A staple element of Native Earth’s annual Weesageechak Begins to Dance 27 is to introduce audiences to the playwrights participating in Native Earth’s Animikiig Training Program. This year four of these emerging playwrights will share their work. One of which is Coast Salish First Nation and a multidisciplinary artist, Cheyenne Scott.
Graduate of the Randolph Academy for the Performing Arts, and winner of a Dora Award for Outstanding Ensemble, Cheyenne Scott joined Native Earth’s Animikiig Training Program in January of this year.
Scott is bringing Weesageechak audiences her play, Uprooted, about an unexpected pregnancy that causes a family to reconsider their life choices in preparation for the next generation.
Scott says Uprooted is about reconnecting to the community, to the earth, and to family. “I wanted to examine contemporary Canadian Indigenous issues and give voice to youth. I wanted to express that being Indigenous is far more complex than living on reserve or poverty or activism. There are full bloods, half bloods, mixed bloods, Métis, on reserve, off reserve, a variety of nations each with their own teachings. I wanted to tell stories that spoke to urban Indigenous people. How the culture and teachings can exist and still affect our lives today.”
“an accessible way for me to dive in and research and discover and celebrate my culture”
Working with Director/Dramaturg Brian Quirt, Scott is using the Weesageechak festival process to share something very personal. “I was separated from my Indigenous family and art is an accessible way for me to dive in and research and discover and celebrate my culture and then take the opportunity to express what I have learned and how it is relevant to me today.”
Scott performed with Native Earth for the first time this year at SpringWorks alongside Justin ManyFingers in Savage, a made-to-order script directed by Jessica Carmichael. Scott is also a winner of the Best New Media Award for her interactive audio/visual piece “UHKE” at the imagineNATIVE Film and Media Arts Festival.
Some bits and bobs about Cheyenne Scott
What advice would you give to someone who wants to do what you do? Having friends and hobbies outside of theatre and the arts is extremely necessary. Life experience and diversity is not only good for mental health but for creating dynamic characters.
Otherwise, it’s easy to get trapped creating characters that are representations of other theatre characters.
What comes to mind when you think of Weesageechak?
Working towards first documentary short with mentorship from Shane Belcourt and Michelle Latimer.
Read about fellow Animikiig Playwrights:
Jessica Lea Fleming & Darla Contois
You can catch Cheyenne Scott’s Uprooted on
Wednesday, Nov 19th @ 7:30pm.
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