All posts by Native Earth

History

Native Earth Performing Arts is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to creating and producing Native performance works. Founded in 1982, Native Earth Performing Arts is Canada’s oldest professional Native theatre company. Native Earth has participated in the development of a community of artists, and in the creation of several Aboriginal classics including Almighty Voice and His Wife by Daniel David Moses, The Rez Sisters and Dry Lips Oughta Move To Kapuskasing by Tomson Highway, Someday by Drew Hayden Taylor and Moonlodge by Margo Kane. In 1989, Native Earth instituted an annual development festival of new work called Weesageechak Begins to Dance. Since then, the Weesageechak Festival has helped develop over 100 new dance and theatre works by emerging and established artists, including Princess Pocahontas and the Blue Spots by Monique Mojica,  Annie Mae’s Movement by Yvette Nolan, Tales of an Urban Indian by Darrell Dennis and Gordon Winter by Kenneth T. Williams.

The millennium has brought about a great deal of change at NEPA, and has also brought us around, full circle, reconnecting us to our beginnings. In 2004-2005 Yvette Nolan helmed the largest Native Earth production in years, The Unnatural and Accidental Women by Marie Clements featuring a cast of thirteen. As ever, NEPA set a new standard, and the show was selected by NOW Magazine as one of the Top Ten theatre productions of 2004.  Our relationship with Indigenous peoples abroad has expanded and deepened, with the epic Honouring Theatre Tour of Turtle Island, Aotearoa and Australia. We braved Death of a Chief, a landmark adaptation of Julius Caesar (co-production with the NAC) and a full-scale opera (Giiwedin, a co-pro with An Indie(N) Rights Reserve) which played with both legally recognized official languages as well as Anishinabemowin. The second decade in the new millenium connects NEPA to its roots with the ongoing demand for the now canonical work, Almighty Voice and His Wife.

Native Earth’s training initiatives feature the creation programs Animikiig and Thundering Voices, diverse practical apprenticeships and on-the-job skills acquisition on professional level projects, including full-scale productions.

Our thirty-first anniversary season will focus thematically on “Community” as we continue to plant roots in our new NEPA home, with a playing space and administrative headquarters at the Regent Park Arts and Cultural Centre.

 

Weesageechak 26

Weesageechak Begins To Dance – 26
November 21-23, 2013
Join us as Weesageechak begins to dance for the 26th time. This year’s festival places a special emphasis on local Indigenous artists and their works in development!

Let’s Play.

Day One: Thursday, November 21 @ 8pm

Rutas Festival Preview *A Sneak Peak of our partnership with Aluna Theatre’s Rutas Panamericanas Festival featuring excerpts of:

What I learned from a decade of fear created & directed by Trevor Schwellnus in association with Aluna Theatre
La Maleta (The Suitcase) created by Bea Pizano
In Spirit created by Tara Beagan and the original creative team

Day Two: Friday, November 22 @ 8pm
Emerging and Veteran Female Voices *Playwright in residence PJ Prudat and Gemini Award winning artist Jani Lauzon bring to life the Aki Studio with text and music 

I Call Myself Princess: The Story of Tsianina Redfeather created by Jani Lauzon
Postcards created by PJ Prudat

Day Three: Saturday, November 23 @ 8pm
Animikiig and Thundering Voices Night *A showcase of new and exciting Indigenous voices featuring our partnership with the 3rd year talents from the Centre of Indigenous Theatre

Deadbeats created by Garret C. Smith
Aluasa’sit created by Cathy Elliot
Good Grief created by Lorrie Gallant and L.M. VanEvery
The Circle: Visions of a Hoop Dancer created by Tjay Henhawk
The Longest Way Around created by Heather Marie Annis

The festival closes with an Indigenous Networking After-Party sponsored by
the Indigenous Performing Arts Alliance www.ipaa.ca

Let’s Dance.


Each night is $15

 

I Call Myself Princess: The Story of Tsianina Redfeather

I Call Myself Princess: The Story of Tsianina Redfeather
by Jani Lauzon with direction & dramaturgy by Ruth Madoc-Jones

“It has been a breathtaking ride researching this work. I call it an opera within a play. And while things have changed there are so many things that have not. Especially our relationship to identity and popular culture, the Opera based on Tsianina’s life being the pop culture of the time. This wouldn’t be happening without the generosity of many.” Jani Lauzon

Day 2: Thursday, November 21st @ 8pm 
Aki Studio Theatre – 585 Dundas St. East

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The Circle: Visions of a Hoop Dancer

by Tjay Henhawk with direction & dramaturgy by Cole Alvis

A coming of age story about a young boy who must overcome many obstacles and negative influences. As he struggles through his journey will he find the true meaning of his visions?

Featured in the Animikiig / Thundering Voices night of the festival
Saturday, Nov. 23rd @ 8pm* 
Aki Studio Theatre

*Followed by an Indigenous Networking After-Party sponsored by
the Indigenous Performing Arts Alliance www.ipaa.ca

Back to Weesageechak 26

Postcards

By NEPA playwright-in-rez PJ Prudat with direction/dramaturgy by Nigel Shawn Williams

A young Métis man, in search of his stolen roots, sets out on an enlightening journey to unearth his lost identity and find his blood family.

Day 2: Thursday, November 21st @ 8pm 
Aki Studio Theatre – 585 Dundas Street East

Back to Weesageechak 26

The Longest Way Around

The Longest Way Around
by Heather Marie Annis
with direction & dramaturgy by Spy Dénommé-Welch

William Elias the child of two intersecting paths – that of traditional Ojibwa living and imported Christian values. At the epitome of a crossroads, what must he lose when faced with an ultimatum?

Featured in the Animikiig / Thundering Voices night of the festival
Saturday, Nov. 23rd @ 8pm* 
Aki Studio Theatre

*Followed by an Indigenous Networking After-Party sponsored by
the Indigenous Performing Arts Alliance www.ipaa.ca

Back to Weesageechak 26

Aluasa’sit

by Cathy Elliot with direction & dramaturgy by Herbie Barnes

The Chenoo of Mi’qmak tradition is a monster of inconceivable proportions, consuming whole communities. This story is interwoven with a contemporary tale to ask: did Anna Mae Pictou Aquash fall to a similar beast?

Featured in the Animikiig / Thundering Voices night of the festival
Saturday, Nov. 23rd @ 8pm* 
Aki Studio Theatre

*Followed by an Indigenous Networking After-Party sponsored by
the Indigenous Performing Arts Alliance www.ipaa.ca

Back to Weesageechak 26

La Maleta (The Suitcase)

by Beatriz Pizano with direction by Andrew Lamb in association with Roseneath Theatre

La Maleta (The Suitcase) is the story of Roca, a ten-year old refugee who escapes her native Colombia clutching her suitcase – inside of which she believes her grandmother is hiding. Struggling to adapt to a new city, a new school and a new way of life, Roca befriends Paz, a boy with a secret who is being bullied by their classmates.

Opening Night of the festival
Thursday, November 21st @ 8pm 
Aki Studio Theatre – 585 Dundas St. East

Back to Weesageechak 26

Good Grief

Good Grief
by Lorrie Gallant and Lisa VanEvery
with direction and dramaturgy by Jessica Carmichael

Everybody deserves a fitting farewell, but if you want something done right, you gotta do it yourself.  Six friends come together to plan their own funerals in this surprisingly joyful comedy about their final farewell.

Featured in the Animikiig / Thundering Voices night of the festival
Saturday, Nov. 23rd @ 8pm* 
Aki Studio Theatre

*Followed by an Indigenous Networking After-Party sponsored by
the Indigenous Performing Arts Alliance www.ipaa.ca

Back to Weesageechak 26

Deadbeats

Deadbeats
by Garrett C. Smith with direction & dramaturgy by Tara Beagan

The Blackfoot Nations have long been inventive survivors and creative trades people who found their strength in the Buffalo. Does losing the Buffalo mean losing our strength?

Featured in the Animikiig / Thundering Voices night of the festival
Saturday, Nov. 23rd @ 8pm* 
Aki Studio Theatre

*Followed by an Indigenous Networking After-Party sponsored by
the Indigenous Performing Arts Alliance www.ipaa.ca

Back to Weesageechak 26