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Friday, October 11, 2013

Playworks Ink... A Writing Retreat in the Mountains...

A few weekends ago I spent the weekend in Banff at the Banff Centre for the Arts participating in Playworks Ink.  It was glorious.  Playworks Ink is offered every two years in the fall in coordinated by Theatre Alberta and Alberta Playwright's Network.  It is similar to Dramaworks, which is held in alternate years in the summer.  Playworks Ink, however, has a little more focus on play writing with staged readings and more play writing based workshops.  I took Facing the Re-Write with Robert O'Hara which I felt would be a good fit since I have so many scripts on the go in various drafts. I decided to bring a scene from Little Monsters, which I started two years previously at Playworks Ink in a session facilitated by Daniel MacIvor.  I had been feeling a little stalled with it, so I thought this would be a chance to kick it into gear. To some degree, it was the right workshop.  I was exhausted, however, after my long and busy September so what this weekend actually did for me was point out where I need to go and why I was stalled.  So while I didn't get a terrific about of writing done, I got some important writing done.  I also got a list of about 20 things I can do to jump start the process if I am stuck.  I can also use these with other people when I am helping them.  Some fabulous tools

I wish I had been able to write more, but that's okay.  I did feel that the move to Banff was perfect.  There were also so many other things that made the weekend work well.  With all of us in the same place, we didn't all scatter at night to go for supper with just those people we knew.  We all ate together and my roomie AM and I made an effort to sit with different people at different tables for each meal so that we would meet more people. That was pretty cool.  There was a real feeling of us all being at the same level, so while the people stretched from Newbie to Professional, there were no lines. It was also the best food.  I could probably write a whole blog post about the bacon... It was also beautiful and I love that mountain air!  Other events were great for us to share in - We got two experiences with Christopher Plummer (my new boyfriend) - one was a smaller group interview about his life and career and the other was a Gala evening with him doing Shakespeare off set by an orchestra playing music that had been inspired by Shakespeare.  They were both wonderful events, but I was so happy for the interview as I felt we really got to meet Mr. Plummer and he even seemed to be flirting with us a little. Another terrific event was a Trivia Contest and I had so much fun with that.  It was theatre based with a special focus on Alberta and Canadian theatre with a chunk of musical theatre thrown in.  How could I not love that? Our team came in second and I am good with that, although I think other people on my team felt we should've won.  It was all for fun so it is alright with me.

I really hope that Playworks Ink returns to Banff.  It felt ideal and I would love to go back with a calmer brain and a little more rested.  I could see me writing a lot there!

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