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McGill Reporter
January 30, 2003 - Volume 35 Number 09
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Private Lives, public folly

Photo of actors from the play PHOTO: Eric Sadvari

Ahhh... a love story. Who doesn't enjoy the sight of two people rekindling their passion, so foolishly cast aside years before? Well, perhaps their current spouses.

Such is the dark comedy of Noel Coward's Private Lives, which Players' Theatre will be bringing to their stage starting February 5.

A comedy of manners, the play shows the slow revival of Elyot and Amanda's relationship over cocktails on their honeymoon -- that each is on with other people, unfortunately. The honeymooning couples have been placed in adjoining suites.

"It's been a challenge doing a period piece set in the 1930s. We tried to keep it as realistic as possible, but squeeze it into Players' unique space," said assistant director Tamara Mida-Broder.

Mida-Broder explained that in addition to the obvious challenges of making the set and costumes fit the time period, the acting itself had to be adapted.

"It's has a very dry, British sense of humour and some of the language is different. The lead characters were written for specific actors and you can see that in the script, so it's important to have our actors accommodate those elements."

Noël Coward's Private Lives runs February 5-8, and 12-15 at 8 PM. Players' Theatre is located at 3480 McTavish Street, 3rd Floor, and is wheelchair accessible. Tickets are $6 for seniors/students, $8 for adults. Reservations/ information: 398-6813.

From shooting stick to shaking hips

Painting of dogs playing pool

The hardy pioneers of Canada had to learn many new skills to survive the harsh winters. Hunting animals and preserving meat, skinning furry beasts and sewing their pelts together, chasing a small ball around a green felt table...

No wait, that's how we modern folk survive the boredom of winter -- by learning fun new skills such as how to play snooker, or gyrating our hips to the hot beat of Salsa music. Or perhaps the best way to ignore the weather outside is to turn meditatively inwards by doing ashtanga yoga. Or to gird yourself against the elements by developing abs of steel with Pilates.

The Post-Graduate Student Society (PGSS) is offering courses on all these activities, plus you can add grit and determination to your New Year's resolution by joining the Quit Smoking group, brought to us by the Pulmonary Association.

The Quit Smoking class, (Wed., 6 - 8 pm) costs $120. Sounds steep, but there's a high rate of success for those who seriously want to kick the deadly cancer stick habit. Besides, think of all the money you'll save by not buying smokes.

This winter sees the first time PGSS offers snooker classes (Mon., 6 - 7:30 pm, $60). Thomson House has a beauty of a billiard table, all slate and as smooth as a pint of Guinness. Can't wait to chalk up that cue.

Register now -- French second language classes are filling up fast. There's also English as a second language. Worried about getting your knickers in a twist or your tongue in a knot? Try the public speaking class (Wed., 5:30 - 7 pm), a deal at $40.

All courses are at Thomson House (3650 McTavish), most cost $60 and start early February. Go to pgss/mcgill.ca for details, or call 398-3756, or email info.pgss@mail.mcgill.ca

The art of distortion

Caption follows Distortion #40 by André Kertész

If you're a reporter or a politician -- it's bad. If you're into screaming rock guitar, it's good. 'It' is distortion, which is the title and theme of a lecture series being presented by the Department of Art history and Communication Studies.

"We wanted to invite different artists that would encompass every area we are teaching -- communication, renaissance, contemporary and Canadian art," said departmental administrator Karin Bourgeois.

The questions the lecture series will be asking is how, why and what does distortion distort? Which distortion is meaningful or even productive? There are a lot of questions, and areas to cover, from perceptual deformation, warps in noise and space, the grotesque, spasms and message errors. Topics run from postwar Japanese popular culture, painting blood in the 19th century to the politics of touch. Speakers are from McGill, University of Toronto, York University, and New York City's Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art.

Lectures are Thursdays at 5:30 pm, in the Arts Building, 3rd floor, West wing, Room W-215. www.arts.mcgill.ca/programs/ahcs. Call 398-6541 for more details.

On the January 30, postdoctoral fellow Erin Manning will deliver "Happy together: Moving toward multiplicity." On February 6, Marc Gotlieb, Chair of the U of T's Department of Art History, will present "Stain, Splatter, and Pour: How to Paint Blood in the Nineteenth Century."

Badami's new beat

Caption follows Anita Rau Badami
PHOTO: Sesho Badrinath

It seems Anita Rau Badami is a bit of a wanderer. Her father was a mechanical engineer with a railway in India, and so she lived all over that country. She moved to Calgary to join her husband, whose studies soon took them to Vancouver. Now the author of the much acclaimed Tamarind Mem and Hero's Walk lives in Montreal.

That's a boon for English professor Nathalie Cooke, who invited Badami to speak at McGill. Cooke says that Badami is relevant to two of her course on Canadian women's literature." Students who have been reading Badami will have the chance to listen to the author read her own work.

"We are exploring different narrative possibilities for scripting a woman's life -- are there different plots at the beginning of this century than there were at the beginning of the last century," said Cooke, adding that they are particularly focused on Canadian, especially Montreal-based, writers from the last decade.

"For my purposes, Tamarind Mem's great because it talks about this very strong matriarchal figure. It's a self-conscious examination of familial roles, but specifically female roles."

The talk was organized in cooperation with the Canada Council for the Arts, Concordia University, the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada, and the English Department.

The lecture is scheduled for Monday, February 10, 12:30 pm 3475 Peel Street

Call for equity!!!

Time to get those surveys in! If you are a regular or term faculty or staff employee at McGill, Human Resources needs you to fill in your Employment Equity form if you have not done so already. The Employment Equity survey is part of McGill's reporting obligations under the provincial Employment Equity legislation. They hope to get a snapshot of McGill's current employees and their career patterns. So far response has been roughly 54% -- which Employment Equity administrator Amele Djeridi said "is way too low to give us an accurate view." She will be mailing out a second set of surveys to all new staff and those who have not responded to the previous mailing this week.

For more information on Employment Equity law and McGill's program, please consult www.mcgill.ca/hr/employment_equity.

CAPStock groove

It may be the biggest event in human resources since the invention of the coffee break. Career and Placement Services is calling it a career fair, but it could very well be called "Jobapalooza."

Career Fair? More like a career three-ring circus.

For the first time the sheer number and variety of events that CAPS is organizing for employment-minded students cannot be contained within the constraints of a mere day or week. No, a full month was required for the wealth of workshops, the plethora of panels, the cornucopia of companies that will be descending on McGill.

"We're having so many events -- there's over forty -- that we've decided to call it a career month. We normally have a few career fairs every time but this time we have six career fairs, which is a lot," said Gregg Blachford, director of CAPS.

The largest fair is in education, where 45 school boards from Canada and internationally will be looking for new teachers. Other fairs include social work, engineering and computer science, arts and science, and an agricultural career fair at Macdonald campus.

In addition to the hordes of headhunters, workshops will be offered on networking, job searching and other skills crucial for landing that first career-type job, although there is also a summer employment fair for students who are looking to make a few bucks during the holidays.

The dozen speakers' panels that are scheduled feature professionals in different fields discussing how to get a foot in the door of employers as diverse as writing and editing, multimedia, entrepreneurs and museums.

"We also have sections aimed and particular students -- one is called Queers and Careers, which is people talking about being gay and lesbian on the job and how it has affected their career, and we also have a panel of successful women," said Blachford.

This is just a taste of the events -- for more information check out www.caps.mcgill.ca and click on "February is CAPS Career Month," or call CAPS at 398-3304.

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