Recent Projects & News
Artists everywhere are rejoicing at the return of live theatre after an almost three-year long COVID hiatus! Let's continue to have grace and care for one another as we find our feet once more and refocus our explorations as these new, transformed human beings.
This time away from the stage has gifted me with an opportunity to reinvest in old passions, explore new ones, and take a deep dive into some BIG ideas!
I've spent a lot of time recently with my headphones on, composing original music for Indigenous dance pieces like Ayita by Teneil Whiskeyjack and emaci nehiyawewan by Sandra Lamouche (listen to samples on my Music Page) . It has been an honour to help these stories find their rhythm, their voices, and support them in the dance. As a white-presenting Métis artist with mixed ancestry, I am immensely grateful to these strong Indigenous women for welcoming me into their spaces and inviting me to offer my skills in contribution. ay hiy, nitotemak.
I have also been able to seriously invest in my voice as a playwright. This is not something I ever thought I would get to do, and while it's very different to my work as a performer, it continues to coax me to the most fascinating places...
In 2021, I began work on my first solo-written play, The Amazonomachy. This new classical epic is inspired by women warriors of ancient myth and history, as well as the real-life warrior women all around us. It all began when I was teaching A Midsummer Night's Dream to some middle school students and a bright young woman asked me, "if Hippolyta is Queen of the Amazons, then what is she doing with THIS bum"?! Of course, she meant notorious misogynist Theseus, and her incisive question sparked the most ambitious and rewarding undertaking of my career thus far.
In August 2021, I was thrilled to be able to share a reading the first half of The Amazonomachy at the Edmonton Fringe Festival's first all-Indigenous venue, pêhonân. Kinanâskomitinawâw to Josh Languedoc, Jordan Campion, and all the fabulous Indigenous artists and community members for welcoming us into that very special space.
The response from our sold-out audience was incredible and we were thrilled to hear from them in the post-show Q&A; “Finally there’s a classical piece where I can see myself, where I can see believable female relationships, where the stories I love are held accountable and told from my perspective”.
I am immensely grateful to my mentors Valerie Planche and Reneltta Arluk, and to all the members of The Tiger's Hearts Collective for continuing to support and guide this piece. We hope to emerge from the writing and development stages very soon and share this epic story on stage in all its glory!
Can't wait? Listen to me chatting about all things Amazonomachy with Canadian classics-lover Liv Albert on her podcast, Let's Talk About Myths, Baby!
It seems that playwriting begets playwriting as I have also now been invited to participate in this season's Pemmican Collective Playwright's Cohort! This incredible gathering of Indigenous artists is made possible through partnership with Punctuate! Theatre and I'm so excited to meet other artists, learn more about Indigenous playwriting, and to have the opportunity to work with my mentor Valerie Planche on a brand new story- this time, from my own past.
The Poisoner's Daughter- Song of a Rougarou will delve into my Métis history to bring the story of my great-great grandmother Hélène Bouvette to light. This work is deep and dark, filled with shadows and family secrets that have been buried for generations. Using snippets of songs in Michif, old Métis folk tales of women who can transform into wolves, and the spurious talents of a trickster lightening rod salesman, this piece is sure to lead me into thrilling and uncharted territory.
Stay tuned for more on The Poisoner's Daughter and other upcoming projects!