Being the Light: Lismore Shadow Puppeteers

Lismore Community Hall, 8:30 am, the youthLEADarts team lays the groundwork for the day’s activities. Paper, scissors, dowling, tape, markers. A screen made from a sheet suspended on photographer’s poles, a light shining behind it. A blank slate upon which stories can be told.

This is a small but thriving rural community between the larger towns of New Glasgow and Antigonish, Nova Scotia. As the youth come in, I read their energy or take the temperature of the room as we say in acting. Some are quiet and shy, others exuberant. Some very young and others in their teens. The challenge as a facilitator is finding a program that energizes and engages all of them. 

We come to circle and so it begins. Poetry, sound, movement, drama. They are naturally a musical bunch and physically very expressive. I loved how many of them embodied crabs, claws up, moving sideways, how they took turns playing the drum, how the older ones kept an eye out for the younger ones. 

The morning flew by and we wrote a collective poem about life under the sea, designed puppets and learned how to tell stories using shadows. It was mesmerizing and very positive. 

To sum up; life is good in Lismore/Merigomish Nova Scotia. Does Canada have talent, you ask? Absolutely, especially here in Lismore! Engaging, fun, interactive and energized were all words used to describe youthLEADarts programs! 

Today the youth here demonstrated that indeed, they are the light.