University of Calgary

Drama community mourns passing of respected professor Kathleen Foreman

UToday HomeSeptember 5, 2013

By Heath McCoy

Kathleen Foreman, professor in the Department of Drama, Faculty of Arts, specialized in actor training, improvisation, mask creation and theatre for young audiences.Kathleen Foreman, professor in the Department of Drama, Faculty of Arts, specialized in actor training, improvisation, mask creation and theatre for young audiences.The School of Creative and Performing Arts and the city’s theatre community is mourning the loss of drama professor Kathleen Foreman, who passed away Sept. 2.

Foreman – a respected performing artist and teacher who specialized in actor training, improvisation, mask creation and theatre for young audiences – served as a professor at the University of Calgary for 25 years.

During that time she garnered Teaching Excellence Awards, co-developed an Integrated Arts Travel Study program to Mexico along with Georgette Pare, and helped strengthen and broaden the Department of Drama’s graduate program.

“She was a fantastic teacher and the students loved her,” says drama professor Clem Martini, a longtime colleague of Foreman’s. “She had a very kind, gentle and insightful approach.”

Foreman also had an impact on the theatre community at large. She was an original member of the influential Loose Moose Theatre Company and a founding member of MasQuirx, a collective dedicated to mask creation and performances.

She was particularly passionate about theatre for young audiences. She produced the Wagonstage Children’s Theatre for many years and was active with the Calgary International Children’s Festival. She was recognized as a champion of children’s theatre last year when she won the Duval Lang Theatre for Young Audiences Award at The Betty Mitchell Awards.

“She made all of these things so alive and vital,” says associate professor Valerie Campbell, Drama Chair in the School of Creative and Performing Arts. “She was a very warm, generous, energetic presence and that really affected the culture of the department.”

Foreman is survived by her partner of 36 years, Geoffrey Gerwing, her mother, Hazel Foreman, and her sister, Carol Dawson.

A memorial service will be held in the Reeve Theatre on Saturday, Sept. 7, at 2 p.m. In lieu of flowers, those wishing to honour Foreman are asked to make a donation to Wagonstage Children’s Theatre or The Ellipsis Tree Collective, and to perform a random act of kindness.

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