In 2021, Queen’s formed student-run theatre company The Dan Exposition Series (DES), supported by the Dan School of Drama and Music.
Serena Ferzli, ArtSci ’22 and creative director of DES, spoke with The Journal about creating an accessible theatre space.
“I was trying to find a middle ground that would give more opportunities to the Music side of the [Dan School of Drama & Music], specifically the voice area,” Ferzli said.
She emphasized equitable hiring was a priority in the DES’ creation.
“I really wanted to create a space that would be accessible,” Ferzli said. “I have been going forward with the Dan Expo as equitably as possible—using hiring sheets, having a plan—so everybody feels like they have a chance since it is a no-experience-based company.”
Ferzli wants to cater to diversity and create a comfortable environment for individuals belonging to marginalized groups.
“I want things to be more diverse,” Ferzli said. “I really hope to create that environment that anybody feels welcome and that anybody feels like they could be a part of creating something new.”
DES differs from other student-run companies in that their shows combine several genres and performance styles. Ferzli called their style ‘stage music’—including select opera pieces, original and pre-written musical theatre, and band music.
This wide variety allows Ferzli to make good on her desire to support all kinds of art.
“A motto I’ve been trying to plug is this idea of supporting student initiatives,” she said. “Being creative with students and for students and reinventing what it means to experience music.”
Ferzli wants to open eyes across the Queen’s community—specifically by challenging preconceptions about musicals and what they’re all about.
“If somebody, let’s say from Commerce, comes to watch our show [who] has never heard an opera before, but they come because their friend wrote a musical, they’re getting a chance to kind of dip their toes in a different area of music and art that they’ve never [experienced] before.”
Catch the DES show dates from Mar. 15 to 19.
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