Q Dear Jill, I am thinking about a masters in theatre. I am trying to decide if I want to focus on academics or more on acting and directing. As a feminist, it is important that my choices reflect my social consciousness as well. I’m finding it hard to decide. I’d appreciate your thoughts. —Donna S. Robinson
A Beyond literature reviews, critiques and research many academics regularly engage in practical work, too. You don’t have to totally give one up for the other. In fact, I would think that would be discouraged. As an artist you want to strive for diversity with all tools of artistic expression, not to mention being accessible to more audiences. Take for instance myself. While I didn’t pursue my masters in drama, I went the women’s studies route, but I regularly use participatory theatre tools like Augusto Boal’s Theatre Of The Oppressed and Forum Theatre in my anti-racism, critical theory, and feminist activism curriculum. You can find a way to bridge both theory and practice. Beyond going to various masters programs and discussing your interests with the advisors before applying, I’d also recommend you consider attending the upcoming 14th annual Festival of Original Theatre (F.O.O.T): (En) Gendering Performance: Feminism(s) in Representation from Feb. 28 to March 1 at the Robert Gill Theatre. This festival will definitely help you because it’s a meeting of the minds — scholars, students, performers, community members — all discussing gender and feminist approaches to arts. There will be keynote speakers, round table discussions, performances and time to network. For more information, visit http://gradrama.sa.utoronto.caor call 416-978-7986.
Q Jill, I’m a new engineer looking to make some inroads into the field. Any tips? —Peggy Alden
A If you haven’t already you should check out the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) (http://toronto.ieee.ca). National Engineers Week is coming up (Feb. 23 to March 2) and there are several events going on where you can begin putting yourself out there. IEEE also has a chapter for Women in Engineering and career links that you might find beneficial, too.