Sean Robertson-Palmer graduated in 2005. Since then, he's worked on many theatre projects, both in the performance and academic spheres, and has recently come back to Humber as an instructor. We spoke to Sean about what he's doing now, what other projects he's been involved with since graduating, and how his time at Humber prepared him for this career.
Currently I am straddling the lines between the academic and performance worlds. I am working towards my PhD in Theatre and Performance Studies at York University and teaching theatre courses at Humber College, Sheridan College and York University. Teaching is particularly important to me, as it puts me in the fortunate position of having ongoing conversations with - and learning from - the students that are the future of Canadian theatre.
I am also co-organizing the PoP Moves 2016 Symposium, hosted at the Centre for Social Innovation (CSI) Regent Park in conjunction with York University’s Department of Dance. Although academic in nature, the symposium will put a number of international scholars and artists in the same room to connect and discuss ideas, with the hopes that scholars and artists can find dynamic new ways of talking about (and creating) performances.
Lastly, I am flying out to Los Angeles in April to present my work at the “Show and Prove” Hip Hop Studies Conference, hosted by the University of California-Riverside. I am so excited to be in a room with top shelf hip hop scholars such as Dr. Imani Kai Johnson and Dr. Mary Fogarty, as well as pioneering artists such as Ken Swift and Midus (Serouj Aprahamian).
I was a founding member of the Kadozuke Kollektif Experimental Theatre Company alongside fellow Humber Theatre instructor Tatiana Jennings, and I have created installations that were featured at Nuit Blanche and Theatre Passe Muraille. I have also published articles on pop culture, fashion and music for GQ Magazine.
Humber’s theatre program taught me to question the status quo and create the art that I felt wasn’t being represented in the Canadian arts ecology. Most importantly, it taught me that all of my various interests (scholarship, pop culture, fashion, hip hop) were a part of my artistic practice, and that my creativity could (and should) stretch beyond the traditional boarders of theatre.
Lastly, through its Articulation Agreement with York University’s Honours Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) Degree in Theatre (Acting), it provided me with an avenue to continue both my formal artistic training and my pursuit of a university degree.
Sean Robertson-Palmer, photo credit: Paula John