Stage Door News

St. Catharines: FirstOntario PAC hosts “Theatre in the Era of Climate Crisis” February 12-14

Friday, February 12, 2021

The FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre (PAC) and Brock University’s Department of Dramatic Arts (DART) are continuing their partnership in 2021, offering online performances and virtual discussions exploring the intersection of performing arts and climate change in the Walker Cultural Leaders Series between Friday 12 - Sunday 14 February 2021.

The event is convened by DART Professors David Fancy and Karen Fricker and is a continuation of a series of events presented in November 2020. 

The full weekend program features: 

Friday 12 February at 5pm 

Walker Cultural Leaders Series Commissioned Artists 

Kristina Ojaperv presenting “Travelling Roots”  

Trevor Copp presenting “Water, water, everywhere” 

Meryl Ochoa and Kaylyn Valdez Scott of Tethered the Ghost presenting “Bakunawa” 

Excerpts will be followed by a discussion chaired by Michelle Mohammed.

Saturday 13 February 2021 at 2pm 

Skén:nen - Prequel: On the edge of collapse  

A sharing by Kaha:wi Dance Theatre's Artistic Director Santee Smith on the company's new work in development, Skén:nen. This new multimedia, site-specific, intercultural, intergeneration and audience immersive performance culminates Kaha:wi Dance Theatre’s triptych rematriation series: Re-Quickening, Blood Tides, Skén:nen

Sunday 14 February 2021 at 2pm  

Honouring Balance in Times of Crisis and Change: Strength in Indigenous Women’s Perspectives

A discussion panel featuring Audra Maloney, Diane Simon and Santee Smith. Lyn Trudeau is moderating the panel with the generous support of the Well Earth Collaborative (WEC).

“We are enthusiastic about the intersections between the Indigenous women’s panel, responses to the climate crisis, and the moves towards Indigenization and decolonization at Brock,” said Fancy.

As part of the Walker Cultural Leaders Series, Brock commissioned 10 regional theatre artists to create short online presentations exploring the climate crisis in relation to any area of their interest. In this part of the series, commissioned artists explored a multitude of themes in relation to climate change including capitalism, consumerism, mental health and more. Excerpts of these works in progress will be shown, followed by a discussion.

“Between the commissioned performances from local artists, nearly all of whom are DART graduates, and the focus on Indigenous women’s perspectives and creativity, this is going to be a memorable weekend,” Fricker said.

“Renowned Indigenous scientist, professor and author Robin Wall Kimmerer said ‘People cannot see the world as a gift unless someone shows them how.’ Throughout history, artists have often been beacons to new ways of being,” said Annie Wilson, FirstOntario PAC’s Programming Supervisor. “We’re grateful for this opportunity to continue our collaboration with Brock’s Dramatic Arts Department to share emerging and established artistic works that centralize the climate crisis and imagine new ways forward.”

Theatre in the Era of Climate Crisis: Part of the 2020-21 Walker Cultural Leader Series presented by the Department of Dramatic Arts in partnership with the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre

About The Walker Cultural Leader Series

Beginning in 2011 the academic programs of the Marilyn I. Walker School have celebrated the legacy of Marilyn, her gift and her vision by programming the Walker Cultural Leaders (WCL) Series. The ongoing development and refinement of the WCL program facilitates invitations to recognized cultural leaders, top researchers, visiting artists, scholars, professionals, theatre companies, producing and presenting organizations, associations, and others to contribute to the intellectual and creative life of the School and the Niagara region. To learn more, please visit

All digital events are FREE of charge and accessible for viewing on the FirstOntario PAC and MIWSFPA Facebook and YouTube pages until 28 Feb 2021.