Delta Stagewroks Presents
Then & Now: Pandemic Life Stories
A devised creation with the community
November 13th and 14th, 2021
Back in the spring 2020, as the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic went from something happening ‘’over there” somewhere; to something fearfully immediate and visceral in our lives, at Delta Stageworks we started thinking about creating a storytelling theatre piece around these lived experiences in our local community. We figured that sometime down the road we might all want to reflect back on some of the monumental impacts to our lives the pandemic has wrought.
Taking inspiration from devised theatre practices, in the fall of 2020 we invited Cory Haas, artistic director at no comment. th(é)âtre in Vancouver, to facilitate a series of exploratory workshops about living through these surreal times. Together with the rest of the artist associate team, we invited members of the community to join us in documenting and creatively processing what’s been happening around us.
We’ve worked on Zoom together and in-person under professional theatre safety protocols. We’ve interviewed neighbours, colleagues, front-line workers, family members, business owners and essential workers among others; gathering their stories in oral and video form. We’ve created visual and written texts; adapting news stories and personal anecdotes.
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October 2020: Devising workshops
December 2020: Research and creation workshop
January 2021: Writing and creation workshop
February 2021: Dramaturgy session
Recently we put everything from our workshops through the dramaturgical rinse cycle: a year on into this, what are the stories that are resonating with us – the profoundly moving and the profoundly funny that we want to tell? What are the discoveries we’ve made about how we want to build a show for audiences in 2021 when – for the foreseeable future – theatres remain closed and gatherings are restricted?
Take a look at this dramaturgy session wrap up video with Cory Haas for some insights into our theatre-making process and the next phase of development for our project.