Local theatre troupe Delta Stageworks is hosting an upcoming workshop series focused on helping community members from diverse backgrounds come together and share their mothers’ life stories.
The three-week My Mother’s Story for Diverse Voices workshop is set to begin next month, with all three sessions on Sunday afternoons (Aug. 8, 15 and 22). The series will be available both in person at Studio Cloud 30 (Tsawwassen Town Centre Mall, 1299A 56th St.) and online via Zoom.
My Mother’s Story is the brainchild of Vancouver actor and author of Writing Women’s History, Starting with Your Mother, Marilyn Norry, who is serving as a member of Delta Stageworks’ artistic team for 2021.
Since 2004, the workshops have been the catalyst for women — and men — in communities around the world to connect with their mothers’ life stories, according to a description posted to deltastageworks.ca/my-mothers-story-for-diverse-voices.
The workshops are about spending some quality time with the memories you have about your mother and exploring the times she lived in, and are open to everyone, regardless of whether your mother is alive or has passed away.
Participants do not have to have prior writing experience. Through a number of writing exercises, participants build a chronology of their mother’s life, sift through important events, separate facts from emotion and arrive at a discovery draft. Editing guidance will also be provided.
“The journey you’ll take over our three weeks together is to write the 2,000 word story of your mother’s life — from beginning to end, just the facts, where you are just one of the facts,” Norry said in a press release. “In writing this story, you will discover things about yourself, your mother and your family that will surprise and empower you.”
Building off the success of its previous My Mother’s Story workshop in May, Delta Stageworks hopes next month’s Diverse Voices program can help foster diversity and inclusion in the arts.
“Greater Vancouver is one of the most culturally diverse cities in the world, and yet it’s surprisingly rare that we hear or see the life stories of women who come from this incredible cultural mosaic that’s all around us,” Norry said.
“We believe that when we share each other’s stories in a creative, supportive space, we truly get to know each other,” added Delta Stageworks co-founder Peg Keenleyside. “And it’s in sharing our stories that we can build connections across some of the cultural divides we know exist in our community.”
The workshop series is supported by Delta-based non-profit The Harmony Initiative Society (THIS), which is providing workshop space and bursaries participants who wish to share their diverse stories — applications can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
“[It’s important to] bring arts and culture events to Delta audiences that build community, harmony and respect across cultures,” THIS co-founder Geeta Schallig said in a press release.
Delta Stageworks and THIS are collaborating on the return of live arts events in Delta, and THIS will present an arts and culture show featuring stories from the upcoming workshop in September.
The My Mother’s Story for Diverse Voices workshop is open to all Delta residents, especially those who identify as culturally diverse. The cost to attend is $65, taxes and fees included, and registration is open now at deltastageworks.ca.
Delta Stageworks invites businesses in Delta who have a mandate to support diversity and inclusivity in the community to support the My Mother’s Story for Diverse Voices series, with sponsorship opportunities available through the ArtsVest BC grant-matching program. For more information, email email@example.com.