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Photo by Mariah Wilson

Connect with the arts on campus through the School of Creative and Performing Arts

By Matt Hume, September 19 2017 —

The University of Calgary is home to the School of Creative and Performing Arts, which combines the music, dance and drama departments while hosting year-round events in various venues across campus.

If you’re a U of C student, taking advantage of SCPA productions is an easy and cheap way to enjoy the arts on campus. Students can attend most on-campus SCPA productions for free through the “Claim Your Seat” program. Simply arrive 15–45 minutes before the event with your UCID for free admission.

According to SCPA communications and marketing advisor Nicola Waugh, music performances are most frequent.  

“We are often quite heavy on the music. There’s often less drama and dance productions but they’re much bigger,” she says. “The first drama production is called Metamorphoses.”

Metamorphoses, originally written and directed by Mary Zimmerman, is a performance of several of myths from Ovid’s “Metamorphoses” poem. Directed by Haysam Kadri, the play’s set design will centre around a large pool of water. The production kicks off at 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 24 in the Reeve Theatre.

Music events are happening much sooner, with the Monday Night Jazz Series starting Sept. 25 at 8 p.m. with Duelling Pianos. It features Eddie and Quincy Bullen, a father and son duo from Toronto. With experience in performance, composition and production as well as accolades including a Juno win and Grammy nominations, there is no doubt that this will be an entertaining evening. They will perform jazz compositions arranged for two pianos.

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Eddie and Quincy Bullen are performing on campus on Sept. 25. // Photo courtesy SCPA

The musical presentation of The Double Hook on Oct. 28 is also worth marking on your calendar. The Double Hook is a modernist novel originally published in 1959 and written by Canadian author Sheila Watson during her stay in Calgary. The SCPA performance will be a composed interpretation of the novel.

“William Jordan, who used to be the chair of drama and is an instructor here, has written a bunch of compositions based on this novel,” says Waugh. “We’re having faculty and local talent come in to perform this.”

Duelling Pianos and The Double Hook are both Claim Your Seat events. Metamorphoses tickets will cost $16 for students.

Despite a focus on public events, the SCPA is still an academic department at the U of C. If you’re still hunting for interesting courses this semester, the SCPA teaches topics that pique many interests.

For the musically inclined, MUED 417.4: Popular Music Pedagogy aims to teach future music teachers how to teach popular music methods. Students form their own bands, learn to play popular instruments and emphasize improvisation.

DRAM 371: Introduction to Playwriting focuses on exercises in dramatic writing and reworking material. The course will help students better understand dramatic structure and dialogue, culminating into their own one-act play by the end of the semester.

If you’re into dance or the human brain, DNCE 465: Dance Psychology is for you. This course explores dance and its effect on cognitive capacities. The course outline covers topics from “learning, memorizing and recalling set choreography” to “perceptual attention, cognitive flexibility, and self-organization in dance improvisation.”

The last day to add a course to your schedule is Sept. 25, so be sure to secure a spot in these courses this week.

For more information on events and courses, visit the School of Creative and Performing Arts website.

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