MFA in Directing at UBC

March 25th, 2011

Editor’s Note ~ This month’s guest blog post by Professor Stephen Heatley is an adaptation of his notes in the show program for Wild Honey which runs to March 26 :

As you may know, ours is a wide-ranging and diverse department. We feature three different BFA degrees, two BA streams, four MFA specialties, two MAs and a PhD plus two certificates. Our students are scholars and practitioners. As usual, tonight’s production is led by student initiative. All four design elements are created by students, the actors are part of the Bachelor of Fine Arts Acting conservatory program, and the production is managed and crewed by students in our theatre production stream. Here, I would like to focus on the Master of Fine Arts in Directing for Theatre and the graduate student who leads the team for Wild Honey, Brian Cochrane.

Actors: L-R (Back): Claire Hesselgrave, Mishelle Cuttler, Sarah Goodwill, Christine Quintata. (Front) Ben Whipple Photo Credit: Tim Matheson Photo Credit: Tim Matheson

Actors: L-R (Back): Claire Hesselgrave, Mishelle Cuttler, Sarah Goodwill, Christine Quintata. (Front) Ben Whipple Photo Credit: Tim Matheson Photo Credit: Tim Matheson

Directing Wild Honey is part of Brian’s MFA thesis. A student in directing undertakes a certain amount of course work during their two-year residency at UBC and the work culminates in directing a full-length play in the Theatre at UBC season. What follows the production is a document outlining the preparation for and reflection on the production, which will eventually be placed on record in the UBC library and remain a permanent testament to this ephemeral event.

Director Brian Cochrane steps into our publicity photo shoot to see what it's like to be Platinov! In Photo ~ Actors: L-R: (Kneeling) Christine Quintata, Sarah Goodwill, Mishelle Cuttler, Brian Cochrane (Director), Ben Whipple, Claire Hesselgrave Photo Credit: Tim Matheson

We are really proud of the students who complete this program and become leaders in their field. UBC directing grads are ubiquitous in the theatre; one leads Theatre Calgary, one leads the Sudbury Theatre Centre, one leads Vancouver’s Pi Theatre, one leads Vancouver’s only professional Francophone com- pany, one co-directs the city’s Leaky Heaven Circus, one is Associate Director at the Richmond Gateway, one is currently teaching and directing at Bishop’s University in Quebec, one has recently directed for the Arts Club, another for the Vancouver Playhouse, one is the resident dramaturg at the Arts Club, another is full-time faculty at the University of Victoria, one is full-time faculty at Thompson Rivers University, one stars in Little Mosque on the Prairie, one stars regularly at the Stratford Festival, another runs a company in Seattle, another is a faculty member at Perdue University, another at Trinity Western University, many are working free lancers and Jessie and Leo Award winners, one is a UBC faculty colleague. And there are many more!

This litany of talent is listed only to underline that our current production of Wild Honey is the work of a director and an artist who will go on to have a major impact on the theatre as we know it.

I hope you’ll take the opportunity to attend Theatre at UBC and support the emerging talent we are so proud to nurture. The last piece of the Theatre at UBC puzzle this year is the always surprising Brave New Play Rites Festival in the Dorothy Somerset Studio, March 30 to April 3. See you there!

Stephen Heatley Interim Head, UBC Department of Theatre and Film

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