Local theatre troupe Delta Stageworks is hosting a four-week writing workshop focused on telling the life stories of participants’ moms.
My Mother’s Story is the brainchild of Vancouver actor and author Marilyn Norry, who is serving as a member of Delta Stageworks’ artistic team for 2021. Since 2004, the workshops have been the catalyst for women — and men — in communities around the world to connect with their mothers’ life stories, according to a description posted to deltastageworks.ca/my-mothers-story-workshop.
The workshops are about spending some quality time with the memories you have about your mother and exploring the times she lived in, and are open to everyone, regardless of whether your mother is alive or has passed away.
Participants do not have to have prior writing experience. Through a number of writing exercises, participants build a chronology of their mother’s life, sift through important events, separate facts from emotion and arrive at a discovery draft. Editing guidance will also be provided.
“The journey you’ll take over our four weeks together is to write the story of your mother’s life — from beginning to end, just the facts, where you are just one of the facts — all in 2,000 words,” Norry said in a press release.
“In writing this story you will discover things about yourself, your mother and your family that perhaps you never knew before. This simple act will shine a light on a life that might otherwise be forgotten. (…) You’ll also be declaring that women have an indelible space in our collective history.”
Delta Stageworks founder and artistic director Peg Keenleyside notes the not-for-profit society got its start in 2020 with a mandate to provide inclusive arts programming to the Delta community, and as such she encourages diverse voices to come and participate in the program.
“Your mother’s childhood experiences may have taken place a long way from your life in Canada and this is a great way to document those stories about her before they’re forgotten,” Keenleyside said in a press release.
“We’re so pleased to bring this program to Delta, especially in the month of May when we celebrate our mothers’ lives, and at a time when many of us are feeling isolated and craving some creativity.”
The artistic team hopes that, come fall, more in-person activities will be allowed to take place and that the stories emerging from the My Mother’s Story workshop can be developed into an evening of storytelling where writers share their mothers’ stories with the community.
The My Mother’s Story writing workshop will run on Tuesday evenings, May 4-25, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. via Zoom.
The cost of the program is $65. Registration details are available at deltastageworks.ca.
For more on My Mother’s Story, visit mymothersstory.org.