Education: PhD, Drama, University of Toronto
Member Type(s): Faculty
Office: Theological Hall, Room 108 C
She holds her Ph.D from University of Toronto, Graduate Centre for the Study of Drama is a Professor in the Department of Drama and is cross-appointed to the Departments of Cultural Studies and Women’s Studies.
As editor and later Managing Editor of Canadian Theatre Review from 1987 to 1995, she developed special issues on scenography, theatre for adolescents, theatre and ethnicity, transformations/multimedia, words on stage, Canada on the Pacific Rim, Native theatre, theatre in the North, actor training, and Black theatre. She has also served as a member of the editorial board for Queen’s Quarterly, Theatre Research in Canada, is a contributing editor to Sources of Dramatic Theory, vol.2 (Cambridge University Press), and contributor to the Dictionnaire universel des Créatrices. Her research into English, French and Ukrainian language theatre has explored both the historical dimension of theatre and contemporary expressions of multicultural theatre. Articles by Natalie have appeared in Women on the Canadian Stage: The Legacy of Hrosvit (R. Much, ed.); The Performance Text (D. Pietropaolo, ed.); The Potentials of Space (C. White, ed.); Environmental and Site-Specific Theatre (Andrew Houston, ed.) ; as well as in the Canadian Encyclopedia, Theatre Research in Canada, Canadian Theatre Review, Australasian Drama Studies, Themes in Drama, and Tessera.
The main focus of Natalie’s current research is scenographic design in Canada. She was the convenor of Theatre by Design a conference held at the Graduate Centre for the Study of Drama in 2003, and an invited member of the jury for the first edition of the Siminovitch Prize for theatre design (2003). Her Scenography in Canada (University of Toronto Press, 2004) features chapters on individual designers, together with sketches and colour photos of designs and productions. As co-curator of the Canadian exhibition to the Prague Quadrennial 2007 Natalie brought together the work of an experimental lab, of 9 professional designers, and two architects, and a sampling of student work from 13 university and college level design programs. The catalogue of the exhibit Imprints of Process (L’APASQ, 2008) features images of work exhibited in Prague as well as statements by the designers about their artistic process. Design and Scenography (Critical Perspectives on Canadian Theatre in English, vol. 15, Playwrights Canada Press, 2009) is a collection of essays edited by Natalie which includes articles by designers, academic and critics. It delves into the place held by design in Canadian theatre and its more complex expression in performance. In 2012 she was the editor of a special issue on Costumes and costuming of Canadian Theatre Review (156).
Natalie’s specific focus on opera concentrates on the work of Michael Levine and his design for Canada’s first complete production of Wagner’s Ring Cycle, mounted by the Canadian Opera Company 2004-2006. Her discussion of Levine’s scenographic dramaturgy was presented at the Prague Quadrennial in 2007; her paper on the debt to constructivism in selected Ring Cycles was presented in Munich 2010, and that on the affective architecture of the Diamond and Schmitt architectural design of the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts was presented at the Prague Quadrennial in 2011. She has presented a conference paper on the modernist stage design and visual art. A study of Zaven Paré’s bold and innovative costume design for Marie Chouinard’s landmark Le Sacré du printemps was presented at the centenary conference commemorating Le Sacre du Printemps (2013). Investigation of the ambulant production design for Asterion: a labyrinth, part 7 of R. Murray Schafer’s Patria Cycle mounted for the first time in 2013, appears as a curated section of Scene (2016). Her current research focuses on aspects of the interaction of architecture, sound and performance design all of which she brings to her courses at Queen’s.