Camp Suzuki: Theatre & Performance Studies University of Toronto-Scarborough Campus (Scarborough) | Camp Suzuki | What you can do | David Suzuki Foundation
Photo: Camp Suzuki: Theatre & Performance Studies University of Toronto-Scarborough Campus (Scarborough)

Rouge Park workshop performance

What if you could visit a National Park for the price of a TTC token?

On April 9th, Barry and Natalie hosted a first performance of THE ROUGE PARK PROJECT in the Leigha Lee Browne Theatre. THE ROUGE PARK PROJECT was created by the students of VPDD40, an experiential education Theatre and Performance Studies course at UTSC focused on a form of documentary theatre called 'verbatim theatre'. Student actors interviewed members of the community about their experiences with the Rouge Valley and created a playful cast of characters to raise questions about what will become Canada's first national urban park.

Theatre goers were taken on a participatory and thought-provoking journey exploring how we should 'experience' nature in a park, and by extension, how we relate to nature in an increasingly urbanized Canada.

Barry and Natalie hope that their workshop performance gets people thinking about how we should 'experience' nature and inspires everyone to get out and experience the lovely Rouge Park.

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About the team

Theatre & Performance Studies University of Toronto-Scarborough Campus

Team: Barry Freeman, Natalie Frijia

What: The Camp Suzuki Theatre and Performance team will be lead by Barry Freeman, a theatre professor at the University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC), and Natalie Frijia, a graduate student at the Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies at the University of Toronto. The University of Toronto Scarborough is a community of over 11,000 staff, faculty and students and the team's goal is to engage the UTSC community in the Rouge Park in an educational and entertaining fashion.

What: In Spring 2012, the team will be co-ordinating a senior theatre class in UTSC focused on "verbatim theatre" and the environment. Verbatim theatre is theatre in which the text is taken "verbatim" from external sources, such as interviews, found materials, etc. Through Camp Suzuki, the team hopes to learn about environmental education, network with other community players invested in the park, and to learn more about Rouge Park itself.

What: With a group of 8 senior undergraduates in the Theatre and Performance Studies program at UTSC, the Theatre and Performance team proposes to develop an original piece of theatre about Rouge Park. A motivating force behind this work is their observation that the UTSC community is not as aware of the park as it ought to be. This subject presents an opportunity to consider society's larger disconnection from the natural environment and consider the 'cultural' life of the park by interviewing local residents with a connection to the park. More than a 'straight-up' educational primer on environmentalism, they hope their project will engage its creators and its audience with the park in a more creative and inventive way.