For the Record – Indigenous Theatre

Savannah Erasmus/ September 18th

Taran Kootenhayoo leading a workshop at Revelstoke Arts Centre.
Taran is an actor, stand up comic, spoken word poet and playwright.

Courtesy Taran Kootenhayoo

The National Arts Centre in Ottawa is producing the first all Indigenous theatre season in the world.

The season began on September 11th with “The Unnatural and Accidental Women” by Marie Clements. Clements is a Metis and Dene playwright.

“In many ways, its trajectory is tied to the rise of Indigenous activism beginning in the 1960s, marking a shift towards Indigenous self-determination and self-representation.” – National Arts Centre

The all indigenous season is being produced by an all Indigenous team, with Kevin Loring serving as the first Artistic Director.

 “Through all of our initiatives, we aim to foster and preserve Indigenous artistic practices and create welcoming spaces of cultural resurgence and inspiration.” – Artistic associate Dr. Lindsay Lachance

Local Indigenous playwright Taran Kootenhayoo, says this move by NAC means so much not only for Indigenous theatre but Canadian theatre as a whole.

“It took a lot of work to get here.”

– Taran Kootenhayoo, Indigenous actor, playwright

Kootenhayoo wrote his first play “White Noise” that will be produced early next year by the Firehall Arts Centre. His play, he says, is influenced by his own experiences as an Indigenous person. Kootenhayoo hopes that his work makes others think about the racism that Indigenous people endure.

While Kootenhayoo’s play is not being produced as a part of the Indigenous theatre season, he has worked with the director Kevin Loring to develop his play.

Listen below to hear more from Taran.

Listen below to hear Taran Kootenhayoo, speak on what the upcoming Indigenous theatre season means to him as he debuts his first play early next year.