Have you ever had big dreams of creating a piece of theatre but weren’t sure how to start? Have you ever had a great idea for a play but had no idea how to get it on the stage? Are you looking for the chance to try out a script you have written in front of a live audience?
Then Nakai Theatre’s Homegrown Theatre Festival is the place for you. Since its inception in 2004, the festival has been a muchanticipated cultural event in Whitehorse. At its core, it’s about inclusion — embracing diverse artists and audiences, social and arts organizations, and businesses from the local community. Past incarnations of the event have seen performers grace its stage from a wide diversity of ethnic and social backgrounds, ranging in age from one to 72.
“The festival is truly a grassroots event,” says Nakai Theatre’s artistic director, David Skelton. “Community members imagine and create the theatre pieces that make up the festival’s program. The festival is not curated, meaning that if an artist wants to participate they simply have to register.”
Nakai Theatre will support these brave theatre artists in realizing their vision. In order to polish their productions artists can receive ongoing dramaturgy leading up to the festival. In addition, artists and interested members of the public can participate in festival workshops about specific topics including theatre design, stage management, and marketing for small theatre and technical theatre.
Artists are guaranteed that their production will have three performances over the six-day festival. Skelton explains, “Homegrown is part of Nakai Theatre’s goal to develop new Yukon Theatre. Ideally, a script will emerge from Homegrown that Nakai will want to commission and develop further.”
Skelton points to Peter Jickling’s Syphilis: A Love Story as a piece that came through Homegrown and went on to great things, including a run at Whitehorse’s Guild Hall and the fringe circuit in southern Canada.
Although Homegrown takes place from May 26 to 30, the time to apply for the festival is now. Applications will be accepted until 4 p.m. on April 10, at the Nakai of- fi ces or via email.
Skelton encourages those who still don’t have all the details of their productions nailed down to apply anyway. “If you don’t have your full cast yet, or you’re still fi guring out a few details, we would still love to see your application,” he says. “We can help you with the details you don’t have yet.”
Those ready to take the plunge can find all the information and the application form on Nakai Theatre’s website at: http:// www.nakaitheatre.com/.