Audience members with program “maps” in hand will be guided through the Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre for a unique performance adventure from Gwaandak Theatre, showcasing the spectacular riverfront and Yukon stories about who we are and where we come from.
Gwaandak Theatre in association with the Yukon Arts Centre and Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre (KDCC) present Map of the Land, Map of the Stars, directed by Yvette Nolan and Michelle Olson, in a sharing of a work-in-progress during the Magnetic North Theatre Festival on June 9, 11, 12.
“In keeping with the idea of Map of the Land, Map of the Stars – that we are all working hard to know where we are, how we got here, who was here before – we thought it was appropriate to acknowledge the space in which we were working, the Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre,” says Nolan, “and to place our showing in the building in such a way that would allow an audience to see the space.
“To that end, we have created a little map to lead the audience members through the KDCC, directing their attention to certain things they might not notice if they were just coming to see a show in one of the rooms. Signposting, ‘look at this space, look at these banners, look at the way the history of this place is right here…’ The building is a part of the story we are telling.”
The program maps, designed by Mark Rutledge, feature Peter Mather’s photography. Audience members meet in the lobby to begin their journeys. The showing features performance by Geneviève Doyon, Andrameda Hunter, Aimée Dawn Robinson, Léa Roy, Robert Russell, Melaina Sheldon and RP Singh, and an installation from visual artist Carolyn Simmons.
Many artists have contributed to this collectively created work in an Indigenous-centred process during residencies in Whitehorse and Dawson City this past year.
Robinson, a “muse” in the piece and a co-creator, says, “I’ve been enjoying sharing Map of the Land, Map of the Stars with audiences in Whitehorse and Dawson as the work develops. The process reflects the content: stories evolving like trails, tales overlapping and casting shadow and light upon each other through memory and sharing.”
Dawson City resident Chris Clarke is video projection designer, gathering material and combing through archives, personal collections and extensive footage of filmmaker Allan Code.
“Embracing stories that bring to light the impacts colonization has had on indigenous people is a big piece in reconciliation,” Clarke says. “It brings me great joy to participate and witness this rich, expanding storyline.
Leonard Linklater, co-creator of this productions, says the process has been eye opening.
“For me personally, I’ve learned a lot about other people and cultures of the Yukon and what their history here means to them – how important it is to them,” Linklater says.
Map of the Land, Map of the Stars runs June 9, 11 and 12 at 7:30 p.m. (The 4 p.m. showing on June 12 is sold out.) Tickets are available at YukonTickets.com. For more information go to GwaandakTheatre.ca/map or call 393-2676.