WE ARE FRENCH. ET ANGLAIS NOUS RESTONS. - Masters Thesis (2014)French Canadian playwright Joseph Armand Leclaire (1888-1931) was very well known and respected in his time. Although he wrote over thirty plays, lyrics to several songs and an abundance of political poems, most of his work has been lost and Leclaire himself seems to have been forgotten. Several of his plays were produced at the time they were written, including his 1916 play La petite maîtresse de l'école (later published in 1929 as Le petit maître d'école), but none have been presented postumously nor have any been translated. This M. F. A. thesis presents the first ever translation and adpatation of Leclaire's play, titled in English as The Little Schoolmaster. The first half of the thesis provide historical context for the play's significance, as well as information about Armand Leclaire and the changes he made to his own work between the original 1916 version and the 1929 published version. The thesis then analyses the creative acts of translation and adaptation, proposing a new model of translation for a linguistically rich audience. Through this new model of translation-adaptation for a bilingual spectrum, the thesis concludes by demonstrating that dramaturgy can serve as a dynamic instrument for communities to engage in the exploration of bilingual and bicultural identity.
Conference Presentations & Papers
2013 ENGLISH GRADUATE ORGANIZATION CONFERENCE The Little Schoolmaster. Staged Reading of a segment of a new translation of Armand Leclaire’s Le petit maître d’école by Alison Bowie.
Until the fall of 2012 none of Leclaire’s works had been translated into English. His plays deal with the issues surrounding Canadian national identity and language. The Little Schoolmaster questions the role of language in national identity and citizenship. These questions are not only central to the play, but also to my research as a dramaturge.
The play is centred on the repercussions of Regulation 17, which was instituted in Ontario in 1912. This regulation limited the instruction of the French language in Ontario to the first two years of schooling. It was modified in 1913 and finally repealed in 1927. The regulation fuelled the conflict between French and English Ontarians and was indicative of the passionate struggle between all French and English Canadians. Although the regulation was repealed, the feelings of resentment and the battle between these two sides did not cease. It was not until 1968 that the Ontario government officially recognized the French language schools. This struggle between the French and English in Canada continues even today. As someone who identifies as Franco-Ontarien, I believe it is important to recognize the polyvocality of the Canadian identity.
The central questions I am grappling with are: In what way is language connected to national identity and citizenship? What happens to that identity when the language of an entire group is taken away? How do we translate polyvocality? How do we understand nationality and citizenship collectively and as individuals? How is that understanding represented in embodied and performed narratives?
2013 MID-AMERICA THEATRE CONFERENCE Dramaturg-ing the Classroom: The benefits of dramaturgical skills for teachers, course design and course delivery
One of the central myths of pedagogy at the university level is how we frame the power dynamics of those who impart knowledge (the teacher) and those who receive it (the students). In traditional thinking, the teacher is imagined to hold the organizing vision of his/her course and is thought to “lead” students, much like a director who has a vision for a production of a play and “directs” the actors to bring his/her vision from the page to the stage.
This paper explores the idea of teacher-as-director as a myth. What if there was an alternative way of thinking about course creation and teaching? Imagine the teacher asdramaturg. Imagining course creation and its delivery as a dramaturgical endeavour, I argue for the application of dramaturgical skills (awareness of context, questioning of the script, engaged reflection/meta-analysis of the final production) to the creation and delivery of theater courses. Imagining a course as more akin to a rehearsal than a final production, this paper is focused on the work of UMass Amherst MFA candidate in Dramaturgy, Alison Bowie, and Assistant Professor of Theater, Megan Lewis, as we attempt to apply dramaturgical theories to our pedagogical practice during the Fall 2012 semester.
Framing our work through Dr Lewis’ graduate level World Repertory/Theatre History seminar as well as Ms. Bowie’s sections of our large undergraduate Introduction to Theater lecture course, this paper will share the results of our attempts to marry dramaturgical skills and pedagogical labors, to formulate a theory of dramaturgy-as-pedagogy, and to explore the potentials and pitfalls of our theory in practice in our both undergraduate and graduate classrooms this Fall.
In this paper, I am concerned with the following types of questions: What are the similar questions teachers and dramaturges ask in the way they approach their individual work and how might the one inform the other? What is the narrative and dramatic arc of a course or syllabus? How do we define its "plot structure"? How might thinking about a course as a rehearsal process rather than a final production impact, frame, or change the way we approach it?
2012 INTERNATIONAL ARTS IN SOCIETY CONFERENCE Identity and Collective Memory
Throughout history, the arts have helped shape society’s understanding of self. The end of each of the World Wars created a cauldron for changing – or shaping – identities. As we are on the brink of losing the last of the World War I generation, we are faced again with a period of changing identities. We are moving from a period of living to archival history. How will we remember the past? Although Canada continues to be part of the Dominion and fought alongside England during both World Wars, these two countries experienced war very differently. For Canada, World War I was about proving itself as a new country and shaping national identity. For England, it was about demonstrating its power and performing its imperialist identity. These different voices – the colonial voice of Canada and the Imperialist voice of England – are clearly evident in the theatre written about how these two countries experienced World War I. Oh What a Lovely War and Journey’s End are examples of plays that illustrate the Imperialist voice. This paper, however, focuses on one play from Canada – Vern Thiessen's "Vimy" – in order to demonstrate how theatre can illustrate national identity and can serve as a collective memory for World War I.