Pure Research Reports:
by Rececca Singh and Nick Carpenter
'Kinesthetic Transference in Performance'
by Erika Batdorf, Kate Digby and Denise
'The Unsuspecting Audience'
by Moynan King & Sherri Hay
by Moynan King & Sherri Hay
by Camellia Koo
by Cathy Nosaty, Laurel MacDonald & Philip Strong
'Voice, Music & Narrative'
by Martin Julien
'Beneath the Poetry: Magic not Meaning'
by Kate Hennig
Sound, Voice and Connection'
by Heather Nicol
'Exploring the Land Between Speaking
by Guillaume Bernardi
by Lois Brown & Liz Pickard
by Nick Fraser & Justin Haynes
by Shadowland Theatre
Read Brian's article on Pure Research from the Canadian Theatre
Pure Research with Nightswimming
Pure Research - Toronto 2012
PR-Toronto will take place in association with The Centre
for Drama, Theatre and Performance at the University of Toronto,
October 15-20, 2012. Please see below for application process and
feel free to contact Nightswimming Artistic Director Brian Quirt
at Brian Quirt.
Application deadline: May 1, 2012.
The second edition of PR-Vancouver is scheduled for
June 2012 in association with Contemporary Arts at Simon Francer
University's new Woodward's facility in downtown Vancouver. The
sessions will include the participation of Contempory Arts students
and Dramaturg DD Kugler.
Pure Research - Toronto 2010
In association with the University of Toronto Graduate Centre for
Study of Drama
That edition featured three research workshops. Here is a synopsis
of the projects:
Ruth Howard The Worst
As a community theatre artist and activist, Ruth explored the question
"what does it feel like to tell someone about the worst things
that have ever happened to you and then have them performed or presented?"
The ethics and implications of interview-based theatre creation
are often discussed; in this workshop Ruth and her team from Jumblies
Theatre turned the process on themselves, taking their own lives
as the subject of the interviews and subjecting themselves to the
awkwardness, risk, exposure and depth of feeling that they regularly
ask of the individuals participating in their projects.
Mary Walsh Voicing Pain and Suffering
Inspired by the paintings of Francis Bacon, Mary conducted a series
of improvisational performance exercises, vocal and physical, exploring
the emotional content of Bacons most extreme images. Using
images of the paintings, music and repetition, the performers searched
for a performative voice with which to convey the emotional complexity
of characters in moments of extreme pain and suffering. Lois Brown,
Susan Kent and Sean McCann were Mary's co-researchers.
David Duclos Additive Colour Theory
In an additive colour process, two or more beams of coloured light
mix and produce secondary colours. Modern gel filters have made
additive colour mixing obsolete. David is exploring this technique
to determine its value to contemporary scenic design by documenting
an array of additive colour blends using digital photography, several
lamps, primary colour filters, a white object and a white background.
PURE RESEARCH - general information
There are few places in Canada where in-depth theatrical
research can be explored, without the pressure of developing or
performing a new work. Nightswimming's unique Pure Research program
provides space, money and resources to artists who are pursuing
provocative theatrical questions.
Pure Research is designed to foster theatrical experiments that
are not specifically linked to the creation of new work. In the
spirit of inquiry, we want you to tell us what you don't know, and
how you might be able to answer your questions through a Pure Research
What does that mean? If you have a theatrical question, and
can pose it in terms of an experiment, then we're interested. We
will supply studio space for up to three days, a fee for the lead
researcher and a modest budget for artists and materials.
All Pure Research Toronto sessions are conducted at
the Centre's Glen Morris Studio Theatre and must include graduate
students as participants, observers and/or documenters. Details
of student involvement are determined in consultation with the Drama
Centre and the researchers upon acceptance into Pure Research. All
projects are documented and the results posted on Nightswimming's
website. Researchers are required to submit a full report within
one month of completing their experiment. Nightswimming staff will
be present to observe and offer assistance as required.
Pure Research workshops have included:
'Voice, Music and Narrative Theatre' by Martin Julien (experimentation
with the influence of live vocal musical sound on theatrical narrative);
'Beneath the Poetry: Magic not Meaning' by Kate Hennig (an
exploration of voice for the theatre, investigating alternative
models of illuminating text in rehearsal);
'Singing to Speaking' by Guillaume Bernardi (examing the
moment of transition from speech to song);
'The Voice Made Visual' by Heather Nicol (in which a visual
artist worked with actors to explore improvised vocal texts and
Nick Fraser and Justin Haynes explored theatrical improvisation
from their point of view as musicians, and examining the similarities
in improv techniques in the two disciplines. Bruce Hunter served
Lois Brown and Liz Pickard from St. John's, Newfoundland,
investigated humour, specifically the structure of jokes and gags
and how those devices can be applied to other situations.
Toronto's Shadowland Theatre worked with a lighting designer
to explore what they call 'theatre of illumination' - investigating
a myriad of lighting ideas to further their use of shadow and image.
- Toronto Submission Details: DEADLINE MAY 1, 2012
We need a concise but detailed proposal outlining:
your question and what you want to learn from it
how you intend to conduct the experiment - this is the most
important section of the application
practical details such as time, people and equipment required
any relevant support material such as text or prior research
We are particularly interested in:
artists who view research and development as a long-term
process, rather than simply as a short-cut to production
an artistic spirit of inquiry around text, genre, stye and/or
What to send us:
a one page cover letter introducing yourself and defining
the application: time requested, estimated budget, specific goals
a two page (maximum) project description
c.v. of principal artist and a list of collaborators, if
do not send videos, press clippings, photos, programs,
press kits or folders
Remember that it is NOT a developmental workshop for a new
be honest about what you know, what you don't know, what
you want, and what you'd like to achieve
before making our final decisions we may contact those whose
submissions intrigue us; we may ask short-listed applicants for
further information or a more detailed proposal
all applicants will be informed of results by mail by June
applications from artists outside Ontario are welcomed, but
the realities of our budget means we will focus on Ontario-based
submissions for this edition
the dates October 15-20 are not negotiable, although which
3 days within that week you use will be determined in consultation
with all the successful researchers
Note: applications will be accepted by email onlly.
Please email applications to email@example.com
by 5pm EST on Tuesday, May 1, 2012.
Thanks for your interest in Pure Research.
We look forward to reading your application.
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