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Stop! Theatre!

Workshop for youth coming to Iqaluit

Christine Kay
Northern News Services

Iqaluit (Apr 14/03) - The Qaggiq Theatre Company is looking for youth between the ages of 15 and 25 to participate in a workshop that will allow them to express their feelings on certain issues through theatre.

NNSL Photo

David Diamond from the Headlines Theatre Company will be in Iqaluit from May 10 to 17 holding a theatre workshop for youth. - photo courtesy of Headlines Theatre Company

"Theatre is something that we can use to express our fears, our hopes and our desires. In order for a community to be healthy -- we need to learn to speak a symbolic language," said David Diamond, who has been hired to put on the workshop for the new, non-profit organization.

Diamond works for a company based in Vancouver called Headlines Theatre Company. Workshops like the one coming to Iqaluit have been held all over Canada, in the United States, Europe, Africa and Brazil. The experience is a unique one and although the workshop deals with some serious issues, it's meant to be a lot of fun.

The subject for the Iqaluit workshop is "Shutting down" and it will look into emotional, and psychological issues like abuse, violence, and suicide.

The workshop will be six days long starting on May 10 and will end with two performances at the Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention conference being held in Iqaluit from May 15 to 18. More than 600 people are expected at the conference.

The performances will be done in "forum theatre" style.

"The theatre really becomes a vehicle for dialogue and not just for monologues," said Diamond.

Forum theatre is unique because it allows the audience to get involved. The play builds to a crisis and then stops without offering solutions. The play runs again but the second time the audience can freeze the play by yelling "stop" and suggest a resolution.

"This is not just an opportunity for artistic development but it's really for people who want to deal with issues. We really want the youth who participate to benefit from this," said the acting executive director for the Qaggiq Theatre Company, Jonathan Dewar.

Anyone interested in participating in the workshop can contact The Qaggiq Theatre Company. There is a maximum of 25 spaces available. The Qaggiq theatre is presenting the workshop in co-operation with the Nunavut Literacy Council, which has provided funding.