Canku Ota Logo
Canku Ota
Canku Ota Logo
(Many Paths)
An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America
pictograph divider
Saskatchewan Native Theatre
by Valerie G. Barnes-Connell for LaRonge- The Northerner
credits: photos by Valerie G. Barnes-Connell

Gossip over tea, fights over laundry and pancakes caused a ruckus in the lives of actors during the Performers Playhouse, the finale for the Bell’s Point Elementary School’s drama week.

“All the plays came from their own heads, we didn’t write a script or anything, said Lance Larocque, one of the three workshop facilitators for the Saskatchewan Native Theatre, who spent a week working with children and youth at the school Aug. 10 through 13.

Throughout the week the participants learned some of the basic techniques of the theatre, “in a fun way;” they also had the opportunity to practice the skills they learned.

Playing games was one of the first tools used to teach participants; they also worked on acting skills, voice and they made masks, said Aaron Shingoose, another of the workshop facilitators.

“We did a lot of activities to engage their own imagination. Like that’s one of the key things with theatre, imagination, one of the things these kids have a strong sense of,” Shingoose said.

Theatre and performing arts are also an important part of Aboriginal culture, Shingoose said.

“It’s like, any culture the performing arts really helps define its culture. I think every town, no matter how small, should have a drama committee.”

And the benefits for children and youth include increased self-confidence, learning team building skills, assisting them in overcoming shyness and an outlet for their own creativity.

“It allows them to explore themselves, look at their own feelings; it allows them to express them (feelings), express themselves more clearly,” Gerard said, who is heading into education in the fall and said the experience with SNT is a good grounding for his future teaching plans. The groups carries tubs of props and costumes, ready for use by workshop participants, along with them as they tour.

The students performed four plays, which they created, workshoped and performed, before a full house, during the closing Performer’s Playhouse. They were: Fighting Over Laundry, A Robbery, The Grannies Smack Down and All Because of the Pancakes.

“This community should get a drama program started because these are some really creative kids, Shingoose said.

SNT offers workshops to communities across the province on a first come first serve basis, because “otherwise we would have 20 communities and we can only handle seven or eight,” he said.

Jesse Gerard, the third facilitator, worked behind the scenes to keep things going most of the week. All three bring much theatre experience; they’ve done a lot of drama.

Both Larocque and Shingoose completed the SNT’s Circle of Voice program, which is offered to assist young people between 18 and 30 “get on their feet,” Shingoose said.

“Lance and me are part of the Red Spirit program, which is a more intense theatre training (through SNT),” he said, adding, both actors have experience working in other plays.

Both were in La Ronge previously as part of the SGI Roadies play, Shingoose said.

The trio is looking forward to the next big SNT production, Rez Christmas Story, in Saskatoon later this year.

SNT also provided workshops in Cumberland House, Moose Jaw, Red Pheasant First Nation, Onion Lake Cree Nation and Saskatoon; they will travel from La Ronge to La Loche for the final week of workshops for the summer.

Participants in the workshop were: Taylor Morin, Austin McKenzie, Austin Sanderson, Brittney Keighley, Leah Fitch-Halkett, Dana Pelletier, Tyris Roberts, Hunter Ratt, Andrea Ratt, Selina Bradfield, Tabitha Roberts, Mason Charles, Ethan Bell, Gavin Bell, Bryce Ballentyne and Jonas Roberts.

pictograph divider
Home PageFront PageArchivesOur AwardsAbout Us
Kid's PageColoring BookCool LinksGuest BookEmail Us
pictograph divider
  Canku Ota is a free Newsletter celebrating Native America, its traditions and accomplishments . We do not provide subscriber or visitor names to anyone. Some articles presented in Canku Ota may contain copyright material. We have received appropriate permissions for republishing any articles. Material appearing here is distributed without profit or monetary gain to those who have expressed an interest. This is in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.  
Canku Ota is a copyright © 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 of Vicki Barry and Paul Barry.
Canku Ota Logo   Canku Ota Logo
The "Canku Ota - A Newsletter Celebrating Native America" web site and its design is the
Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 of Paul C. Barry.
All Rights Reserved.

Site Meter
Thank You

Valid HTML 4.01!