The Pratt Lecture
Saturday, April 22, 6-7:30 p.m.
Emera Innovation Exchange, Signal Hill Campus
Dedicated to fostering the public appreciation of the literary arts, the Pratt Lecture is the oldest public lecture at Memorial University. Past lecturers include George Elliott Clarke, Dionne Brand, Northrop Frye, Terry Eagleton, Ursula LeGuin, Alberto Manguel, and Anne Carson.
This year’s lecturer will be Peter Balkwill, co-founder of the Old Trout Puppet Workshop in Calgary, will be giving the 2023 Pratt Lecture.
The Old Trout Puppet Workshop is an avant-garde collective whose puppetry recalls that of Czech greats like Jiri Trinka: astonishing, inventive, subversive, hilarious work. The Trouts’ shows include The Unlikely Birth of Istvan and Famous Puppet Death Scenes, which has been touring Europe for the past few months and getting rave reviews.
Peter is also an assistant professor at the University of Calgary in the School of Creative and Performing Arts and the Co-Artistic Curator of the Festival of Animated Objects in Calgary, Alberta.
The 2023 lecture:
It Takes a Village: Spinning the Collective Yarn
Balkwill’s lecture will focus on the collaborative process through which we discover our singular stories. It argues that sharing oral traditions is the best means to blaze pathways to performance.
Every day we tell stories, and listen to them, in countless exchanges with people in all walks of life. Not all of the stories we tell are ours. Our stories are raised up from the communities that are our people, and they are added to the words that end up making us who we are.
How do we find the ones that let us land here and now?
Presented by Department of English