blue skies, red earth & tall pines

This project will start up again with more workshops, podcasts and activities in Brampton and Toronto in Fall 2022. Stay tuned for more info!

Presented in partnership with The Rose Theatre, Brampton and Broadening Horizons, Forest Stories is funded by the Ontario Arts Council, and  is part of Jumblies’ larger project — blue skies, red earth and tall pines. A project that connects us to ourselves using the open skies, the land and the trees as our physical, metaphysical and emotional borders. 

These stories are everywhere. They are in the forests, of course, but also along the city’s streets, in our yards, in pots on balconies; they are in our family stories, our memories, and in seeds we have yet to plant. Along with interdisciplinary artist,  Lisa Hirmer, I will be  facilitating a series of workshops and walks that explore human relationships with trees across different spans of time and place. Through creative exercises, participants will gather and compose their forest stories, creating writing and other works for themselves and their families  including forest walks with Elder Cat Criger and tree scientist Ze’ev Geladof. There will also be a celebratory performance that will wrap up the project.

Workshop Schedule:

March 24th, 5:30-7pm, online
Workshop #1: Journals and Beloved Trees
Introduction to Project, Building our forest journals, sharing our favourite trees

March 31st, 5:30-7pm, online
Workshop #2: From Seed to Tree
Exploring the journey from seed to tree and forest soundscapes
Guest performance by poet Cassandra Myers

April 7th, 5:30-7pm, online
Workshop #3: Remembering Three Trees
Exploring tree memories and sharing through writing scores
Guest talk by TRCA’s Kate Goodale

April 14th, 5:30-7pm, online
Workshop #4: The Forest Grows
Planning our culminating sharing event together

April 21st, 5:30-7pm
Tree walk with Tree Expert Ze’ev Gedalof at Claireville Conservation

April 28th, 5:30-7pm
Forest walk with Elder Cat Criger at Heart Lake Conservation Area

May 7th 10am – 1pm
In person performance and gathering

For more information on this project and how to take part, click here or contact: sharada@jumbliestheatre.org

SHARADA ESWAR

Playwright, storyteller, singer and arts educator, Sharada Eswar’s work spans across multi disciplines and art forms. A graduate in Literature Studies, she trained to be a writer and a storyteller. Simultaneously she also immersed herself in Carnatic Music (south Indian classical music) in Chennai, India. She also took to many other styles including Hindustani Classical (Patiala Gharana) Rabindra Sangeet, Abhang and European. While maintaining her Veena studies, her interest shifted to the voice and storytelling. She was part of the team representing India at the India Abroad show in Paris and New York. She was also one of the three chosen by the Centres Culturels des Lions Club de Paris to present Indian culture in Normandy, France. Since then, she has been performing and teaching in Toronto and internationally, drawing on her own South Asian ancestry and heritage. A published children’s author, Sharade has recently been OAC’s Cultural Animato in Mississauga/Peel Region and is currently the Assistant Artistic Director of Jumblies.

LISA HIRMER

Lisa Hirmer (Guelph) is an interdisciplinary artist who works across visual media, social practice, performance and writing. She is primarily concerned with collective relationships—that which exists between things, rather than simply in them—in communities, publics and other assemblies of people as well as in human relationships with the more-than-human world.