The season will celebrate Indigenous women’s resilience, strength and beauty, with nine productions out of 11 written and created by women.
In a live stream event at the National Arts Centre last night, the performing arts institution revealed details of the inaugural season for its new Indigenous Theatre company.
The lineup of 12 shows was curated by Artistic Director Kevin Loring, an award-winning playwright, director and actor from the Nlaka’pamux Nation in British Columbia. Several shows feature casts and creative teams of Indigenous artists only, while every work Loring selected involves at least one Indigenous playwright, director or producer.
“We are in the midst of an Indigenous renaissance.”
Season highlights include performances by the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award laureates Buffy Sainte-Marie and Susan Aglukark, as well as emerging and established artists from across Canada and around the world. Australian troupe The Briefs Factory is coming in May 2020 to perform their theatrical hip-hop masterpiece, Hot Honey Brown.
The inaugural season kicks off September 11 with Mòshkamo, an Indigenous art/community takeover of the National Arts Centre including artist talks, chefs, workshops, VR experiences, visual art exhibits, free public performances and family activities.
“We are in the midst of an Indigenous renaissance,” says Loring. “The work that has been done over decades in Indigenous performing arts is coming to a point where we are reaching a critical mass… where artists are bringing forward new ways of thinking about the work in relation to old ways of telling our stories. Our stories are our medicine.”
In addition to English and French, more than 10 Indigenous language will be spoken in the works, including Anishinaabemowin (Ojibwe), Coast Salish, Cree, Gitxsan, Inuktitut, Kalaallisut, Nlaka’pamux’stn, Wolastoqiyik, and other languages.
Mòshkamo: Indigenous Arts Rising (Sept. 11–29, 2019)
The Unnatural and Accidental Women by Marie Clements; dir. Muriel Miguel (Sept. 11–21, 2019) Presented in English, featuring Coast Salish.
Là où le sang se mêle / Where the Blood Mixes by Kevin Loring; dir. Charles Bender; Presented in French (Sept. 13–15, 2019) and in English (Sept. 16–18, 2019) featuring Nlaka’pamux’stn.
Mokatek et l’étoile disparue by Dave Jenniss; music by Élise Boucher-DeGonzague; dir. Pier Rodier (Sept. 13–14, 2019) Presented in French featuring Anishinaabemowin with chants in Abenaki.
Buffy Sainte-Marie (Sept. 15, 2019)
Susan Aglukark and the NAC Orchestra (Sept. 20, 2019)
Finding Wolastoq Voice by Samaqani Cocahq (Sept. 21–23, 2019) Presented in English, featuring Wolastoqiyik.
Mînowin by Dancers of Damelahamid (Sept. 26–28, 2019)
Unikkaaqtuat by filmmaker and illustrator Germaine Arnaktauyok; dir. Neil Christopher; feat. The 7 Fingers (Jan. 9–12, 2020) Featuring Inuktitut.
Kiinalik: These Sharp Tools by Evalyn Parry, Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory, Erin Brubacher and Elysha Poirier with Cris Derksen (Jan. 22 to Feb. 9, 2020) Featuring Kalaallisut.
Inner Elder by Michelle Thrush (April 7–10, 2020) Presented in English, featuring Cree.
Hot Brown Honey by The Briefs Factory (May 5–9, 2020) Presented in English.
Visit nac-cna.ca for the complete lineup and schedule.