Inter-Act Theatre hosting workshop on grief

·3 min read

A free five-day workshop on grief is being held by Inter-Act Theatre in October. Claire Goodfellow and Maggie Milne Martens will be travelling to Medicine Hat to facilitate the workshop.

Debra Best from Inter-Act said, “They will be providing five days of the exploration of grief to 10 participants who will chronicle their process. There will be a theme for each day and multi-modality opportunities for people to express themselves.

“The goal is for individuals to use motion, journalling, some voice theatre, pen and paper, and mache opportunities, if they choose. We’ve got ink and paints and lots of newsprint.”

Goodfellow previously lived in Medicine Hat where she worked with the college and then Medalta. She has led groups in making grief masks and is currently finishing her death doula certificate.

“A death doula assists families and individuals who are passing, in the process of letting go and saying goodbye,” explained Best.

Maggie Milne Martens lives in Vancouver and has a background as an art instructor. She spent many years teaching children self expression through art and assisted the Vancouver public school system in developing art as part of the public education curriculum.

Inter-Act gets involved in topics relevant to the community, such as teen pregnancy, HIV, or family violence. As Best explains, “Things that people don’t often want to talk about. Grief is the first time we have chosen to pick a theme that is common to all of us. We all know it as a word, and we’ve all experienced it at some point in our lives and we don’t talk about it.”

Grief is incredibly complex and doesn’t centre around a single feeling that can be moved on from or got over. The workshop is designed for people to explore their personal thoughts and feelings about how grief manifests itself for them.

The workshop runs from Monday to Friday and there is a theatre portion on the Saturday evening which is interactive with the audience.

“If there is no interactive component, we don’t do it,” said Best. “What we are committed to is an opportunity to examine a piece of our humanity that doesn’t often get heard.”

She emphasized that grief will affect people who have experienced any loss in their lives. Not only through death, but also a job, a home, the loss of mobility, or not being able to travel anymore. The list is endless, and the losses start at a young age, say with a favourite toy.

The workshop is free of charge and limited to 10 participants. It takes place at the Cultural Centre on College Drive starting on Oct. 17 and running through until Oct. 21. Currently, the workshop is full but there is a waiting list should a participant drop out.

Phone 403-527-4346 for more information. Participants will have to pay for parking and provide their own lunch.

On Oct. 22 everyone is invited to attend Doing Something With Your Grief, at the Blackbox Theatre in the Cultural Centre starting at 7 p.m. Admission is free.

The evening will be a story-telling forum allowing the workshop participants to explain their individual journeys. There will also be video representation of what they’ve been doing, and the goal is to have an interactive evening with the audience.

SAMANTHA JOHNSON, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Medicine Hat News