Drama faculty member, Award Recipient

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Black and white head and shoulders shot of Jennifer Roberts-SmithProfessor Jennifer Roberts-Smith is the recipient of a 2014 Ontario Early Researcher Award given to scholars to build teams of student and graduate researchers.

The Department of Drama and Speech Communication, as well as the Faculty of Arts at the University of Waterloo, are excited to support Professor Roberts-Smith’s endeavour to create online learning environments that engage audiences with live performance.  Collaborating with the Stratford Festival, Roberts-Smith and her team will build an interactive interface with Stratford’s historic archive, making the innermost details of past performances – such as prompt books - available to the public.  The interface will also complement Stratford’s seasonal playbill each year with educational games and digital learning.  This project will be instructional and accessible to everyone from elementary students to theatre educators and professionals.

After a short but fruitful pilot project with the Stratford Festival, this award will make an intensive, three-year research program possible.  I'm delighted to have this opportunity to pursue a good idea with excellent collaborators.

Black and white head and shoulders shot of Toby MaloneWorking with Roberts-Smith on this project is Dr. Toby Malone, who adapted Shakespeare’s Richard III for uWaterloo Drama’s recent production of R3 into a media-driven portrayal of the tyrant’s rise to power in a Skype, Twitter and Facebook-dominated world.

The Early Researcher Awards program initially supported researchers studying in fields such as science, health, technology, and engineering. In 2012, only three of the 62 Early Researcher Award winners in Ontario were working in the Humanities.  Granting this award to leaders in the arts helps connect the community to meaningful cultural work and gives institutions a chance to explore and expand their identity as a social influence.

To read more about Roberts-Smith and her past research, click here to view her profile.