Writing workshop by Dawn Garisch at Joseph Stone


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Writing workshop by Dawn Garisch at Joseph Stone
Writing workshop by Dawn Garisch at Joseph Stone

ASSITEJ South Africa in partnership with the Eoan Group at the Joseph Stone Auditorium are proud to present writing workshops led by the phenomenal Dawn Garish from 7 to 11 November.

ASSITEJ South Africa, a networking body of theatre for young audiences in South Africa is partnering with the Eoan Group to support the development of writers, particularly those artists with an interest in young audiences. The Eoan Group has a long worked with young people in dance and are now making space in their busy programme to accommodate writing and theatre for young audiences.

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Dawn Garisch is a published novelist and poet, who has also had a short play and short film produced. She has written for television, magazines, and newspapers. Three of her novels have been published in the UK.

Dawn Garisch
Dawn Garisch

Garisch will run a life-writing workshop for English and Afrikaans writers, where emerging writers will be connected with images and stories driven by their own lives.

A practicing medical doctor, Garsich has written ‘Trespass’ (2010) which was short-listed for the Commonwealth prize in Africa, and in 2011 her poem ‘Miracle’ won the EU Sol Plaatjie Poetry Award. A non-fiction / memoir ‘Eloquent Body’, which investigates how both art and science can help us, was published in 2012.

Central to Garisch’s writings are the themes of the use and abuse of power, our relationship with the landscape, the cycle of love, betrayal, revenge and forgiveness, relationships – personal and political, and being awake to ourselves and our world. For her, creative acts are essential for mental health. She sees her writing as an act of self-care and has return three novels aimed at young people.

Says Garisch, “Life writing can be a powerful tool to develop theatre, as well as to live our best life. Getting to know more about the story we are living helps us to ride our stories, rather than our stories riding us”.

This workshop is not only about developing technical skills. It is also a way to reflect and grow awareness and observational skills. The tools needed to write effectively about our memories, aversions, and desires – are also the tools needed to live more creatively, less anxiously.

In the field of theatre-making, life writing skills can help to connect lived experience as actors and directors, and to identify core motifs and themes out of which writers can develop plays with powerful content.

“Imagination is an extraordinary tool. We will reclaim imagination as a means to release ourselves into awe and creativity, connectedness and purpose, awareness and pleasure. Through identifying and engaging with the images that shape our time on earth, we will find refreshing approaches to putting our personal stories down on the page,” concludes Garisch.

Yvette Hardie of ASSITEJ South Africa says, “We are delighted to support these workshops offered by Dawn at the Joseph Stone Auditorium. Writing is a vital aspect of making work for young audiences and we believe in developing this craft among artists. As part of the build up to the international ASSITEJ festival Cradle of Creativity set to take place in Cape Town next year, we look forward to increasing our work with the Eoan Group and inspire more artists to focus on making work for young audiences, beginning with workshops and engagements like this.”

The Cradle of Creativity (16-27 May) comprises a Festival, a Conference and a World Congress, all dedicated to theatre for young audiences. The multi-layered event is hosted by ASSITEJ South Africa, and will take place in Cape Town at multiple venues including the Joseph Stone Auditorium. In partnership with the National Arts Council of South Africa, this will be the 19th ASSITEJ World Congress and International Theatre Festival in the 52-year history of ASSITEJ International and the very first on the African continent.

If you are interested in fully committing yourself to partake in the 5-day workshop from 7 – 11 November, 09h00 till 13h00 daily – please contact Jason on jasontheatre4youth@gmail.com

– ASSITEJ SA Members – R250 for the 5-day course
– Non-Members – *R1250 for the 5-day course (R500 deposit to secure your place)

– Note: A limited number of bursaries will be available for Members only.
– The workshop will take place at the Joseph Stone Auditorium in Athlone.


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