Faces in the Crowd – Writing Her Own Script

Posted on February 14, 2019 under Faces in the Crowd with no comments yet

Looking to the Future

 

“I am a creative person. I have  asked many questions and have experienced a lot of life. I want to keep writing stories that create dynamic roles for Black women.”

Meet Tara Lee Reddick.

Tara grew up in Antigonish, the youngest of four children. She had an imagination, was independent minded and always wanted to travel. While many have hazy recollections of their childhood, Tara can remember vividly small details of her youth from a very young age.

After completing grade 11 in the local school system, Tara decided to do her final year of high school in Halifax. “I wanted a different and more diverse experience. I had never been taught by a Black educator and wanted to spend time with classmates who were like me.” Living and going to school in Halifax was a great education. There were plusses and minuses. “I realized that you choose friends by their character and not the color of their skin.”

The next four years of Tara’s life were very demanding. She moved to Toronto, had a child and worked at several jobs. “I went from a small town, to a larger city (Halifax) and then to a big city (Toronto). I was so busy raising a child and working that I felt I never had time to really think about my future.” She moved back to Antigonish as a single mother seeking family support which was not available in Toronto.

Tara was always writing. No scrap of paper in the household was safe when she got an idea. She was also intrigued with acting. One day, unannounced, she wandered into Filmworks in Halifax inquiring about acting opportunities. She auditioned for the CBC mini -series “North, South” and got a small role. Realizing that she needed more professional credentials she took Neptune Theatre’s Pre-Professional Theatre Program. This nine month intensive course focused on such things as acting, musical theatre and script analysis.

In 2007, she was a stand-in for the movie “Poor Boy’s Game”. She became intrigued with the process of filmmaking and watched how all the pieces in a production fit together. She decided that writing scripts was what she wanted to do. Around this time she met Ann Verrall, an independent filmmaker who was doing a lot of work with indigenous groups. They wrote some scripts together.

A turning point for Tara was when she played the role of Tituba in Two Planks and a Passion’s play “The Crucible”. “Do I want to create dynamic roles for Black women or be the token Black woman often portrayed on stage and in film?” She co-wrote and co-produced “Stroll” which was shown at the Atlantic Film Festival.

A chance meeting with Emmy Alcorn in Halifax was another game changer for Tara. Emmy was the artistic director at Mulgrave Road Theatre and asked Tara if she would like to write a play. She was asked to write about a play about a woman from Lincolnville who ends up working for the family of the legendary, Ed Sullivan, host of a very popular variety show.  While the story line was compelling, Tara wanted to write her own story about the unique richness of the Black people of rural Nova Scotia. The result was “The West Woods”, a critically acclaimed work. Not only did Tara write the script but she also acted in the production. According to Alcorn, “Tara had a big vision and she was committed to doing the work to realize her vision. She has a lot of courage and is not afraid to take on projects that require her to get outside her comfort zone. She’s very professional and she has a big heart full of generosity.”

To say that Tara leads a full and busy life would be an understatement. She is the mother of four children and continues to live and work in Antigonish. She is involved with many worthy organizations and is a gifted communicator and facilitator. She is in her third year at St.F.X and it should surprise no one that her field of studies includes Sociology and Gender Studies. She realizes that a good education is very important.

Tara has a keen sense of self and a good sense of humour.

But make no mistake, she’s writing her own script. This independent thinker is a game changer for our community.

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