Animikiig is the Ojibwe word for the initial rumblings that tell us of the thunder storm that is to come.
Young Voices was founded by Yvette Nolan and DM St. Bernard in response to the growing number of new Aboriginal playwrights. “Young Voices” was considered the temporary name of the training unit. Now in its Seventh Season, the renamed Animikiig Program offers Aboriginal artists who are new to helming theatrical creation the chance to develop their craft through practical experience in workshops and writing sessions with established performing arts professionals. Native Earth is proud to have had work like Agokwe by Waawaate Fobister, Giiwedin by Spy Dénommé-Welch and Salt Baby by Falen Johnson as part of the program before going on to full productions. We anticipate more great works will find full voice in the Animikiig Program.
In response to the deepening skill level of the Animikiig Program participants, Native Earth launches the inaugural year of Thundering Voices.
This more intensive tier of artist development is named in tribute to our late company Elder and friend, Helen Thundercloud. As an adult educator, Helen was committed to First Nation’s efforts to achieve self-determination. Thundering Voices will help nurture more advanced artists in the development of their work. Both tiers of playwrights will have opportunities to showcase pieces over the season, including public readings at the annual Weesageechak festival.
Native Earth Performing Arts recognizes our responsibility as artists to ensure that Aboriginal stories persist on Canadian stages. Through the work, participants develop writing skills and process, tread the path to self-actualization, build up discipline, assurance in self-expression, business acumen, and a group of contacts that will serve their work into the future. The artists also develop a sense of responsibility to a larger community through peer to peer teaching and working in a public forum.
If you are interested in being a part of the Animikiig Program, please submit a piece of writing – in any form – and a short paragraph outlining how you might imagine that writing into theatrical play form.
For the Thundering Voices Program, please submit a CV, an artist’s statement outlining your goals as a theatre creator, a sample of work (a writing sample no longer than twenty pages for playwrights, and video a maximum of five minutes for dance or multi-disciplinary forms) and a statement of intent.
Send submissions to [email protected].