Invitational FAQ

Faculty of Humanities: Department of Dramatic Arts

Invitational FAQ

What is a DART Invitational?
What is the purpose of the DART Invitational?
Do I need to decide what I want to study at DART in order to participate in the Invitational?
What do I need to do in advance of the workshop?
How will I be assessed or evaluated? What skills and talents are you looking for in the participants?
This is a long and somewhat challenging play. Do I really need to read it?

What should I wear to the Invitational?
Should I bring lunch, snacks, or drinks?
What will the day be like?
What if I can’t make it to the March 28th Invitational or the May 09th Invitational?
It’s a week before the Invitational and I have not received my offer of admission from the Registrar’s office. What should I do?
How do I register?
How do I pay for the workshop?
When and how will I find out if I have been accepted?

What is a DART Invitational?
The Invitational is part of the admissions process for students interested in entering the Department of Dramatic Arts (DART) at Brock University. Students who receive a conditional offer of admission to the Bachelor of Arts (Honours) Dramatic Arts program will be invited to the St. Catharines campus to participate in the DART Invitational on either March 28th or May 09th. Offers of admission will be conditional upon successful completion of the DART Invitational.

The DART Invitational is an exciting, full day event of workshops that will introduce you to all facets of theatre study our program offers – from drama in education and applied theatre, to production and design, to performance and theatre praxis. Whereas most drama programs ask you to prepare a classical monologue and give you a two-minute opportunity to “impress the judges,” we will be taking you through a series of workshops, which will allow you to walk away with some introductory skills, as well as an original piece of theatre you’ve created with peers.

Throughout the day’s events, you will have an opportunity to meet some of the program’s faculty and staff, current students, as well as recent graduates of the program. Lunch and snacks will be provided.
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What is the purpose of the DART Invitational?
The purpose of the DART Invitational is to attract students who are well suited to our program. You are more likely to succeed in our program if you are making an informed decision to join us based on the unique skill set our program will foster in you. DART seeks to graduate students with an integrated knowledge of all four of the concentrations we offer, while giving you the opportunity to gain specialized knowledge in one chosen area of study. Through our program's emphasis on "praxis" - the integration of theory and practice – you will acquire the skill set to analyze, synthesize, theorize, devise, and collaborate in a broad range of situations – from the stage to the classroom to the public sphere - and move fluidly through different disciplines of theatre study.
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Do I need to decide what I want to study at DART in order to participate in the Invitational?
No. This workshop will give you a sampling of the range of courses of study our program offers. You may find that the experience will help you identify what your interests are.
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What do I need to do in advance of the workshop?
In advance of the workshop, participants will be asked to do the following:

Read Sophocles’ Antigone (442 BCE). We are recommending a translation by Ian Johnstone available on-line at: http://records.viu.ca/~johnstoi/Sophocles/Antigone.htm
After reading the play, participants will be asked to bring the following three items with them to the Invitational:
1) Four lines from the play that are important or meaningful to the participant.
2) An image or object that resonates with the play or captures a personal response to the play.
3) A one-page reflection on the play that identifies a particular theme or issue of interest to the participant.

All written work should be your own. Plagiarism occurs when you submit material, in whole or in part, that is not your own work without citing the source.  Plagiarism is a serious academic offense.
When must you give credit?  You must give credit (cite), when you use another person’s ideas, opinion, theory, facts, statistics, etc., or any information that is not considered common knowledge.

For the purposes of the DART Invitational there is no requirement to include or refer to secondary sources in your written material  (e.g., on-line articles, notes, reviews).  However, if you do you must correctly cite these sources using the MLA citation style and use quotation marks where appropriate (see for example the MLA Style Quick guide found on this page: http://researchguides.library.brocku.ca/styleguides/mla .)  

If in doubt, contact our office at dramatic.arts@brocku.ca
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How will I be assessed or evaluated? What skills and talents are you looking for in the participants?
Our program is modeled on the collaborative, ensemble framework one encounters in the professional theatre world. Successful completion of the workshop, therefore, will be determined on the basis of the criteria necessary to succeed within that framework. Attention will be paid to participants’ abilities to:

* work in a creative and collaborative way within an ensemble
* engage analytically and creatively with the assigned play
* listen well and engage thoughtfully with others’ contributions and responses to the play
* respond well to artistic and academic challenges, as well as constructive criticism or feedback
* Engage in physical theatre work with focus and awareness

We are particularly interested in students who are eager to develop themselves both artistically and intellectually in a university context. Your one-page reflection paper on the play Antigone is an opportunity for us to become familiar with your abilities to engage with and write thoughtfully on a work of dramatic literature – skills that will be developed as you work through a university degree.
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This is a long and somewhat challenging play. Do I really need to read it?
Even when you are preparing a monologue for an audition, you need to read the play from which the monologue is taken in order to convey that you have a rich and fully developed sense of the character you are representing. It is often glaringly apparent when a student has not read the full play, since he or she is unable to convey the broader story of the character’s conflict, circumstances, and journey in the monologue. In the case of the DART Invitational workshops, this fuller knowledge of the play and its conflicts is crucial, since the play will be the basis of the scenes you will develop with your peers, as well as the workshop exercises.

It’s also important to keep in mind that a university degree in Dramatic Arts requires that you read and write critically about works of dramatic literature, as well as historical and theoretical texts about the theatre. Your one-page reflection will allow you to convey to us your thoughts and interpretations of the play and demonstrate that you are prepared to undertake writing, reading, and critical reflection assignments required through the course of your university studies.
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What should I wear to the Invitational?
Because this will be an active day, requiring you to move around, we recommend that you wear loose, comfortable and neutral clothing – preferably plain, black pants and a t-shirt:

You must wear a plain, white, short sleeved T Shirt to the DART Invitational. On the Front and the Back of your T-Shirt write your First and Last Name in Permanent BLACK Marker in letters that measure atleast 6 inches.  Your first name should be above your last name in 2 lines.

We also recommend that you avoid wearing jewelry, particularly dangly earrings, rings, bracelets, etc., that could get caught on other people’s clothing as you work.
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Should I bring lunch, snacks, or drinks?
You may want to bring a water bottle to keep hydrated, but lunch and snacks will be provided. When you book your placement in the workshop, please inform our Administrative Assistant, Georgann Watson, if you have any food allergies.
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What will the day be like?
Beginning at 9a.m. in Brock University’s Sean O’ Sullivan Theatre and running to 5p.m., all participants will be taken through a range of workshops, each focused around the four concentrations of study our program offers: Performance, Theatre Praxis, Drama in Education and Applied Theatre, and Production and Design. Each of these workshops will use the play Antigone as the basis for a series of exercises. In the afternoon, you will be invited to apply the range of skills you have acquired in the morning. Using the lines, images, or objects each participant has brought in response to the play you will collaboratively create your own original piece of theatre for presentation at the end of the day.

Workshops, brainstorming, and rehearsal sessions will be broken up by snack and lunch breaks. You will also receive a brief introduction to the program, the exciting opportunities available to you throughout your degree, and you will also have an opportunity to get to know the department’s faculty in a friendly environment. The DART Invitational will be a welcoming, exhilarating, and memorable event for all participants.
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What if I can’t make it to the March 289th Invitational or the May 09th Invitational?
We are notifying applicants early of these dates so that you can keep these days free of other obligations. We suggest that you keep both of these dates free, since participation in the workshop is required for admission into the program. If you are unable to attend either of these dates due to urgent circumstances, alternate arrangements will be made. Complete the information on the online registration form or email our Administrative Assistant, Georgann Watson, at dramatic.arts@brocku.ca to plan an alternative option.
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It’s a week before the Invitational and I have not received my offer of admission from the Registrar’s office. What should I do?
There may be delays preventing the Registrar’s office from processing your application. It may be that you receive a notice of your conditional offer of admission into the Department of Dramatic Arts from the Registrar’s office a week before the Invitational date. Therefore, it’s very important that you not only keep the March 28th and May 09th dates open, but that you begin preparing for the Invitational by reading the play and following the pre-Invitational steps outlined above. Preparing early will make the days leading up to the Invitational much less stressful for you and optimize your ability to participate successfully in the Invitational workshops.
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How do I register?
If you receive a conditional offer of acceptance from Brock University’s Registrar’s Office, you will receive an email/letter that includes detailed information about the event. That email/letter will include a registration form that you will need to fill out and send to the department along with payment in advance of the workshop. You will also need to confirm with the department your registration in one of the two workshop dates – March 28th OR May 09th - by completing the online form found at www.brocku.ca/humanities/departments-and-centres/dramatic-arts/future-st...
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How do I pay for the workshop?
Your payment of $75.00 + HST= $84.75 is made by cheque or money order only (made out to Brock University) and has to be included with your registration form to confirm your registration. Confirmation of your registration will be sent by email. Should you decide to withdraw from an Invitation al please note that a refund for the registration fee can only be made up to two weeks before the date of the event.

Due to enrolment restrictions late registrations may not be accommodated.


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When and how will I find out if I have been accepted?
You will receive an email and letter of confirmation from the department within three days following your participation in the workshop.  In the case of a weekend-scheduled Invitational you will receive confirmation by the Tuesday that immediately follows.
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The DART Invitational is generously sponsored by Don and Cathy Mackenzie. Thank-you!

SHAW Summer Internship Program

Every year Brock's emerging artists have an opportunity to intern with one of Canada's most renowned theatre organizations, the Shaw Festival, for a six-week intensive learning experience. Early in the new year an application is offered to students who successfully complete DART 4P92 "Voice and Text of Bernard Shaw" as part of their final year of study. One deserving student is invited to polish their studies at DART by interning with professionals at the top of their game as they create productions for the Shaw Festival season.

Graduating student Robyn Cunningham was the Summer Intern at the Shaw Festival for 2012 Under the guidance of Co-Artistic Director Eda Holmes, Robyn participated in an intense period of production rehearsal and development from first read through to season premieres.  Some of the shows Robyn witnessed in development included The Millionairess and Present Laughter.  Robyn (seen below) regularly posted to her tumblr vlog across the six weeks.

In the Spring and Summer of 2014 graduating student Keavy Lynch is the Intern at the Shaw Festival.  Follow her adventures on Facebook as well as the DARTcritics blog at dartcritics.com.


Here’s what participants had to say about the DART Invitational experience:

The structure of the Invitational allowed me to be evaluated as a person and how I interact with a group. This is preferable to being asked a few questions and reading a few lines from a monologue that other schools ask of you. I like that the workshops gave me the opportunity to meet all of the professors. I also made great friends at the Invitational who I talk to regularly now. 

Unlike many other universities I auditioned for, this actually gave me an opportunity to experience what Brock is all about, and I highly enjoyed it . . . I enjoyed working with AMAZING people and getting advice from great profs and leaders . . . I enjoyed meeting new people, learning new skills, hearing others thoughts on the play, learning more about the program . . . I enjoyed being able to work with the actual course professors. Being able to see how they teach was a nice experience . . . The attention given, the intimate and intense atmosphere, pushing myself, the food . . . I really enjoyed being able to get to know fellow peers. I was very excited to meet new people and it was a very positive experience . . . Working with other applicants that we’ve never met before; getting to know the faculty, the DART life; meeting new people, sharing this experience with others . . . The energy amongst the students, teachers, and facilitators. Everything was so relaxed. And because I didn’t feel intimidated (and I don’t think anyone else was either) we were able to perform freely . . . I liked the different workshops with each drama teacher. It really gave me an idea of what being in the drama program at Brock would be like. I loved it! . . . This day helped make me even more certain that this is the place I want to be . . . I feel like I gained so much knowledge from today, more so than anywhere else I applied!