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The Make Believer Project

Stardale's The Make Believer Project started to take physical shape this week.

Playwright Eugene Stickland has begun gathering, unraveling and knitting together some of the writing from the girls' notebooks. The result is a series of profoundly moving, unfiltered and starkly authentic spoken word pieces. Short vignettes punctuated by longer, more poetic stories, in contrast to a more linear, traditional "play," this approach allows audiences insight into the girls' lived experiences and internal lives without the emotional risk of exposing themselves, full-on.

In true, creative, workshop style, Director Helen Young led the "performers" in the group through a few table-reads of the script so far. This allowed the girls to get a feel for the content and rhythm of the micro-stories contained within the larger theme (of life-dreams and what can get in the way of those dreams). Different segments have emerged: "Author of Her Own Life," "Astronaut" and "So I Come to Addiction" are all starting points.

Staging has also begun. As Helen says "Directing is more about working with trained actors. This process is more about placing and moving the girls - like forming them in a series of frozen pictures that help physicalize the stories being read." Helen imagines the staging being "immersive" - coming out, forward into the crowd - versus actors being "birds on a wire" on a narrow stage. This process will continue to evolve as more writing comes together and as the girls bring their own creativity and imagination to the stage in a literal way.

Meanwhile, under the guidance of video-artist Jessie Short, the "videographers" in the group worked with the media equipment, filming the evocative images that will be the foundation of the art piece that will accompany the performance.

The show will be free to the public, with dates currently booked at C-Space May 23 and Urban Stories Theatre June 6-9. Watch for an Eventbrite invitation to buy tickets, coming soon. The Make Believer Project is also confirmed to present at the Globe Theatre on Saturday June 16th in conjunction with Changing the Face of Addictions Society, from 3:00-5:00pm. The Society will also be showing a film on opioids and hosting a discussion about addictions.

Guests are also invited to attend an open rehearsal on Wednesday, May 9 from 6:30-8:00pm at the Rehabilitation Society of Calgary in Bridgeland.

For more information contact Executive Director Helen McPhaden at or 403-243-6615

Written by Carrie Gour for Stardale Women's Group Inc.

Make Believer Project

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Last updated April 20, 2018

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Designed by Copian in collaboration with Stardale Women's Group Inc. Foundation