Offering programs in theatre and visual arts, and courses in Visual Culture/Art History, the School of Fine Arts is a cornerstone of artistic life and cutting-edge research, scholarly and creative activity in Newfoundland and Labrador, and has built a name for itself both nationally and internationally.
Cameron Forbes, in the Fine Arts department recently received a SSHRC grant to further her studies of the built environment. The term Built Environment refers to spaces and infrastructures developed by humans, and it can range in scale from highway networks to fishing stages, and even a sandcastle built at the beach. In Professor Forbes' art practice, she considers human interventions with the natural landscape and already developed environments as a creative act. In her current project Active Site: Interventions in the Built Environment, Forbes' key question is to understand what the built environment means in Western Newfoundland. During the first year of the research, Prof. Forbes plans to facilitate art workshops in collaboration with community partners to develop an archive of creative interventions in the environment. The emerging built environment sites will be documented through stories and images, which will be digitally archived. The second year of the project will involve a collaboratively built site intervention and developed in partnership with the City of Corner Brook.
Theater production planning is a very meticulous activity. As Susan Jennings, Grenfell's Resident Stage Manager explains, her job is to communicate and coordinate with the entire crew, and keep notes with step-by-step details of every play. In her work Ms. Jennings must be able to keep track of even the smallest of props, such as a map that someone must carry around during the play, or whether a clothing pocket needs to be modified to fit such a map. She is also involved with ensuring the safety of actors by confirming that props and furniture are strong enough to, if needed, support a ruckus if needed. When stage managers are hired, they're given the necessary paperwork from directors, actors, and technical theatre personnel, which is then used to build a "Prompt Script" or "Show Bible". Preliminary paperwork has props, lights, and sound information, but during rehearsal is when cues are adjusted, and that's how the document becomes a complete prompt script. During theater production, it is critical that Ms. Jennings respect all aspects of the creation process. From religious literature and stage superstitions, to quoting from a Scottish play, Ms. Jennings must remain mindful.
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