The end-of-the-year theatre festival at UFV has undergone a bit of a makeover, and is making its debut in a new format. UFV Theatre presents its very first Emerging Directors’ Showcase from April 28–May 1. The multi-show event will take place at the UFV performance theatre on the Chilliwack North campus at 45635 Yale Road (at Airport Road).
“While we all enjoyed the crazy energy embodied by the fringe-fest style Directors’ Festival for the past two decades, we’ve decided to focus on the final projects of our senior directing students in a more manageable format,” says theatre professor Heather Davis-Fisch. “Audiences will still see a range of edgy and invigorating theatre and be entertained and inspired by the talents of our students.”
The Emerging Directors’ Showcase is the final project presented by UFV Theatre’s fourth-year directing class and is a chance for students to apply everything they have learned in the full-year course. This year’s directing class encouraged students to develop collaboration and communication skills, to learn about the most innovative and exciting theatre being produced in Canada today, to experiment with creative processes, and explore their own artistic vision and to create vital, relevant, and meaningful performances. The result is 10- minute plays, arranged into four blocks of four performances. Audiences can choose to see one block of four or all 16 shows.
Upper-level theatre students and directors have a lot to share about their experience.
“The class is a wild thrill ride that forces us to work with each other and within ourselves, encouraging us to take risks to explore our own tastes and boundaries under the vast umbrella that is directing,” says Phay Gagnon. “And the showcase shows will show exactly that.”
“This class has been a spectacular outlet for taking risks in theatre and being unafraid in our creative process,” says Desiree Hale. “It’s given me the chance to discover the kind of work that I want to create, and I’m so glad for the opportunity to share that work during the showcase.”
Audiences can expect a wide range of performances from raunchy physical comedy to thought-provoking and disturbing drama, from movement-based devised work to explorations of performance art. Many plays will be receiving their premiere performances at the Emerging Directors’ Showcase.
A special feature of this year’s showcase will be Margo Kane’s free lecture as part of the President’s Leadership Lecture Series at 7 pm on Sunday, May 1. Margo Kane is an Aboriginal artist with four decades of diverse practice as a storyteller, dancer, singer, writer, teacher, animator, video and installation artist. Kane, who received an honorary doctorate from UFV in 2015, will be sharing her work in the UFV performance theatre.
UFV Theatre offers a season of three main stage productions, the Emerging Directors’ Showcase, and a variety of special presentations such as staged play readings, workshops, and more. All UFV Theatre productions cultivate professional standards of practice and performance, and offer a variety of opportunities for students to develop industry skills both onstage and behind the scenes.
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