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 Thing
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 Bacon’s 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 practice
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 workshop.

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 abstract sound).
• 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 as coach.
• 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.

Pure Research - 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 production elements

Submission Process

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 known
do not send videos, press clippings, photos, programs, press kits or folders

• Remember that it is NOT a developmental workshop for a new performance piece
• 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 15, 2012.
• 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 rupal@nightswimmingtheatre.com by 5pm EST on Tuesday, May 1, 2012.

Thanks for your interest in Pure Research.
We look forward to reading your application.

Back to top ^