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PTE Debuting Immigrant Theatre Program

February 21, 2011 6:48 AM | Entertainment

By Tyler Sutherland

A new program aimed at immigrants will launch at Prairie Theatre Exchange School on Tuesday.

In Harmony: A Creative Culture Exchange is meant for women who are new to Canada to share stories about their lives in their country of origin and about their experiences as immigrants coming to Canada. The program will examine their culture, build on mutual support groups of peers, celebrate mutual diversity and communicate their stories to a wider audience.

“This program uses the arts as a vehicle for exploring diverse cultures, and looking at how we differ and how we are alike,” said Raye Anderson, facilitator for the project. “It also gives new Canadians the opportunity to express how they feel about living in a new country. It is very exciting to be able to bring this group of women together, to tell their stories through drama.”

The program is being put on in a joint effort with the Helping Hands Resource Centre for Immigrants. Women from all cultural backgrounds are welcome, but the participants are largely drawn from African and Afghani backgrounds.

The first phase of the program will run 10-12 weeks and include storytelling, songs, communication, oral language development and cross-cultural appreciation. The second phase will focus on songs, stories, monologues and enacted scenes that speak to common issues that they face as women with rich and diverse backgrounds.

The idea is to eventually build a script and rehearse it, with the goal to present it to an audience.