A Winter Writing Workshop with Ryan Griffith

Category: arts 199

The Charlotte Street Arts Centre and Next Folding Theatre Company have partnered to present an eight week writing workshop with Fredericton playwright Ryan Griffith. 

Matt Carter 

What Happened to the Ragdoll Cat? is the name of an upcoming writing workshop beginning at the Charlotte Street Arts Centre on January 23. Created in a partnership between CSAC and Next Folding Theatre Company, the workshop, hosted by Fredericton playwright Ryan Griffith, is aimed at helping writers move through the various stages involved in writing, editing, rewriting, and reediting their own work. 

This new workshop series follows last winter’s inaugural series that ran under the same name. 

“The first Ragdoll Cat workshop was pretty successful,” said Griffith. “The people who enrolled were all at different points in their artistic careers/journeys. Many of the participants were working from different disciplines. We had some playwrights, some sketch comedy writers, some poets, screenwriters, etc.  One of my favorite things about the course is that it is designed to allow writers to participate and learn new things, even though they are all coming from different places.  They all have different skills and experiences to share, which allows for more vibrant artistic discussions in class and unpredictable artistic journeys.”

Griffith says each Ragdoll Cat workshop series is shaped by its participants, meaning writers of all backgrounds and interests are welcome to come share new ideas and find new direction for their own work.

“I try to tailor the course to meet the needs of the people who enroll,” said Griffith. “During the first class, I try to get an idea of the questions they have about writing and the types of skills they would find most helpful for their own processes. Then we build time to explore those techniques in class.  I also like to look at the basic elements of writing. I’m a big fan of concepts like verisimilitude and the three unities.  I like introducing people to things like automatic writing and impulse exploration, but I think it is also important to show writers how to refine and reshape the raw materials generated through the use of such techniques.

“The course really benefits from having all sorts of different writers in the room,” said Griffith. “However, enrollment is limited.  By keeping the class small I am able to give each writer feedback that is more tailored to their own individual practice.”

This eight week workshop series takes place in the CSAC Community Room from 7-9 p.m. beginning January 23 and will culminate in a public reading in the Jim Myles Auditorium. 

“It’s a lot of fun,” said Griffith. “Each participant is asked to share something they’ve written in front of a public audience of family and friends.  Last year we had some first-time writers sharing their work and the audience went nuts.  The auditorium at the Charlotte Street Arts Centre is kind of the perfect venue for it. It’s a warm, friendly space. It helps keep the presentation from feeling overwhelming.  As an instructor, I feel a presentational component to the course is important because it helps to show students just how far they’ve come since the beginning of the course. In some cases, the change is really significant.  Their work is something to celebrate.”

What Happened to the Ragdoll Cat? – A Writing Workshop | January 23 – March 12 | 7-9 p.m. | CSAC Community Room | 732 Charlotte Street | Full enrollment information 

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