Campus News

Published by Communications and Public Affairs (519) 824-4120, Ext. 56982 or 53338

News Release

September 24, 2003

Students to perform in the Arboretum

Sixty University of Guelph students from three different disciplines theatre, music and landscape architecture are working together to present an "Environmental Collaboration" in the Arboretum Sept. 28 from 3:30 to 5 p.m. The performance is free and open to the public, rain or shine.

Starting at the entrance to the Arboretum by Alumni House, audience members will be guided to 10 performance locations along the Ivey Trail. Each of the 10 groups will include students from all the three disciplines.

Based only on a theme and a location, each group will perform a three-minute piece that incorporates music, dramatic content and a definition of the physical space. "The themes were chosen to express ideas around the change of season and to reflect the cycle of growth and decay," said drama professor Jerrard Smith. The themes are cycles, climax, fecund, decay, barren, beginnings, growth, maturity, awareness and balance.

The event grew out of an idea that Smith, drama professor Alan Filewod, landscape architecture professor Nancy Pollock-Ellwand and music professor Ellen Waterman had to bring their students together in an interdisciplinary project. "We wanted to explore where our disciplines might overlap," said Smith.

"Landscape architecture students are bringing their knowledge of the environment to the project," said Pollock-Ellwand. "But it's very collaborative. They could also end up singing and dancing." Although students must respect the environment, they may add temporary objects to the outdoor spaces to better communicate their theme.

Students are prepared to perform in all types of weather. "Because you could be performing in rain, hail, snow or sunshine, choose an instrument that won't get ruined," Waterman said to her music students. "Don't bring your Stradivarius: bring a folk guitar instead."

Pollock-Ellwand is optimistic that other interdisciplinary projects will grow out of this first collaboration. "We all feel there's something that connects our disciplines. If this project is a success, which I'm sure it will be, it'll be interesting to think of other ways to bring us all together."

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt (519) 824-4120, Ext. 53338, or Rachelle Cooper, (519) 824-4120, Ext. 56982.

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