Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Graduate Centre for Study in Drama, University of Toronto, Festival of Original Theatre

Call for Papers, Performances, and Workshops FOOT (Festival of Original Theatre)

(En)gendering Performance: Feminism(s) in Representation

February 28-March 1, 2008

The Graduate Centre for Study of Drama, University of Toronto
The Graduate Centre for Study of Drama at the University of Toronto is pleased to announce our annual student-run conference and festival, the Festival of Original Theatre (FOOT), running from February 28 to March 1, 2008 at the Drama Centre. Scholars and artists are invited to submit proposals for papers, performances and workshops for this year's theme,
(En)gendering Performance: Feminism(s) in Representation.
Possible topics might include: feminist performance theory. feminist performance/artistic strategies, representations of gender in theatre, film, art, or dance, feminist approaches to historiographic representation, feminist dramatic/art/dance criticism..
Please submit a 300 word proposal to foot.graddrama@utoronto.ca by Sunday, November 25 , 2008.

Monday, October 29, 2007

American Education Research Association (AERA) launches new Arts Based Educational Research Site

ABER (Arts Based Educational Research) , a group within The American Educational Research Association (AERA) has recently launched a new site for those interested in arts research and education. http://aber-sig.org/ The site will offer visitors resources and information and a place to connect with other artists, researchers and educators. Yet another important indication of the worldwide movement in arts research!

Congratulations to ABER for this excellent new initiative.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Stories by William Carlos Williams featured in Reader's Theatre
Arts and Humanities in Health and Medicine Program

Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Alberta

Medical Readers’ Theater promotes discussion of issues related to the doctor/ patient relationship, and social, ethical, and other humanities-based aspects of medicine.

Upcoming Performance:

A Face of Stone
By William Carlos Williams (1883-1963)

Cast of Characters:
Narrator: Dr. Lisa Steblecki
Doctor: Dr. Ron Damant
Man: Peter Gill (Med 2010)
Woman: Sangeeta Jain (Class 2010)

Discussion Leader:
Dr. Verna Yiu

Tuesday, October 30, 2007
4:00 – 5:00 pm
Classroom D, 2F1.04 WMC

All are welcome!!!!

William Carlos Williams, a world-renowned poet (many will know his famous poem, "The Red Wheelbarrow"), also practiced medicine for 50 years among the working-class citizens of Rutherford, New Jersey, and wrote a number of short stories that used his experience in medicine to explore the lives of physicians and their patients. In this play a physician takes an instant dislike to a young immigrant couple who bring their infant to the office for a checkup. The story tracks the evolution of this initially poor physician/ patient relationship.
Many thanks to Todd L. Savitt, author of "Medical Readers' Theatre: A Guide and Scripts," for sharing his experiences of coordinating the East Carolina University's Medical Readers' Theatre Program with us.

Pamela Brett-MacLean, PhD
Co-Director, Arts & Humanities in Health & Medicine Program
Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry,
2-74 Zeidler Ledcor CentreEdmonton, AB Canada T6G 2X8Tel: (780) 492-0980 / Fax: (780) 492-5487 / Cell: (780) 708-3133

... we need the arts to "absorb the new knowledge of the sciences and assimilate it to human needs, color it with human passions, transform it into the blood and bone of human nature." (... from Percy Bysshe Shelley's "Defense of Poetry")

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Illinois Qualitative Dissertation Award


*DEADLINE: February 1, 2008

The International Center for Qualitative Inquiry is pleased to announce the second annual Illinois Qualitative Dissertation Award, for excellence in qualitative research in a doctoral dissertation. Eligible dissertations will use and advance qualitative methods to investigate any topic. Applications for the award will be judged by the following criteria: clarity of writing; willingness to experiment with new and traditional writing forms; advocacy,promotion, development, and use of qualitative research methodologies and practices in new fields of study, and in policy arenas involving issues of social justice. For more information, please visit our website: http://www.icqi.org/

*Note: The award will be given at The Fourth International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry (QI2008), which is now accepting abstracts. Please

visit http://www.icqi.org/

for info about:

The Fourth International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry (QI2008)
"Ethics, Evidence and Social Justice"

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

May 14-17, 2008.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Homeless Woman Have a Voice with Community Based Research Project by Dr.Izumi Sakamoto, University of Toronto

"Community-Based Participatory Research using Arts:
"Coming Together": Homeless Women, Housing and Social Support"

Dr. Izumi Sakamoto, Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto

Date: November 8th (1:15pm - 2:45pm)

Location: Bahen Centre, University of Toronto: Room B024 (40 St. George Street, immediately south of Russell Street)
'Coming Together: Homeless Women, Housing and Social Support ', is a community-based research project by the University of Toronto, Regent Park Community Health Centre, and Sistering - A Woman's Place, which explored how women and transwomen build support networks with each other when housing is the issue . With the help of the advisory board consisting of women/transwomen who experienced homelessness, women/transwomen at four drop-in centres created scenes depicting their own visions of inclusion, friendship and safe space through painting, theatre and photography ("staged photography"). Various methods have been used to disseminate the study findings and the evaluation of the project is under way. The challenges and rewards of conducting university-community collaborative research will be discussed.
Izumi Sakamoto is assistant professor of social work at the University of Toronto. A former Fulbright Scholar, she received MSW, MS (Psychology) and Ph.D. (Social Work & Psychology) from University of Michigan and BA and MA from Sophia University, Japan. Dr. Sakamoto's current program of research focuses on the intersecting oppressions, self-advocacy, and empowerment communities such as immigrants, homeless women/transwomen, and people of colour in local, international and transnational contexts. She has experiences in community-based research, arts-based research, qualitative research and mixed-method research. She has held research grants from the Social Science & Humanities Research Council, Wellesley Institute, and Centre for Excellence in Research on Immigration and Settlement -Toronto(CERIS), among others. Free, all are welcome, please RSVP to cuhi.admin@utoronto.ca

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Books by Canadian Writers Pat Capponi, Yvonne Trainer

Great books

I want to direct you to some excellent reading that may be of interest....

I recently read a very powerful and provocative book on mental health.... "Beyond the Crazy House" the Changing Future of Madness by writer, Pat Capponi from Toronto. I found this book to be direct, honest and deeply wise. Capponi proves through her accounts, personal histories and intimate reports that there is a critical need for change but, beyond the many challenges there can be hope, life and dignity "Beyond the Crazy House"...a home, a job and a friend. This book is written by a great teacher as well as a sensitive leader who is helping to "change the future of madness" in Canada and beyond.

Read an excerpt from "Beyond the Crazy House" at http://www.penguin.ca/nf/Book/BookDisplay/0,,0_9780141005102,00.html?sym=EXC

"As for me, on most days I'm filled with a deep sense of pride and shared accomplishment. We are survivors, and more than just survivors: we are groundbreakers and role models and teachers and leaders. and though there remains much to do, much to fight, much to plan, we have made a tremendous start, for ourselves and for others. Madness will never be the same."
Pat Capponi

Another excellent book, a collection of poems about an unforgettable First Nations cowboy,

Tom Three Persons A Multimedia Poetry Sequence
by Yvonne Trainer Ph.D.

I also had an opportunity recently to read the poetry collection "Tom Three Persons", described as "a postmodern poem", a multimedia poetry sequence and a work of Prairie Realism. Written by Yvonne Trainer Ph.D., this book of found poems is well researched and based on archival material and historical accounts and deals with the life of "Tom Three Persons" a Blood and bronco rider from the Standoff Reserve in Alberta who won the Calgary Stampede championship in 1912 on a horse named "Cyclone"...the horse that 126 other cowboys had not been able to ride.

The poems were originally delivered as a 30 minute recitation (performance). I found
the book moving visually as well as poetically...as a postmodern collection with photos (black and white) to create the feel of a poetic documentary. Yvonne creates in this unique work a "living" and intimate voice that seems to take us deeper and more inward with each poem and reading. It is revealing and honest writing and tells through action about the high points and many challenges Tom faced during his successful rodeo career while also sharing insights about the history, the man and the times.

For more about this book and Yvonne Trainer's poetry http://frontenachouse.com/index.php/titles/single/tom_three_persons/

and news....

In addition to her work as a scholar, professor and poet, Yvonne has been working all summer and into Fall to help launch a new site for book lovers. It includes a Book Club, Book discussions, a Weekly Featured Writer (mainly poets) and a Women Who Love to Read Project, plus blogs about books and writers. New features will appear weekly on the site.



Performing Stories About Aging, Mental Health and Autonomy

Cheryl McLean ,Editor, Publisher, International Journal of The Creative Arts in Interdisciplinary Practice IJCAIP
Editor, "Creative Arts in Interdisciplinary Practice, Inquiries for Hope and Change"

With a degree in the Social Sciences from The University of Western Ontario, London, Cheryl McLean worked for close to twenty years in publishing, corporate communications and adult education. She also had an ongoing interest in the performing arts producing and directing regional theatre in Ontario. Returning to graduate school at Concordia University, Montreal, she worked for two years (01 - 03) as a researcher and group therapist conducting group sessions with older persons at Maimonides Geriatric Hospital and The Rene Cassin Institute of Social Gerontology of Quebec "Over 60 Mental Health Program".

To help raise awareness about issues related to aging, mental health and autonomy, as her thesis presentation, she wrote and acted in a one woman performance called "Remember Me for Birds" based on this research and these experiences.

This work in its early stages had been influenced in field work by therapeutic approaches drawing from theoretical models and techniques utilized in current approaches in drama and expressive group work and drama therapy (Current Approaches in Drama Therapy, 2000), theatre for social change, Augusto Boal, (Theatre of the Oppressed) drama with special populations..realism and Stanislavski influenced acting approaches while working in projects for two years under the direction of Dr. Muriel Gold (Therapy Through Drama: The Fictional Family,2000) and, later, qualitative/narrative and performative approaches, writings by Dr. Norman K. Denzin, (Performance Ethnography, Critical Pedagogy and the Politics of Culture, 2003) and developments in the emerging playwriting and research performance genre, ethnodrama, Johnny Saldana, (Ethnodrama An Anthology of Reality Theatre, 2005).

Working with her Jewish clients, some of them Holocaust survivors, Cheryl had an opportunity to help individuals express their stories (through storytelling, poetry, enactments, other dramatic and expressive methods as well as through one on one interviews). These accounts became the basis for a performance script as did transcripts, oral histories, witness accounts, historical material, topical news stories and current events taking place in Montreal at the time. ( The real names of participants were not used, nor were locations mentioned. In some cases compilation characters were created to protect identities but the authenticity of the stories remained.)

"There is a paternalism with regard to "the elderly" (older persons). This often results in their autonomy being assumed to be less than it is or taken away against their will. I learned I am inappropriately detached from people. I attended because I was curious and I am glad I came. I learned about others but it (the performance) taught me about myself." Researcher, Elder Abuse

The original 30 minute performance was directed by Dr. Muriel Gold , formerly Artistic Director of the Saidye Bronfman Theatre, Montreal. Cheryl had a special opportunity while in Montreal to work as an actor with Muriel in projects for two years studying acting.. (Stanislavski influenced approaches/realism) and training approaches. On April 14, 2003, a solo performance was held for social workers and clinicians at The Rene Cassin Institute of Social Gerontology. Over the next two years following the original performance, the work as an "ethnodrama" advanced through several development phases as more personal and historical narratives were added, as well as written contributions from professionals who worked in aging and health, for example, an audio taped narrative written by a nurse (herself 76 years old) who had directly experienced work with the aged in mental health and palliative care settings.

See video clip

In later performances symbol and metaphor became more important and objects were presented in a "collaged" back drop drawing on significant items identified on site and from true stories. These objects along with news items etc. were used to visually juxtapose and contrast concepts and ideas from past and present.

The research performance in its final form had evolved to become a full one hour ethnodrama. (For more on this genre see, Saldana, J., Ethnodrama An Anthology of Reality Theatre, AltaMira Press) Acting solo in multiple roles, as well as performing personal narratives, Cheryl presented "Remember Me for Birds" for hundreds of academics, healthcare professionals and students at universities, health organizations, medical schools and national conferences in Canada and the U.S.

In follow up discussions and through feedback questionnaires, many audience members commented on the authenticity of what they experienced as witnesses to the stories in the ethnodrama with reflective comments about the value of such work in helping to "re-illuminate" the importance of re/membering the "patient" or "client" as a person with a life, a past history and a unique story.

"Remember Me for Birds" was featured in May 2005 as the keynote performance at The Canadian Association of Schools of Social Work Conference held in conjunction with The Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences at The University of Western Ontario, London and later that year for the McGill Interdisciplinary Geriatric Seminar, McGill Medical School, Montreal.

The performance was produced independently as an educational film in 2007.

See a video clip from the performance "Remember Me for Birds"


"Ethnotheatre employs the traditional craft and artistic techniques of theatre production to mount for an audience a live performance event of research participants' experiences and/or the researcher's interpretations of data. This research..meaning to investigate, in its broadest sense, can be conducted by artists, scholars or even by the participants themselves in such diverse fields of study as sociology, anthropology, psychology, education, health care, women's studies, justice studies, ethnic studies, cultural studies, political science, journalism, human communication, performance studies and theatre. The goal is to investigate a particular facet of the human condition for the purposes of adapting those observations and insights into a performance medium..."
Johnny Saldana, from "Ethnodrama: An Anthology of Reality Theatre, AltaMira Press, 2005, (pp. l-2)

"Ethnoperformances are postmodern often building a type of narrative collage that critiques culture. Speakers can "leap forward and backward in time" from present to past, presenting real news accounts against dramatic historic enactments of the past, using poems, monologues, dialogues, voice-overs and interior streams of consciousness."
Norman K. Denzin, from "Performance Ethnography, Critical Pedagogy and the Politics of Culture", Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks, California, 2003.



Boal, Augusto, "Theatre of the Oppressed", Pluto Press, London, 1979.

Denzin, Norman K., "Performance Ethnography, Critical Pedagogy and the Politics of Culture", Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks, California, 2003.

"Current Approaches in Drama Therapy", Penny Lewis, David Read Johnson Editors, Charles C. Thomas Publisher, Springfield, 2000.

Gold, Muriel, "Therapy through Drama The Fictional Family", Charles C. Thomas, Springfield, Illinois, 2000.

Saldana, Johnny, "Ethnodrama An Anthology of Reality Theatre", AltaMira Press, 2005.

Other references creative arts interdisciplinary practice:

"Creative Arts in Interdisciplinary Practice, Inquiries for Hope and Change", Cheryl McLean, Editor,
Robert Kelly, Associate Editor, Detselig/Temeron Books, Calgary (in process for release 2010) see website:

International Journal of the Creative Arts in Interdisciplinary Practice, IJCAIP, Cheryl McLean, Editor/Publisher, open access peer reviewed international journal, website: http://www.ijcaip.com/

contact: CherylMcLean@ijcaip.com
posted July, 2009

Monday, October 8, 2007

Quotes on Arts in Health and Education, CCAHTE Journal September 07 Quotes of Note

Quotes of note, September 07 issue, CCAHTE Journal

"To live well, and to foster well-being, and to nurture meaningful living, I locate myself in poetry and poetic awareness and poetic knowing. Above all, I seek to live

“In poetry, reading and writing poetry, I learned to listen to my body, heart, mind, spirit and imagination in a holistic honouring of health consciousness.”
Carl Leggo Ph.D., University of British Columbia
from CCAHTE, September 07, "Living Poetically: Pensées on Literacy and Health"

"Increased confidence and self esteem, social wellbeing, skill and knowledge developments, motivation and energy, creation of hope and fighting stigma are themes that reflect how members feel Workman Arts has impacted their quality of life."
Nicole Koziel, MD (in progress), University of Toronto
from CCAHTE, September 07, "Quality of Life and Mental Health Outcomes in Workman Arts Members"