The Make Believer Project
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May 11, 2018
Carrie Gour for Stardale Women's Group
"Not one of my words is here. I just edited the words of the girls of Stardale. I teach writing to University students, and the work here is every bit as good as anything I get there... the voices are honest, and that's everything."
These are the words of playwright Eugene Stickland, introducing the open rehearsal of The Make Believer Project Wednesday night.
What makes this performance important? Executive Director of Stardale, Helen McPhaden: "People need to be woken up to the reality of what's going on in the lives of young, Indigenous girls. People think they get all this money and life is somehow easy, and that's not always the case. Here we have vulnerable girls telling the truth as they know it. They wrote this. It wasn't scripted for them. It's their words. That's powerful."
The open rehearsal was still clearly "art mid-creation" as director Helen Young was actively giving shape and direction to some of the pieces. Further rehearsals this week will help hone the show for the first public performance May 23 at C-space at Kind Edward as part of the Stardale partnership with Contemporary Calgary on 7:00pm with a reception to start, 1721-29 Ave SW. The show is free; an Eventbrite invite is above.
The experimental video the girls shot with help from Indigenous artist Jessie Short is an evocative, short piece of work that delighted the girls, having seen the completed video for the first time Wednesday as well. It will accompany the public performances of The Make Believer Project.
As one of the audience members at the open rehearsal said, "You should be so proud. You're finding your voices and not keeping the secret any longer, and that's power. Because truth is how you break the cycle... And here, you turned something dark into something beautiful."
Then Urban Stories Theatre will host additional performances June 6, 7, 8 & 9 at 7:30pm at the Knox United Church in downtown Calgary. On the evening of June 7, the University of Calgary will be hosting a reception which begins at 6:00 PM. 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. Following the performance, the Society will be showing a film on opioids and hosting a discussion about addictions. On June 21 Stardale will be performing in commemoration of National Indigenous Peoples Day. This will take place at the new South Campus Hospital at 2:00 in the afternoon. There will be a Q & A to follow with a ceremony.
For more information contact Executive Director Helen McPhaden at firstname.lastname@example.org or 403-243-6615