Reaney fought a ‘glorious war’ for poetry on stage, says York theatre prof

“In the late 19th century and through our own time, poetry got lost in a march toward realism and prose,” said Don Rubin, director of York University’s Graduate Program in Theatre Studies in the Faculty of Fine Arts and founding editor of the Canadian Theatre Review, in an obituary for playwright James Reaney in The Globe and Mail June 13.

“James Reaney was one of those few Western artists of the modern period – T.S. Eliot was another – who sought to bring poetry back into the theatre,” said Rubin. “Neither he nor Eliot succeeded, but what a glorious war Reaney fought for the art in Canada. His Donnellys trilogy is a mammoth achievement and one of the major building blocks of the post-Centennial theatre in this country,” said Rubin. “It proved that poetry really did have a place on our stages and it proved to Reaney himself that he actually had a place on our stages as well.”

York sculpture technician/lecturer exhibits work in his native BC

York alumnus and staff member P. Roch Smith grew up in Victoria, BC and graduated with an MFA degree in sculpture from York University in 2003. He is currently the foundry and metal shop technician in York’s Department of Visual Arts, Faculty of Fine Arts, in addition to teaching sessional courses, wrote BC’s Comox Valley Echo June 13.

An interest in the construction of male identity drives Smith’s work. Moving between sculpture and painting, Smith employs images of athletes, including hockey players and boxers, to reflect critically on the nature of masculinity. Using images of men in their most typically male moments, he challenges stereotypically masculine identities by overlapping images of aggression with subtexts of tenderness.

Housing development at York drawing interest

The western side of North York has the largest supply of prime infill houses in residential settings, and there seems to be a fair bit of interest in the area around York University at Finch Avenue and Keele Street, wrote The Globe and Mail June 13, in a story on real estate trends.

At Tribute Homes’ Village at York University, about 13 detached homes remain for sale out of 231 lots launched, beginning in 2003. These models have a lot more appeal to younger, more urban-oriented buyers than those at Oakdale Village.

These houses are set close together on 24-foot-wide lots, and have tall front elevations that would not be out of place in some of the older Victorian neighbourhoods around Toronto. Prices range from $229,000 to $574,000 for between 2,082 and 2,937 square feet. Just over 100 semi-detached houses also are available for sale.

Taekwondo ace coming to York

Congratulations to Mississauga taekwondo athlete Courtney Condie, an Olympic hopeful for 2012, and her coach, Master Jamie Kitchell-Dossantos – one of the 50 athlete/coach pairs to receive a grant of $8,000 from Petro-Canada’s 2008 Fueling Athlete and Coaching Excellence program, wrote The Toronto Sun June 13.

Condie, 18, is the Ontario representative for the program, which provides equal funding to 50 developing national Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls and their coaches each year. Condie placed fifth at the 2007 world championships and will use the money to travel with her coach to the World University Games in Serbia this July. She is about to graduate from Applewood Heights Secondary School in Mississauga and has been accepted to York University to study kinesiology.

On air

  • Osgoode Hall Law School alumnus Khurrum Awan (LLB ’07), spoke about the BC human rights hearing into complaints about an anti-Islamic article in Maclean’s, on CFMJ Radio ( Toronto) June 12.
  • York alumna and professional matchmaker Aliza Terris (BA ’94, BSW ’95, MSW ’06), spoke about science and love on TVO’s “The Agenda” June 12.