November 13, 14, and 15, 2014 at 7:30 p.m.
Matinee performance: November 14 at 11:30 a.m.
in the Sean O’Sullivan Theatre, Brock University
DIRECTED BY Gyllian Raby
Scenographer: Kelly Wolf
Hannah Cowley's most successful Town Comedy of 1783 demonstrated how to get your man and keep him in Georgian times -- but once relocated in today's Toronto, the laughing feminism lurking within the Marriage Plot is exposed in all its decadent hilarity.
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The Belle’s (Social Media) Stratagem
A central character in the Department of Dramatic Arts’ autumn Mainstage production, The Belle’s Stratagem, will have an active life on social media thanks to a partnership between students in one of the department's courses and the Mainstage production team. The goal of this partnership is extend the life of The Belle’s Stratagem both before and after the actual run (November 13-15) and to engage audiences in critical dialogue around the show.
Director and DART professor Gyllian Raby and assistant director Nick Leno have adapted and updated Hannah Cowley's 18th-century comedy to be set in today's Toronto. Through Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube, tech-savvy students in DART 3P95: Studies in Praxis I: Theatre Criticism are creating an online identity for one of the play’s central characters, Mrs. Racket. Followers of @racketlife can see photos of her favourite products, read her daily aphorisms, and watch “fan” videos posted on YouTube. Mrs. Racket’s online persona not only develops the character beyond the page and stage, but also highlights some of the production’s key themes related to consumerism, celebrity, and social class.
The social media platforms officially launch on October 20. Each platform is interconnected through the blog www.keepingupwithmrsracket.com
; the blog is also accessible via the production’s QR code, which is included in all publicity materials. Followers are encouraged to interact with Mrs. Racket across all three platforms using the hashtag #racketlife
: they can repost her Instagram photos or post and tag their own, tweet with Mrs. Racket, and vlog about the production on YouTube. The possibilities for participation are endless! During the show’s run, Praxis students will be present before each performance to demonstrate this technology through an interactive lobby display.
This partnership is part of a key component of the Theatre Criticism course, in which students immerse themselves behind-the-scenes in creative processes with local arts organizations, and write about it for the course blog, www.DARTcritics.com
. The Belle's
(Social Media) Stratagem
is an innovation this year, the first time that Theatre Criticism students have gone behind the scenes on a DART Mainstage and the first time that the learning outcomes involve a social media strategy.
Instagram account: @racketlife
Twitter account: @racketlife
YouTube channel: Racketlife
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