From the stage to the page – Goosefeather lands in Vancouver

Naomi Steinberg is back in her hometown to unveil Goosefeather. The local performer, and now author, plans to share her adventures of world travel and performance through her debut book.

When most are stuck at home, Goosefeather allows for travelling the world on an adventure of a lifetime. On June 9, 2020, a virtual book launch of Goosefeather will take place on Steinberg’s artist Facebook page where the new author will share passages and field questions.

A Performative background

Naomi Steinberg. | Photo courtesy of Naomi Steinberg

Steinberg has been active in the Vancouver drama and art scene since 2001. Her workshops and art projects have been written about in publications such as the Huffington Post and Plank Magazine. Before it hit the page, Goosefeather was a one-woman play that Steinberg wrote and performed. She got the idea for the play from a series of conversations with her grandfather in Paris. In these discussions, Steinberg learned about the intricacies of her family’s history and how her grandparents survived World War II as Jewish citizens.

The writer harnessed her grandfather’s tenacity and love for maps to create a wide-sweeping tale of relationships with people as well as destinations. The play was showcased at the Vancouver Fringe Festival, a place near and dear to her heart.

“I was about 16 or 17 when I saw my first Fringe show,” she says. “There was a sense of underground and marginal artists coming together to make interesting things happen. We were discovering spaces that could be used in innovative ways, and being maverick was part of the game. It still is! When I produced my first Fringe show in 2009 these early edgy experiences were a strong influence and I chose to go with a DIY venue – in fact, I was the first person to use the mound near the Granville Island Hotel.”

Steinberg toured her play all around the world, performing for audiences of all backgrounds and walks of life. These experiences would become the basis for Goosefeather the book.

“The diversity of audiences brought me such gifts,” she says. “It meant performing across language barriers, therefore needing to relax into empathic and gestural conversation. I learned to practice an inclusive style. To find comfort in the familiar discomfort of what is unknown and emergent.”

Breaking into the literary world

Once her tour around the world came to an end, Steinberg wanted to capture those fleeting memories on page as a remembrance of her travels as well as her grandfather.

“The trip around the planet was a discreet moment in time in some ways,” says Steinberg. “Most definitely the show is over. During Goosefeather’s journey around the planet, I was committed to performing right-relation and to living by a nomad’s ethics. It was important that I try to capture some of the experience in tangible form. That was the project of the moment, the effort to make a trace of my gesture towards time-space visible for other people. I have made an attempt to artfully aggregate my memory in order for you to enjoy reading.”

Goosefeather can act as the perfect balm to soothe the need for travel in a time of quarantine. Steinberg hopes her book can help everyone appreciate the beauty and joy of past experiences and use those memories for beneficial transformation on the other side of this pandemic.

Goosefeather is a memoir with literary aspirations,” says Steinberg. “I have tried to bring my strength as an oral storyteller from the stage to the page. I hope the readers of Goosefeather feel included in a process of emergence and discovery. That a lightness and delight is found in the journey and that there is emotional resonance with humanity and with the planet. In some ways, I want to position the book as an antidote to the propagation of fear and the dangers of isolation.”

For more information on the virtual book launch, visit www.goosefeather.ca.

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