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What on Earth is Going on? is a podcast for the curious, where small talk is banned and tangents are prized. Strap yourself in for genuine dialogues with people who think deeply and are ready to tackle the big questions, such as broadcaster Terry O'Reilly, economist Miles Corak and journalist Jessica Vomiero.

Join Ben Charland to peel back the headlines and ask, what are the forces, people and ideas that shape the human story today? Have things always been this nuts, or are they getting crazier by the day? From the Mafia to the Beavertonwomen in politics to women in leadershiphistory to artificial intelligence, and entrepreneurship in the digital age to the art of wheelchair fencing, just what on Earth is going on?

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Jul 5, 2019

What does it mean to be creative? Where does creative expression lie: in the individual, in the shared experience, or in the coming together of public and private? How can an actor be more than just an interpreter, but a creative artist in their own right?

Ben is in Toronto to chat with Brian Smith, acting teacher, coach and Professor Emeritus from the University of Calgary, about his own journey, and the meaning and importance of finding one's creative voice in our difficult and accelerated age.

About the Guest

Brian researches the practice of contemporary theatre performance through acting, directing, coaching and devising performance. He is especially interested in the creativity of the actor, and has particular expertise in the use of masks in actor training and performance.

In directing, Brian has focused on the reinterpretation of plays from the modern theatre for contemporary audiences. The modern Russian theatre has been an area of particular interest.

At the University of Calgary, Brian taught acting to advanced-level undergraduates. In this work, process took precedence over immediate result, and students investigated how technique and the creative imagination support one another in the creation and interpretation of works for the theatre.

At the graduate level, Brian taught a course that investigates the creative and communicative practices of collaborating artists as they conceptualize theatre works together.

Today, though retired from university teaching, Brian still works in the theatre, and divides his time between Toronto and Nova Scotia.

The Quote of the Week

"Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.."
- Pablo Picasso