ANTIGONISH, N.S. - Laura Teasdale is well known for turning written works into fun and entraining performances.
Working with The Arts House in Antigonish, Teasdale has designed a workshop for youth which will demonstrate that the fun actually started with the pen and paper – the writing.
The Write On: Creative Writing Workshop started Monday, Jan. 21, and will continue for eight weeks, which includes a performance event to wrap-up the fun. The sessions go from 3:15 to 4:45 p.m. each Monday afternoon at The Arts House, which is located beside Antigonish Market Square and Boston Pizza, in the former Visitor Information Centre (145 Church St.).
“We think writing and we think school. But we forget that writing is an art form just as much as painting or pottery or dance,” a notation about the workshop, on The Art House website (antigonishartfair.ca), reads.
“What if writing is fun? In this workshop, each week we will explore a different form of creative writing with the goal of finding what style we like best; what is fun and fulfilling for us? Outside the school environment, with exercises and games, we will write for the purpose of enjoyment and expression.”
Teasdale said the workshop is for kids around grades three to seven, and that while interested persons may have missed registering for the first date, there is always time to join.
“One hundred per cent,” she said about joining up after the first session Jan. 21.
“One of the issues we have is that the kids don’t know how fun it will be; so we said, right from the beginning, once they begin to come, they’ll talk to their friends and we want them [their friends] to then come,” Teasdale said.
“There is a fee to join at any time; they will not have to pay the full amount if they haven’t done some of the weeks. We want kids to be able to join in and really think, once the kids start talking about it and see it is fun, they’ll want to jump on board.”
She expanded on the website notation in emphasizing that while children may not think of writing as fun, it’s an art form which allows for creativity and expression which is always enjoyable.
“In the same way kids like to paint and sing because they don’t think about it just being part of school,” she said.
“So often, kids think of writing as just being part of school which is a shame because writing can be as fun as any other art. So the whole purpose is to have a lot of fun, laugh, play games, and to get them to think about writing like other forms of art.”
Noting her experience on stage, Teasdale said while script writing will be an “aspect” of the workshop, writing in its many forms will be explored.
“What I want to give them is an overview,” she said. “So one time we’ll do poetry, one time journalism/non-fiction writing, next time mystery writing, next time a little script; at the end we’ll get the kids to choose their favourite and, if they want to choose a script, then we’ll get some actors to come and act out their script for them.
“It’s about giving them a chance to find what they like … that is the whole purpose.”
Actors reading and acting out a script would come during the performance event to wrap up the workshop. The actors would also read other types of written works by the participants, if that is what the writer chooses.
“A little performance at the end where they can invite four or five people,” Teasdale said. “It will be nice to get some of the great actors we have here to read their stories if the kids want, if they’re shy, or they could read them themselves.”
Teasdale talked more about exposing children to all types of art forms.
“I think of someone like me who grew up to be an actor; who would I even be if someone hadn’t said, music is important at school,” she said.
“I really believe in it and over the years I have seen the fruits of it. Parents have come up to me and said, my kid can do things [artistically] I couldn’t do … that is what you want.”
To join the workshop, contact The Arts House through their website or email Antigonishartfair@gmail.com.