News & Events

Disruptors

The Theme of the Department of Theatre's 2018-19 Season

Disruptors innovate. Disruptors interrupt. Disruptors infiltrate. This season, Theatre@York presents plays that focus on the impact and influence of people who are agents of change. Sometimes unconventional, always challenging, these are characters who will never leave well enough alone. The Reading Group, made up of fifteen students from acting, production/design and performance creation & research as well as three faculty members, read many diverse plays and met over six months to determine the Disruptors season.

Rochdale a new play by David Yee under the direction of Nina Lee Aquino, featuring the fourth year acting ensemble.

Middletown by Will Eno, featuring the acting students in the MFA program and directed by the esteemed Jackie Maxwell.

Orlando by Sarah Ruhl, directed by MFA candidate Lindsey Bell, and
The Balcony by Jean Genet, directed by MFA candidate Margaret Legere. The two shows will be performed in repertory and feature the MFA and fourth-year actors.

For more details about these plays and the rest of our compelling 2018-19 Season, see our full Season Announcement.

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Spotlight on Faculty: Shawn Kerwin

Professor Shawn Kerwin is a set and costume designer and a professor at York University. Her formal training formal training was in London, England at the Sadler’s Wells Design Course (later called the Motely School); after returning to Canada to design plays for a number of years, she continued her training by spending 13 months working in the design office of the Metropolitan Opera in New York. Her design work has taken her from one end of Canada to the other, plus she’s worked in the US. This past year, Shawn was on sabbatical from her teaching, and chose to use the year to work on a number of projects, including two impressive works created with Alumna Jillian Keiley in Newfoundland, Float and Between Breaths.

Shawn also enrolled as a full-time student at the Institute without Boundaries (IwB), a program that focuses on collaborative design practice with the objectives of social, ecological and economic innovation, fostering collaboration between disciplines to create innovative local solutions to 21st century global challenges.

Read about Shawn’s busy year away from the classroom in this month’s Spotlight on Faculty.

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50 Years of Disruption: Owais Lightwala

In Celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Dept. of Theatre at York

We’re pointing our spotlight this year on 50 significant people from the past 50 years. Each week, we’ll ask an alum 4 questions about themselves and their experience at York. This week we’re joined by Owais Lightwala (BFA, Theatre Production & Design 2012), who is a theatre producer, and also an “occasional theatre artist and web/graphic designer”. He is the Managing Director of Why Not Theatre, an independent theatre company he helped build from the ground up into one of the country’s fastest growing companies. Additionally, he works as a strategic consultant for a diversity of arts and culture organizations in areas related to changing who’s in their audience demographic, innovating new models, and “anything to do with numbers”.
Read more about Richard’s experiences at York, how he came to be an expert in theatrical “Action,” how a lighting design teacher became his mentor, how he learned about empowerment, and the need for artists to get paid.

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