The River Clyde Pageant (RCP) celebrates its eighth year of outdoor, community-engaged theatre in New Glasgow this summer. Along with that milestone, the company begins a new, two-year performance cycle exploring themes of disruption and transformation. Public performances of the 2023 River Clyde Pageant will run July 27–30 and August 3–6. Leading up to the performances, a program of free, public arts workshops are on offer, taught by professional artists from PEI, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Vermont and Ohio.
Each summer’s Pageant is created in collaboration with artists and community participants who co-author material to be featured in the production—songs and music, puppets and design elements, stories, scenes and choreography. This material is created within community workshops that cover an array of artistic disciplines and are open to participants of all ages and experience levels. Workshops begin in early June and run until mid-July.
Ian McFarlane returns to lead the popular Puppet Ensemble workshop, which introduces participants to ensemble performance techniques, large and small-scale puppetry, mask work and object theatre. Laura Astwood will train new and returning performers in the spectacular art of walking on stilts, stilt choreography and character development.
Pageant choreographer Reequal Smith is excited to work with a new ensemble of dancers for Dance with the Wind, a workshop exploring creative movement and the outdoor environment. Two of RCP’s American collaborators, Kristian Brevik and Michael Geither, are back to lead workshops in lantern creation and playwriting, respectively.
New to the RCP is music director Garry Williams, of Halifax, who joins this year’s creative team as Music Director. Garry will work with choir director Andrea Ellis and will deliver a new music workshop in early June to build songs and scores for the show in collaboration with workshop participants. Puppet designer Laura Stinson joins the Pageant following her work on the 2022 Solstice Walk, and will offer weekly Design Drop-In sessions on puppet building, paper-mâché, and flag-making.
Pageant co-directors Jane Wells and Megan Stewart will co-lead a drama workshop for children in late June, as well as Art & Storytelling, a workshop for teens and adults exploring the art of storytelling and performance creation.
All are welcome in the creation of the 2023 Pageant, especially those who are new to the Pageant and to artistic creation in general. Workshop spaces are limited, and participants should register early to reserve a spot. Register for workshops or sign up to volunteer at riverclydepageant.com/get-involved. Tickets for the Pageant go on sale in early July.