Announcing: Creators Lab unit 2019
We are pleased to announce our very first Indigenous and Northern Theatre Creator’s Lab Unit, and to support these promising creators and projects:
Yvonne Wallace is Ucwalmicw from the Lil’wat Nation, and a graduate from the Bachelor of Liberal Arts degree program at Capilano University. Her enthusiasm for playwriting began while she worked at The Centre for Indigenous Theatre. Later, she graduated with honours from Humber College Theatre Acting program. She has written three plays “Smothered Sweetly”, “The Last Dance”, and “Utszan” a play dealing with language reclamation and her first language fluency progression. Currently writing “7 Misconceptions of a Half-Breed Mother” a tragicomedy about the public-school system.
Project Description: Utszan
Yvonne is preparing for the World premiere of her one woman show “utszan” on her traditional territory of Whistler B.C. in May 2019. The play was her graduating project at Capilano University for the Liberal Arts program. She further developed the play with Native Earth Performing Arts, the Vancouver Playwright Theatre Centre and now through the generous support of Gwaandak Theatre. The play is a personal story of 6 characters who navigate the path of first language reclamation. Aunt Celia, during her final days sets out to challenge her niece Margaret to take on the task of becoming a fluent speaker of ucwalmicwts. The responsibility is huge, but the stakes are high because Aunt Celia refuses to speak English, the Residential School system forcibly took her language from her and now she is about to courageously reintroduce her tongue into her family fabric. This has been a healing journey for Yvonne as this is her first fluent speaking performance.
Lea Roy Bernatchez was born at Causapscal – in Gespe’gewa’gi, unceded and ancestral territory of the Mi’kmaq people. She graduated from Concordia University’s BFA in Contemporary Dance, with additional training in theatre, video and performance art. She is passionate about movement in all its shapes and collaborations encompassing various art forms. Some of her meaningful experiences include being a performer in Map of the Land, Map of the Stars with Gwaandak Theatre and participating in the Hemispheric Institute of Arts and Politics’ Encuentro 2016 in Santiago, Chile.
Through dance, storytelling, or other arts, her hope is to help share diverse perspectives and instigate empathy. LGBTQ2+ rights and visibility, environmental awareness and mental health have a special significance to her. She shows her gratitude for being able to now live on the territory of the Kwanlin Dün First Nation and the Ta’an Kwäch’än Council.
About Lea’s project:
“If I tried to explain in words I would say something like: There was an explosion, and then the world went fast forward. All of it but me.”
This project explores consciousness, trauma and the complexity of human behaviour through the experience of a traumatic brain injury and its recovery. In this process, experiences and discoveries will be explored and shared through dance and storytelling in an immersive performance – allowing the audience to be exposed to some of its sensations.
Nyla Carpentier (Tahltan/Kaska/French/Scottish) is a multifaceted performing artist currently residing in Vancouver, BC. She first started to dance at the Odawa Powwow in her hometown of Ottawa, Ontario. Now with over 30 years of experience she also teaches the various powwow styles, sharing the dance steps and the history. In 2011, in partnership with Raven Spirit Dance Company, Nyla started the popular Powwow Bootcamp class in Vancouver, BC. When she’s not dancing you can find her acting and writing. Drawing on her experience as someone of mixed heritage – her goal is to blend the past, present and create new works for the future. In 2013, she wrote and debuted her first one act play, 21st Century Tricksters at the Vancouver Fringe Festival. In 2014 she created a powwow-based dance piece, Equating Echoes with musician David Newberry for Brief Encounters 21. As an actor; she’s toured in the TYA show, Raven meets the Monkey King with Axis Theatre. In 2017, she was in The Flats/Les Flats by Ginny Collins, a co-production with Prairie Theatre Exchange and Theatre Cercle Moliere in Winnipeg, Manitoba. The following summer she was in the Blyth Theatre Festival’s production of Berlin Blues and Ipperwash. In 2018, she was part of the workshop production of God’s Lake produced by Castlereigh Theatre Project and Busted Up: A Yukon Story produced by Open Pit Theatre. God’s Lake will have a premier at the 2019 High Performance Rodeo in Calgary, Alberta.
About her play, Dissection of a Modern Day… Mixed Heritage Woman:
One woman tries to find out who she is and where her heritage is pulling her, which part belongs to who? Told through family/personal stories, poetry, dance and a bit of song. Unraveling and weaving together her experiences to figure out what makes her whole and how to fit within mainstream society.