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ACWB Hosts Successful Script to Stage Online Session

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As calendars were wiped clean of events, and people couldn’t say a sentence without COVID-19, or Coronavirus in it – learning about Arts Council Wood Buffalo’s (ACWB) event continuing online was a needed piece of good news. From Script to Stage – held on March 22, 2019 – is a workshop series featuring actress/director Michelle Thorne, formerly a local resident, and now based in Vancouver.

The workshop series is part of Arts Council Wood Buffalo’s Artist in Residency (AiR) & Mentorship Program. It is presented in collaboration with Keyano Theatre & Arts Centre. The eight sessions with Michelle Thorne will be offered through Zoom, an online platform.

The first installment was on Directing, and featured 15 local and provincial participants. Subsequent workshops will include a variety of topics such as script analysis, design concepts and collaborations, stage management, auditions, casting, marketing and publicity. They are now free to local residents. However, a fee will be charged for out of town registrants.  

Liana Wheeldon, Executive Director, Arts Council Wood Buffalo explains why it was important to continue with the initiative.

“Knowing how important the arts are in maintaining emotional and mental well-being, but wanting to support the global initiative of 'social distancing,’ the ACWB team started to look for ways to maintain a 'social' aspect while implementing physical distance. Luay Eljamal, our Programs Manager, quickly developed an online approach to delivering our Artist in Residency & Mentorship program. Using the Zoom platform, Luay, and our two presenting theatre artists, Michelle Thorne and Hanna Fridhed, tweaked their lesson plans and presentation styles to complement delivery online.”

“The arts heal, connect, inspire, and transform. It is extremely important to the ACWB team to continue connecting with our artists and the community, supporting the growth and success of the arts. We would not accept cancelling this offering of AiR, and are looking at other programs that we can launch using this platform until we can all be face-to-face again,” she notes.

For Michelle Thorne, the session was a “smashing success.”

“Participants unanimously agreed that they are thrilled to remain connected and creative with their peers during these unpredictable times. The Zoom platform has allowed us to capture the energy and enthusiasm of creative collaboration in an online format, which allows us to continue to practice social distancing, while still remaining quite social. I am humbled to be able to maintain some structure and normality to my life at home, doing what is right for the global good-—while still indulging in my passion as well.”

Workshops will run from March 22 to April 13, 2020 (Sundays and Mondays only).

Sundays: 1 p.m. – 4 p.m., and Mondays: 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Register online:


Kiran Malik-Khan is the Communications Manager for the Fort McMurray Public School District, and national award-winning communications professional. She is a freelance journalist, a communications professional, and a poet. She loves sharing stories about unique people, events, and organizations. Kiran is the co-founder and volunteer public relations director for NorthWord magazine, Fort McMurray's first and only literary magazine. She is also the President/Co-founder of World Hijab Day Fort McMurray. A proud Pakistani-Canadian who grew up in New Jersey, she is a fierce advocate of Fort McMurray, multiculturalism, women's rights, and equality for all. Got a story nobody is telling? Send her ideas: DM and follow on Twitter @KiranMK0822.