David Skelton

Curtains Up!

On April 4th Nakai Theatre invites theatre lovers, supportive friends or simply the merely curious to attend their 24 Hour Playmaking Cabaret, held at The Deck at the High Country Inn. The event, which has been held for nearly 25 years, revolves around Nakai’s 24 Hour Playmaking Challenge, which took place March 11 to 12. …

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Dramaturgy

Last Friday I met with David Skelton, the artistic director of Nakai Theatre, and DD Kugler, a renowned Canadian dramaturge. A dramaturge, which is an unpleasant word, functions as an advisor to a playwright. Such a person raises concerns, make suggestions, and sometimes draws thick red lines through vast swaths of dialogue. Both the above-mentioned …

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Start at the Beginning

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 …

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David Skelton Nakai Theatre’s artistic director

A high-school excursion to a Toronto production of Peter Shaffer’s play, Equus, is what triggered David Skelton’s fascination with theatrical design. “The set and the costumes were just so evocative, so simple, so full of meaning, and just so functional. Scene starts, scene ends, move, move, move, quickly, quickly,” Nakai Theatre’s artistic director recalls. “I …

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Staging local talent

As the sunshine creeps into the evening and temperatures slowly rise toward double-digits, some art organizations’ seasons are winding down. One of the final accomplishments in focus for Nakai Theatre is a barrage of local performance artists. Also affectionately known as the Homegrown Festival. “It’s emerging artists, first-time artists and artists who are devoting their …

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Provocative Fringe Theatre

When it comes to theatre, David Skelton says he believes Whitehorse audiences are “brave and sophisticated”. As Nakai Theatre’s artistic director, Skelton admits that last year’s Pivot Festival came with a small dose of controversy. However, he’s ready for another go this January when the avant-garde performance event hits the stage for its second run. …

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The many ‘faces’ of the Pivot Festival

When David Skelton discusses the upcoming Pivot Festival, he keeps coming back to the example of Joseph Tisiga. The young Yukon First Nations artist is ready to burst out and Skelton likes to think his Nakai Theatre helped him along the way. That is, after all, the purpose behind Nakai Theatre. “We develop local artists,” …

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The Intimacy of Live Performance

When you talk about “The Theatre”, these days, it is inevitable that certain eyes will glaze and certain minds will wander. It’s old and out of date, the YouTube crowd might complain. But perhaps the qualities that prevent live theatre from being trendy are the exact same qualities that ensure it will always remain consistently …

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Sharing the Wealth, Creatively

Amber Walker feels grateful for her lot in life: her husband supports her financially so she can pursue her interests as a visual artist and playwright. Over the past year, in Whitehorse, she has had many opportunities to pursue her artistic interests. David Skelton of Nakai Theatre is helping her as she develops her play. …

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The 3rd annual Pivot Festival: Floating, swimming, flying

The Pivot Festival is upon us — and with it comes a huge ton of theatre. You have six shows you can see at multiple times, all wildly different, appealing to both broad and specific audiences. It’s like a carnival of mad, wonderful theatre taking over the town for a week. Feeling a bit like …

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A Play in 24 Hours

If you ask Whitehorse resident Justine Davidson if the $50 fee to participate in Nakai Theatre’s 24 Hour Playwriting Competition is worth it, you’ll most likely get a resounding yes. Not only was she provided a hotel room at the Westmark, snacks galore and yoga sessions, but her play, Subway, ended up being selected as …

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Stories you’ve never heard, brilliantly told

I went Saturday night to The River, a Nakai production, with Michael Greyeyes directing a play written by David Skelton, Judith Rudakoff and Joseph Tisiga. To be frank, I wasn’t sure if I was interested in what I thought would be a sermon on homelessness. I just didn’t want the guilt. But local playwright David …

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Voice for the Voiceless

Nakai Theatre’s newest production, The River, promises to shine an unblinking light on Whitehorse by presenting voices that normally go unheard. The “sprawling, episodic” play, co-written by Nakai’s artistic director David Skelton, Yukon artist Joseph Tisiga and Toronto playwright Judith Rudakoff, tells the stories of 12 separate characters in 60 scenes with no conventional narrative …

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