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PURE Award winners 2014: Jonathan Brower

Graduate seeks to preserve Calgary's queer theatre history

Committed to a goal of research excellence with its bold Eyes High strategy, one of the University of Calgary’s most important initiatives is the Program for Undergraduate Research Experience, better known as PURE. 

Each year undergraduates can apply for the prestigious PURE Awards, which provide financial research support to some of the university’s most promising students over the Spring and Summer months. 

The program is designed to give undergraduate students the opportunity to learn how to develop research projects, undertake independent research and contribute to knowledge in their respective fields. 

In this Q&A series we will meet the PURE Award winners from the Faculty of Arts. Good luck to each of them in their research pursuits! 

Name – Jonathan Brower

Degree sought – Greaduated this past spring with a combined degree in Communication and Culture (BA) and Drama (BFA).

Research Topic – "I’m researching Calgary's queer theatre history, which can also be called Calgary's queer theatre legacy."

What attracted you to this research project? – "My love for preserving history and learning from elders and mentors, as well as my work in queer theatre and its ever-changing meaning and effect on theatre and culture in Calgary." 

Why is this research important? – "So that this queer history is preserved before it disappears with those who hold the fascinating stories. It's also important as a cannon of works, stories and lessons that can be a reference for future artists creating or studying queer theatre in Calgary. " 

What do you hope to achieve with this research? – "This is a jumping-off point for my interest in archives and Canadian queer theatre history and Canadian theatre history in general. I hope this research sheds light on how Calgary's theatre scene has played a role in shaping the way Calgarians understand, relate to, and approach queer issues and individuals. I also hope it will show how important queer theatre has been and still is for our city. "  

What do you love most about your field of study? – "I love that my drama degree has served me in my ability to create and understand theatre both on stage and behind the scenes, while my communications degree has kept me grounded in a business-like approach where I'm focused on creating and facilitating theatre that is culturally relevant, has a clear vision and is intentionally beneficial to the greater Calgary community." 

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