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Shadowland Celebrates The Power of Nature and Community

In August, Shadowland Theatre brought Mother Tree, a glorious celebration of trees, to communities across Toronto’s East End. Over the course of three days, Shadowland visited R.V. Burgess Park, Dentonia Park and Parma Parma to host workshops and larger-than-life puppet performances for nearby residents.  

One of Shadowland’s performers holds a sign with lyrics for their song Grow A Tree, sung together by performers and audience members as part of Mother Tree. Photo by Kat Rizza.

One of Shadowland’s performers holds a sign with lyrics for their song Grow A Tree, sung together by performers and audience members as part of Mother Tree. Photo by Kat Rizza.

The first day of Mother Tree took place at R.V. Burgess Park in the Thorncliffe Park neighbourhood. The park was filled with hundreds of community members, children and local vendors participating in Shadowland’s workshops and dropping by the weekly community market hosted by the Thorncliffe Park Women’s Committee. The workshops consisted of Indigenous nature teachings, music lessons and costume exploration. The workshops were fun and welcoming, encouraging families to join in throughout the afternoon! After a short break, Shadowland performed a 30-minute spectacle featuring puppets, stilt-walkers and musicians which culminated in an audience-engaged parade through the park!

A child wearing a bird costume with wings and a beak, spreads their wings and walks through a field. Costumes by Shadowland Theatre. Photo by Kat Rizza.

Over the next two days, Shadowland Theatre travelled to Dentonia Park and Parma Park to present Mother Tree to residents of Scarborough and East York. The performance at Dentonia Park took place in the evening, once again drawing hundreds of residents out to participate in a joyful celebration of nature and community. On their last day, Shadowland visited Parma Park for a sunny, Sunday afternoon of audience engaged workshops and performance. Despite the hot weather, participants were eager to try on all of Shadowland’s costumes, sing along during their performances and participate in their parade around the park! It was a great opportunity for local residents to connect with one another through art and their environment.

A group photo of the performers from Shadowland Theatre’s Mother Tree at Parma Park. The performers are wearing nature-inspired costumes, including a tree, sun, and mushroom. Photo by Kat Rizza.

Thank you to everyone who participated this past August in Mother Tree. Arts in the Parks has more programs taking place throughout September and October, click here to access our calendar. If you would like more information about Shadowland Theatre and their other projects, please visit their website, https://www.shadowlandtheatre.ca/.

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