River Clyde Pageant

Free public arts workshops

Puppets from the 2023 River Clyde Pageant
Photo by Andrew McInnis

The River Clyde Pageant (RCP) returns to New Glasgow for its ninth year of outdoor, community-engaged theatre along the River Clyde. This summer’s show runs July 25–28 and August 1–4, expanding on 2023’s “Windfall in the Hollow” by further exploring themes of disruption, transformation, and interconnectedness.

Leading up to the performances, free public arts workshops will be offered, taught by professional artists from PEI, Nova Scotia, Vermont, and Ohio. Each RCP is a massive collaborative effort, co-created by artists and community participants. Workshop participants co-author material for the production, including music, puppets, design elements, stories, scenes, and choreography. Open to all ages and experience levels, these workshops run from early June to mid-July.

Starting in June, Franziska Glen and Laura Stinson will lead the ‘Puppet Ensemble’ workshop, introducing participants to ensemble-based performance, large and small-scale puppetry, mask work, and creating with the River Clyde’s landscapes. Participants will play a key role in bringing the puppets to life: amphibians, birds, fungi, and a giant illuminated human puppet.

The RCP’s choreographer, Reequal Smith, leads ‘Dance with the Wind,’ an outdoor workshop exploring creative movement inspired by natural forces. Incorporating Reequal’s background in Afro-Caribbean dance and calypso fusion, this workshop creates choreography for the Pageant.

Theatre artist and composer Garry Williams returns as RCP music director to lead ‘Further Afield: A Music Workshop’ from June 12–16. In four sessions, participants of all experience levels will explore musical storytelling and create and develop compositions for the RCP.

In ‘The Singing River’ choir workshop, Director Andrea Ellis offers a holistic approach to music-making, inviting all ages to join the RCP choir. Participants will rehearse and perform original songs created for the Pageant, bringing their embodied voices into the outdoor landscape to sing with the breeze, the birds, and the rest of the RCP world.

The RCP will also host ‘The Bee,’ a workshop combining storytelling and art-making. Each session includes storytelling, drama games, and crafts like weaving, papier-mâché, and sewing to create puppets, props, costumes, and flags for the Pageant. Activities will be led by different members of the Pageant creative team: Jane Wells, Megan Stewart, Franziska Glen, Laura Stinson, and Natalia Cortes.

All are welcome in the creation of the 2024 RCP, especially those who are new to the event and curious to learn more. Workshop spaces are limited; register soon to reserve a spot. Register or volunteer at riverclydepageant.com/get-involved.

Tickets for the 2024 River Clyde Pageant go on sale June 25 and 26.