultural value, and she investigates how people find value in cultural participation. Her book Locating The Audience (2016) was the first to explore how people developed relationships with a new cultural institution at the time of its formation: the then brand-new National Theatre Wales. Her second, The Reasonable Audience (2018), examines behaviour policing in the theatre etiquette campaigns. She has published on subjects ranging from exclusions in immersive and participatory theatre, to the ways online audiences talk about digital representations of live performance, to how Harry Potter fans felt about The Cursed Child stage play. Kirsty is currently working on a three-year British Academy-funded research project investigating community engagements with the Bristol Old Vic theatre through time.
Pascale Aebischer - In collaboration with Creation Theatre (Oxford), Pascale Aebischer and Rachael Nicholas ran the Digital Theatre Transformation: A Case Study and Digital Toolkit project in 2020 to explore how the company and its audiences adapted to performing on Zoom during the Covid-19 lockdown with an immersive and interactive production of The Tempest. Before Covid-19, their research was already concerned with digital innovation and they had worked together for their contributions to Shakespeare And The ‘live’ Theatre Broadcast Experience (Bloomsbury 2018, ed. Aebischer with Susanne Greenhalgh and Laurie Osborne). Rachael Nicholas has published work on audiences for theatre broadcasts, and Pascale Aebischer has most recently written a book on Shakespeare, Spectatorship And The Technologies Of Performance (Cambridge 2020). They are currently writing a chapter about their work with Creation Theatre for Shakespeare In Lockdown (forthcoming with Bloomsbury).
Sébastien Heins - Passionate about multiple forms of storytelling craft, Sébastien Heins is an acclaimed actor, playwright, theatremaker and filmmaker. A founding member of Outside the March, he is currently its associate artistic director (new platforms and initiatives). Acting credits include Oh, The Humanity, Mr. Marmalade, Vitals, That Synching Feeling and Mr. Burns: A Post-electric Play (OtM), and Breath Of Kings: Rebellion & Redemption (Stratford). Sébastien’s solo show Brotherhood: The Hip Hopera won the Best Emerging Artist Award at United Solo Festival in NYC. He directed the creation of Stratford’s first ever Virtual Reality Experience, Breath Of Kings 360. In 2020-21, Sébastien was selected as one of two performers-in-residence for the inaugural BMO Lab.
Kelsey Jacobson - Dr. Kelsey Jacobson is an Assistant Professor in the Dan School of Drama and Music at Queen’s University. She is currently researching audience archival methods as a co-investigator on the SSHRC-funded project “Gatherings: Archival and Oral Histories of Performance,” led by Dr. Stephen Johnson (PI). She is also a founding director of the Centre for Spectatorship and Research, and is currently working on a monograph entitled Feeling Real: Audience Perception And Production Of Realness In Contemporary Performance. Her research into theatre of the real, audience perception, affect theory, and qualitative methodologies has been published in Theatre Research in Canada, Research in Drama Education, Performance Matters, Etudes, and Canadian Theatre Review.
Jordan Tannahill - Jordan Tannahill is an acclaimed playwright whose works have been produced at major centres around the world and is a two-time winning and three time nominee for the Governor General’s Award for Drama (Age Of Minority: Three Solo Plays, Concord Floral, Botticelli In The Fire & Sunday In Sodom). He is additionally a director, filmmaker, and novelist (Liminal, was named one of the best Canadian novels CBC Books and selected for the Prix des Libraires du Québec). He has been described as being ‘widely celebrated as one of Canada’s most accomplished young playwrights, filmmakers and all-round multidisciplinary artists’ (Toronto Star); ‘one of Canada's most extraordinary artists’ (CBC Arts); ‘the enfant terrible of Canadian theatre’ (Libération); and ‘the hottest name in Canadian theatre’ (Montreal Gazette).
Joe Juknievich - Joe Juknievich is a freelance theatre director based in Boston, Massachusetts and a Founding Co-Artistic Director of Entropy Theatre, a fringe company dedicated to fostering safe creative atmospheres where the possibilities of theatre can be tested. Recent projects include: Domestic Explorations (Entropy Theatre), Jesus Christ Superstore (Firehouse Center for the Arts), The Moors (Entropy Theatre) (named in The Theatre Mirror's "Favorite Theatrical Experiences of 2019"), The Rocky Horror Show (Entropy Theatre/Firehouse/PPAF), Perfect Arrangement (UMass Lowell), Praxis Stage's Elliot Norton Award-nominated All My Sons, and Exiled Theatre's IRNE-nominated Nurse Play. Areas of artistic focus include: queer narratives, re-imagining classic texts for contemporary audiences, musical theatre, dramatizing the historic record, and expanding performance boundaries.
Michelle MacArthur - Dr. Michelle MacArthur is Assistant Professor at the University of Windsor’s School of Dramatic Art. With co-investigators Dr. Kimberley McLeod (University of Guelph) and Dr. Scott Mealey (CSAR), she is leading a SSHRC-funded study of the creation and reception of theatre performed on Zoom during the pandemic, focusing on the Outside the March-University of Windsor co-production of The Stream You Step In. Her research on theatre criticism has informed two other ongoing, SSHRC-funded projects: “Gender, Genre, and Power in the Theatre Blogosphere” (PI) and “Fostering 21st-century Theatre Criticism in Canada: Building Capacity” (PI), the latter with co-investigators Dr. Karen Fricker (Brock University) and Dr. Barry Freeman (UofT).
Dr. Rachael Nicholas - In collaboration with Creation Theatre (Oxford), Pascale Aebischer and Rachael Nicholas ran the Digital Theatre Transformation: A Case Study and Digital Toolkit project in 2020 to explore how the company and its audiences adapted to performing on Zoom during the Covid-19 lockdown with an immersive and interactive production of THE TEMPEST. Before Covid-19, their research was already concerned with digital innovation and they had worked together for their contributions to Shakespeare And The ‘Live’ Theatre Broadcast Experience (Bloomsbury 2018, ed. Aebischer with Susanne Greenhalgh and Laurie Osborne). Rachael Nicholas has published work on audiences for theatre broadcasts, and Pascale Aebischer has most recently written a book on Shakespeare, Spectatorship And The Technologies Of Performance (Cambridge 2020). They are currently writing a chapter about their work with Creation Theatre for Shakespeare In Lockdown (forthcoming with Bloomsbury).
Dani Snyder-Young - Dani Snyder-Young is Assistant Professor of Theatre at Northeastern University. Her work examines the complex impacts of participation in dramatic activities and theatrical events, studying both the intended effects and unintended by-products of theatre participation and spectatorship. She is the author of Privileged Spectatorship: Theatrical Interventions In White Supremacy (Northwestern UP, 2020) and Theatre Of Good Intentions: Challenges And Hopes For Theatre And Social Change (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013).