The X Page:
A Storytelling Workshop
The 2021 stories and a recording of our live performance “Little Things” are now available for you to read, and to view!
The X Page: A Storytelling Workshop was set into motion in 2019. Our inaugural season took flight thanks to the collective energy and effort of a large team of collaborators, sponsors and supporters.
Workshop sessions are led by writer Tasneem Jamal (Where The Air Is Sweet) and director Pam Patel, artistic director of MT Space theatre company. The other members of The X Page Team are: Anandi Carroll-Woolery, editor, and season 2 performer; Pamela Mulloy, editor of The New Quarterly; Melissa Durrell, vocal coach, and founder and owner of Durrell Comm; Maha Eid, assistant project coordinator, and season 1 performer; Sumeyra Nurcan, peer mentor, and season 1 performer; and Emily Bednarz, tech coordinator and organizational genius. Tarunima Mittal is artist-in-residence for the 2021 season. I am the project’s coordinator, and co-founder with Dr. Lamees Al Ethari, writer and professor at the University of Waterloo.
Each workshop runs for twelve intense weeks. Workshop sessions focus on writing and performing in creative collaboration, building community and purpose as we work toward a shared goal. For Season Three, spring 2021, we’ll meet virtually rather than in person. (Sadly, no snacks!)
With continued support from dedicated sponsors, we are working to ensure that the workshop becomes an annual event.
The X Page: A Storytelling Workshop is an interdisciplinary community arts project that connects women who are immigrants or refugees with artists in Waterloo Region, who assist and mentor them in writing and performing their own stories. Our 2021 season took place online, from April – June. Planning for the 2022 season will begin soon!
In the spring of 2019, The X Page performed our Season One show “Quilt of Stories” for a live, sold-out theatre audience. “Quilt of Stories” featured music, movement, staged scenes, and the compelling personal stories of nineteen women, told in their own voices.
For our 2020 season, four performers from Season One returned as peer mentors.
While our Season Two performance, “Stories in Transit,” had to be cancelled due to COVID-19, we are grateful that the stories had already been written, and were published in May, 2020 The New Quarterly.
Our workshop uses writing and drawing exercises based Lynda Barry’s teachings and philosophy, including “the X page.” Lynda Barry is a 2019 recipient of the MacArthur “Genius Grant,” an American graphic novelist and a brilliant teacher, who encourages her students to go forth and use her ideas in their own work — and that’s exactly what I hope we’ve achieved with this project.
We like to say that The X Page is the opposite of the blank page. It’s the space where we enter into an image using all of our senses. Thank you, Lynda Barry.