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Thom Vernon Local Color

Writing and solo performance workshop with Thom Vernon today at 4!

In town to perform The Drifts Live: the novel onstage at the United Solo Festival, queer, positive exiled writer/performer Thom Vernon(Seinfeld, Grace Under Fire, General Hospital, The Fugitive, etc.) leads a two hour writing/performance workshop. Using writing exercises and performance techniques, the workshop will mine town secrets, local legends, old wives tales and all the things said, and not said, to create short original solo pieces. Under the threat of erasure or rejection, these little ditties let us know just how far we can flaunt it before we get shut down. They tell what it is to be a man, a woman —or the ‘local color’. Participants might create a monologue, a scene, a song, a movement piece or some other trouble-making device. Includes a teaser performance and readings from The Drifts Live: the novel onstage at United Solo Festival, Nov. 6, 7 pm (thedriftslive.com) based on the novel The Drifts (Coach House Books, 2010) lauded by the Globe and Mail as “magnificent.” (The Drifts is available at the Bureau.)

As queers, activists, outsiders and outlaws we’ve often come up against town taboos, dirty little secrets, neighborhood gossip, warnings, unexplained events, song lyrics that shape how we can, or can not, live our lives. Everybody knows that boys don’t wear dresses, no one finds love in a park, that sissies get beat up after school and what happened to you-know-who when she got too big for her britches. Shape up and fly right or else. “Or else” means rejection, abandonment or violence. In this hands-on workshop, artists and explorers at any level will learn new ways to unlock and transform the ties that bind into creative writing and performance. Bring your photos, stories, unexplained events, local legends, song lyrics, things not/said that queered you, marked the line of trespass and/or changed your experience of who you are. Using his own work to demonstrate, Thom Vernon leads us through the minefield of erasure as we pick up writing and performance tools that any artist in any medium can use. A previous workshop participant appreciated, “Thom’s willingness to believe in my story—my ability to tell it. He didn’t treat me like an amateur. He helped me to care about writing.”

 

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