The Department of Communication Arts produces a series of performances each year created by faculty, students, and visiting artists. Performances are open to the public. Please join us!

For media information, contact Janelle Rainville

The Seagull  |  UpStart 20 

The Seagull

Family portrait painting of 4 people with a seagullWritten by: Anton Chekhov

Translated by: Tom Stoppard

Directed by: Matt White

Associate Director: Joanna Cleary

Performances: November 13 - 16, 2019

Time: 7:30 p.m.

Matinee: November 14 at 12 p.m.

Venue: Theatre of the Arts, Modern Languages Building

Tickets: $15 General  / $10 Students & Seniors / $5 eyeGO

Box Office: Tickets can be purchased online or at the door.  You are also welcome to visit or call the Box Office Monday to Friday from 12 p.m. - 5 p.m. at 519-888-4908.

Growing up is already hard enough, but try having a mother who is a self-absorbed actress and is dating an effortlessly successful writer, who then charms your own girlfriend into falling in love with him. This is the unfortunate reality of Konstantin, a young artist struggling to find his place in a world where everyone is living big lives, filled with big emotions, and big dreams.

In The Seagull, characters speak of love and art the way people today speak about climate change. Passionately. On the razor’s edge. And it is all very funny. Chekhov insisted the play is a comedy and director, Matt White, is focusing on pushing these little dramas, mining them for as much comic gold as the company can find.

The play has been given a Canadian contemporary re-contextualization filled with references to Uber, Atwood, and vaping. While these details are updated with observations of idiosyncrasies we might not be proud of, such the obsessions that distract us from making actual connections with one another, they feel just as true and accurate today as it did over 100 years ago. Chekhov explores the desperate measures people will go to for love, for acceptance, and for survival, while also demonstrating the unrealistic expectations people place on each other to give them meaning. In The Seagull, there are no pills to take to make life worth living. You simply keep going. Or you don’t.

Doors will open 30 minutes prior to each performance, with an engagement space in which audience members can explore. 

Check out the trailer.

UpStart 20

poster graphic for UpStart performances

The Upstart Festival is a juried one-act play festival produced by the Theatre and Performance program. All the plays are written, directed, designed and performed by students.

These plays will be presented March 17 – 21, 2020 in the Theatre of the Arts.

The three plays that make up the festival are:

All Art is Quite Useless  by Gaya Bin Noon & Cameron Slipp

Based on the original 1890 edition of Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray , this new musical explores the original version of a text that was later significantly edited to remove passages deemed “indecent” in nature. While the piece follows the events of the novel, the narrative is primarily driven by the relationship between the painter Basil Hallward and Dorian Gray, focusing on Basil as a main character. 

Roles available: 4 singing roles / 1 non-singing role

Bitter/Sweet Fools  by Joanna Cleary

Bitter/Sweet Foolsexplores the role of shame and forgiveness in familial relationships. During the Middle Ages, those deemed unfit to live within society were banished to exist within its outskirts. Bitter/Sweet Fools follows Tom, a mentally and physically disabled man exiled after a tragic accident, as he and his mother, Agnes, struggle to forgive each other for the past they share. Elizabeth, Tom’s younger sister and the victim of this accident, weaves in and out of their story as a continual reminder of the love and grief that bind all three family members to one another.

Roles available: 2 female / 1 male

Things we lost in the Aftermath  by Alexis Joy Nagum

This play is about friendship, conflict, miscommunication. It is an inside look at an emotional conflict between four friends struggling to maintain their friendship as they harbour their secret hurts and jealousies from one another. In the aftermath of losing our friend, the play asks - how do we enact our petty vengeances on each other, and is that fair or just? 

Roles available: 5 actors

Copies of the scripts are available to read in advance. Please contact Janelle Rainville at for copies.

Auditions are being held November 26 - 28, 2019.  For more information about audtions please see our web page.