New Works Festival to be presented November 21 – 29 – with changes in programming due to COVID orange level

2020 New Works Festival –

Schedule of Events – updated November 23 – “The Making of A One Man Christmas Carol” virtual event added November 27 at 7:30 pm

PLEASE NOTE – due to bring in the orange level of COVID, we have had to cancel our performances and tour of “A One Man Christmas Carol” and the Songwriters’ Circle. The other virtual New Works events will go ahead as planned, please see below.

Saturday, November 21

Creating Plays for Audio and Digital Formats – workshop with Natalie Meisner

12 noon – 2 pm and also November 28, 12 noon – 2 pm  – A virtual event – to register click here.

No question, the landscape for writers of theatre and plays has changed.  We all hope for the curtain to go back up, but in live spaces but in the meantime there are other formats we can explore.  Join Natalie Meisner for this fun & hands on workshop to create your own short online digital new work.

Natalie Meisner is a playwright, an award-winning multi-genre author and 5th Poet Laureate of Calgary.  BADDIE ONE SHOE (Frontenac) is a collection of odes to renegade women who fight the powers that be with laughter. LEGISLATING LOVE: THE EVERETT KLIPPERT STORY (University of Calgary Press) illuminates the life of a beloved Calgary bus driver and the last Canadian to be jailed for homosexuality. Her play BOOM BABY won both the Canadian National & the Alberta Playwriting Award. SPEED DATING FOR SPERM DONORS (Playwrights Canada Press) was a hit at Lunchbox & Neptune. Double Pregnant: Two Lesbians Make a Family (Fernwood) topped non-fiction lists and her first book for kids My Mommy, My Mama My Brother & Me (Nimbus) is about a two-mom biracial family finding community.  Meisner is a wife and mom to two great boys and a Professor in the Department of English at Mount Royal University where she works in the areas of creative writing, drama and gender/ sexuality studies.

Tuesday, November 24

Writing your COVID-19 Story or How to Embrace the Chaos – With Shoshanna Wingate

6 pm – 9 pm – for adults, a virtual free event. Contact to register and for the Zoom link.

COVID-19. It changed everything. EVERYTHING. We learned to embrace a new normal, whether we wanted to or not. We no longer socialized. No longer went out, except for necessities. Our kids no longer attended school. Some of us no longer worked. Others worked from home while watching young kids. We no longer remembered what day it was. March 2020 feels like two years ago. And yet, here we are still in the middle of the pandemic and trying to find some perspective, some new normal we can live with.

We can’t delete this year, so why not find a way to embrace the fragments. In this workshop, we will play with forms, fragments, and favorite works by writers to piece together a journal of our lives interrupted. 

We will use the disruption as a catalyst for a new way of writing our stories. We will honour the simple things in our lives that carried us through. 

You will need a journal, preferably blank pages and a pen, and some favorite pieces of writing, whether poems, stories, or quotes that you would like to share. You can print them out or bring in hand-copied pieces.

Thursday, November 26

Stompin’ Tom Remembered with Charlie Rhindress

8:00 pm – a virtual event broadcast on the Live Bait Theatre Facebook

Charlie Rhindress will present an episode of his streaming online series, Stompin’ Tom Remembered. Charlie will read from his book, Stompin’ Tom Connors, The Myth and the Man, and interview someone who knew and/or worked with Tom. The show also features musical performances and Rhindress will talk about the new book he’s writing.

Friday, November 27

The Making of “A One-Man Christmas Carol” – a presentation about the show that would have been if COVID hadn’t caused it to be cancelled. With an excerpt from the show performed by Ron Kelly Spurles, and discussions with Ron, Charlie Rhindress, and others connected to the show.

7:30 pm on the Live Bait Facebook page. A free event.

Saturday, November 28

Nalalie Meisner workshop – Part 2

12 noon – 2 pm see November 21 details above.

Writing your COVID-19 story or the Lost Year   – With Shoshanna Wingate                              

12 noon – 2 pm – for youth, a virtual free event. Contact to register and for the Zoom link.

Let’s face it.  You didn’t experience COVID-19 the same way your parents did. You didn’t get to finish your grade. Your activities were all cancelled. You only got to talk to your friends through a video screen. Were you bored, anxious, frustrated? 

Did you know some of our greatest writers came out of times of upheaval and crisis? 

Many of them wrote whole books as journal entries. Why would they do that? 

This workshop will get you writing your COVID story as journal entries to an unknown future generation. What did you wind up enjoying about the lockdown? What did you miss most about the way your life was before? What do you think youth fifty years from now would be curious to know? You get to tell this story, from your perspective. Not the news. Not your parents or teachers. You.  What is the story you would tell?

We’ll play with different ways to tell your story. You don’t have to share your writing with the group. You don’t have to read aloud. You only need to bring a notebook and a pen. 

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