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News Downstream makes a splash Water security doesn’t have to be dry. That was the inspiration behind Downstream, an innovative collaboration between disciplines that recently put U of S research results on the theatrical stage. When Graham Strickert, a research associate with the Global Institute for Water Security (GIWS), approached the Department of Drama, he had a problem: how to present his research results in a way that would engage people instead of put them to sleep. The solution: enlist the department’s playwright-inresidence Kenneth T. Williams to develop a script that is both funny and informative, and stage it for average people with a stake in water security. The result, Downstream, went on tour in February through four Alberta and Saskatchewan communities to a tremendous response. “I was definitely pleased to see how receptive everyone was,” said Natasha Martina, associate professor (Drama) and the director of the play. Downstream sought to do more than just inform. Presented forum-style, the play required audiences to decide how to allocate limited resources in the event of a catastrophic flood. Besides accessibility, Martina said, what the interactive theatre format offered over the alternatives was two-way dialogue. “You are being forced to think and interact in the moment, which I think is important for what we were trying to relay.” The three collaborators—the Department of Drama, GIWS and the School of Environment and Sustainability— are now discussing a second tour of Downstream for later this year, but nothing is decided yet. Martina hopes the play’s success will encourage more researchers to present their results in novel ways. “It was really great in terms of (showing that) it can be done by much more creative means, and that science and art often go hand-in-hand really well together,” she said. — Christopher Putnam

Top to bottom: Scene from Downstream (Chris Putnam); Director Natasha Martina (Dave Stobbe)

College launches research website The College of Arts & Science has launched a new website dedicated to research in the college. The site features a video introduction by Dean Peter Stoicheff with contributions by students and faculty from the college’s three divisions—Humanities & Fine Arts, Science and Social Sciences. Researchers at the college enjoy an international reputation for innovation and excellence and several hold Canada Research Chair professorships. The new site was developed by the Arts & Science IT department. It includes profiles on faculty and graduate student research and research chairs, information on its 6


centres and units and a short history of research excellence. The profiles were written by Jenn Morgan, a political studies student in the college, with video shot and produced by the college webmaster, Jason Belhumeur. online Visit the college research website at: Watch the video:

Profile for Arts & Science UofS

Arts&Science Spring 2014  

Arts&Science Spring 2014