Sylvan Lake actors Everett Dool (left) and Layne Zazalak are pictured rehearsing one of the four plays for the Theatre Trail that took place in the fall. The Sylvan Lake Theatre will be hosting a workshop and storytelling circles to encourage more people to try theatre. (Contributed photo by Megan Routhier)

Sylvan Lake actors Everett Dool (left) and Layne Zazalak are pictured rehearsing one of the four plays for the Theatre Trail that took place in the fall. The Sylvan Lake Theatre will be hosting a workshop and storytelling circles to encourage more people to try theatre. (Contributed photo by Megan Routhier)

Sylvan Lake Theatre offering opportunity to develop skills

If you’ve ever wanted to explore your artistic side, now is your chance. The Sylvan Lake Theatre group is hoping to foster local talent and they’ll be hosting a playwright workshop and storytelling circles to get people’s creative minds working.

Trevor Rueger of Alberta Playwrights Network will be hosting a workshop on playwriting on Saturday, Nov. 5, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. in the multipurpose room at the NexSource Centre.

This one-day intensive workshop focuses on the building blocks of dramatic writing, reads the theatre’s promotion. Participants will be engaged in an active discussion about narrative structure, plot, character, conflict/crisis, dialogue and theme, among many other topics. This workshop is intended for all beginning and novice playwrights, or anyone looking for a refresher or a greater understanding of what it takes to write a play.

“Anyone with a TV or who has read a book will recognize this topic,” said Tanya Ryga, artistic director for the Sylvan Lake Theatre, adding that she has invited Rueger to host workshops at Red Deer Polytechnic, when she worked there.

“One reason we’re doing this is we need plays,” Ryga said. “Last month we did the Theatre Trail and we launched four new playwrights and their plays. We want to do that again next fall, so we need to find new and existing talent to foster.”

The cost for the workshop is $50 and participants are encouraged to bring along a notebook and a pen, or a laptop, for taking notes. To reserve a spot in the workshop, you can e-mail theatretrail@gmail.com or call Ryga at 403-318-1380.

The Sylvan Lake Theatre will also be hosting storytelling circles. These aren’t workshops, but ongoing meetings on the first Tuesday of each month to share stories and explore a variety of styles and subjects.

“Think book club,” explained Ryga. “It’s social, it’s fun. There’s no book to read, but the group will have pre-decided what the topic or theme might be and on their monthly get together they become storytellers, sharing. It’s a very supportive environment. It’s not performing, it’s learning and practicing the art of oral storytelling.”

Ryga said everyone tells stories, whether it’s about that great thing that happened at work today or the guy that cut you off at the intersection down the street.

“Now we’re learning how to hone that skill,” she said. “It’s important that we’re personal. It’s stories that come from you.”

Interest in the storytelling circles has been high and Ryga said not only is the group looking at now filling a second story circle group, but they’re also on the lookout for a place to host these groups – some place a group of 10 people could get together and share stories without disturbing others and without worrying about people listening in.

The storytelling circles are free, but willing participants still need to sign up and secure a spot. Orientation night will be on Wednesday, Nov. 2, from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the NexSource Centre. The meetings will officially begin in December and run through to April. To sign up, contact Norene Reaume at norenereaume@gmail.com or call 587-377-6510.

“Storytelling is the one thing people kept bringing up at the Theatre Trail. I wasn’t surprised the plays were popular, but I was surprised that the storytelling seemed to hit a very positive nerve with the community,” Ryga said, adding that the group will take stock in April and see if they want to continue with the monthly meetings.

“We’re hoping that people will have fun,” she said. “Everything is informal and everything is about creating connections in the community.”

Ryga said she’s also on the lookout for talented individuals for a play she’d like to put on after Christmas and for the Theatre Trail next fall and she’s also hoping to host an acting intensive after Christmas.

“We’re building the theatre community in Sylvan Lake,” she said.

CommunityTheatre

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