(March 02, 2020) – Join us for a Community Telling of PAWÂKAN MACBETH.
A Cree Takeover by Reneltta Arluk • Inspired by the youth of Frog Lake First Nation
This take over by Indigenous playwright Reneltta Arluk, sets Pawâkan Macbeth in Cree territory in 1870s Alberta, with the cannibal spirit, Wihtiko.
Pawâkan Macbeth happens before the numbered Treaties were signed, when Plains Cree were allied with Stoney Nakoda, and at war with Blackfoot over territory, food, supplies and trade. The Canadian Government were making their way west with Sir John A. MacDonald as its leader. Harsh environments brought immense fear, starvation, and uncertainty together to awaken the darkest of Cree spirits, the Wihtiko – a being with an insatiable greed. Through the exploration of Cree language, history, stories and cosmology Arluk asks, What is it to be human? What makes a human vulnerable to the Wihtiko? Inspired by working with the youth of Frog Lake First Nation, and shared stories from Elders in the Treaty 6 region, Arluk has created a terrifying journey through love, greed, honour and betrayal, with coyote howlers teaching us that resurgence requires balance.
Pawâkan Macbeth is a full length play commissioned by The Stratford Festival. This community telling of Pawâkan Macbeth embarks on a 2020 tour of Treaty 6 territory, bringing professional theatre into Indigenous communities – for the first time.
“First Nations schools in Alberta are required to learn Shakespeare as part of their English curriculum. The inspiration of taking over Macbeth was to offer Indigenous youth a First Nations perspective of the play that lessens the language barrier and heightens the story. Bringing Pawâkan Macbeth to Indigenous communities centralizes the story around them. A community telling of Pawâkan Macbeth connects to the story with land and all it inspires,” says Arluk.
Written and directed by Reneltta Arluk, with Barry Bilinsky as Assistant Director, Pawâkan Macbeth features an incredibly talented all Indigenous cast with: Sophie Merasty, Joel Montgrand, Allyson Pratt, Mitch Saddleback, Aaron Wells and Kaitlyn Yott.
Pawâkan Macbeth returns to Edmonton for 3 shows at The Orange Hub, Main Theatre (10045 – 156 St NW). Co-presented with Yellowhead Tribal College, proceeds will go to Yellowhead Tribal College Student Services:
• MAR 25 and MAR 26 at 7 pm. Tickets $12, available at EventBrite.ca or At The Door.
• MAR 26 at 1 pm. Free Matinee. For more info please call (780) 484-0303.
Pawâkan Macbeth then embarks on a two week tour of the Northwest Territories from March 31 to April 11, in partnership with the Northern Arts & Cultural Centre:
Mar 31 – Fort Simpson at 7:30pm April 7 – Inuvik at 7:30pm
April 2 – Hay River at 7:30pm April 9 – Norman Wells at 7:30pm
April 4 – Fort Smith at 7:30pm April 11 – Yellowknife at 7:30pm
A production of Akpik Theatre, Pawâkan Macbeth is produced with the support of Canada Council for the Arts, Canada Council for the Arts’ New Chapter program, Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, the Dekker Centre, Azimuth Theatre, and Northern Arts Cultural Centre.