Gyllian Raby: University

University: Intro

When I was at Manchester University in England, we shared a theatre with the local rep, Contact Theatre. This gave us real insight into the art form in practice.

unity 1918 photo

A movie I created to set the tone for Unity 1918, Brock University, in 2007. View movie.

Students also had our own theatre space, the Stephen Joseph Studio, where we wrote and produced some pretty wild work.

Ben Elton, Caroline Rafael and Dave Leveaux were my peers there; Jackie Maxwell and Ben Campbell were a few years ahead of me.

I was finishing my U of C Master's degree when I helped start One Yellow Rabbit in Calgary to try to bring about the same close relationship of artist to academy. I generally note that where there's an energetic university theatre department, there's often a vibrant theatre in the surrounding community, because they feed each other.

crucible photo

Movie for Crucible, Brock University, 2004. View movie.

I love the excitement, commitment and raw energy students bring to production.

Other university advantages are the opportunities to do significant, in depth show research and to program largescale and unusual shows the capitalist market tends to resist.

I have found that a powerful production at a university sometimes connects the community sharing of theatre with aesthetic practice to the point that it catapults some students into the profession, with a vision and energy for a theatre of meaning that never deserts them. They are doing work that inspires me.


Director. Kevin Kerr’s Unity 1918. Movie (see above). Sean O’Sullivan Theatre. Brock University. (Feb 12-15, 2007).

Director. Arthur Miller’s The Crucible in an Age of Terror. Movie (see above). Sean O’Sullivan Theatre. Brock University. (Nov 17-21, 2004).

Adaptor, Director. The Demi-Monde by Alexandre Dumas-fils. Sean O’Sullivan Theatre. Brock University. (Nov 16-19, 2003).
Playwright. Workshop for The Demi-Monde by Alexandre Dumas-fils. Dramaturge, Kim Selody. Supported by Carousel Players, actors from the Shaw Festival Theatre and Brock Humanities Research Institute. Sullivan-Mahoney Studio Theatre, (Sept 28, 2003).


Air Pump collage detail.
View collage.

Director. Experiment with an Air Pump, by Shelagh Stephenson. Paper, study guide. Sean O’Sullivan Theatre. Brock University(Nov 16-19, 2002).

Director, Adaptor. The Rover, by Aphra Behn. Study guide. Sean O’Sullivan Theatre. Brock University. (Nov 16-19, 2001). Adaptation first commissioned by Grenfell College Memorial University, 1995 and revised for Xavier University production, 1998.

Director. Fefu and her Friends, by Maria Irene Fornes. The Reeve Theatre, University of Calgary; graduating project Master’s degree (Apr.1992).