Picture"Theatre of the Beat after Rehearsal at TUMC" image by Mike DeHaan
Commemorate! presents a contemporary conundrum in a play about the effects of the War of 1812 on modern people as well as those who lived through almost three years of warfare in North America.

I took the opportunity to write a promotional article, "Theatre of the Beat to Commemorate War of 1812 in Stouffville", after arranging for them to rehearse at TUMC (Toronto United Mennonite Church). That's where I snapped this photo and briefly interviewed the cast. (You have to read that main article for details on when and where this one-night performance fits into the Stouffville Peace Festival. Hint: Stouffville is north of Toronto, Ontario, Canada).

Written and performed by Theatre of the Beat, a young Canadian drama troupe, Commemorate! also invites audience members to intervene in the lives of some of the characters. How would you deal with an obstructive civic official when making the case that a civil commemoration ceremony will ignore many points of view?

I've known three of the above actors, and performed with them before they formed Theatre of the Beat. My article admits that I have a bias.

Let's Admit the "Commemorate" Pun

Let me admit that the word "Commemorate" in both titles, "Theatre of the Beat to Commemorate War of 1812 in Stouffville" and "Commemorate a Win-Win Drama and Writing Topic", is a bit of a pun.

The play's title is Commemorate!, with the exclamation mark. Yes, it does refer to marking and remembering the War of 1812.

However, neither Theatre of the Beat nor myself, in either article, really is commemorating that war (or a drama). It would have been more honest to put that word Commemorate! inside quotation marks in my articles' titles.

Nonetheless, I think it's a pun that readers may notice and appreciate; or disregard without harm.

One Win-Win Writing Tip from Commemorate!

This rehearsal provided a win-win situation for myself and for Theatre of the Beat.

Theatre of the Beat needed a free rehearsal space on short notice. (Normally my own congregation, the Danforth Mennonite Church in Toronto, hosts them when the building would otherwise be empty. Another event kept them out on this occasion).

My DeHaan Services blog can always use a specific writing topic about free or frugal events in Toronto or in the GTA (Greater Toronto Area). Articles are even better when they include interviews or original photographs.

Because I used my contacts and volunteered to handle building security, Theatre of the Beat received a free rehearsal venue. Because Theatre of the Beat gave up some of their valuable time after that rehearsal, I received material for an article. That's a win-win situation!

My writing tip is that you should make every promotional article a win-win situation. Events that you publicize benefit from that publicity; you benefit by adding to your collection of articles.

Even informational or critical articles, written mainly to benefit your readers, may also help you achieve a larger audience.

If your only goal in writing is to gain readers (and convert them to clicks on advertising), you will eventually alienate the audience you need for your own success.

Instead, give your readers something of value. Be generous but honest to your interview subjects. Seek out win-win scenarios; others will then seek out your articles.

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    Mike DeHaan

    Mike DeHaan began writing professionally in 2010 as the sole proprietor of DeHaan Services.To see this information with the best background image, please refer to "About.Me",  befriend me at Facebook, or circle me at Google+.


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