Reconciliation hits stage, screens with touring production

Global audience invited to interact with Vancouver cast in final production this March

Theatre for Living is bringing the stage production šxʷʔam̓ət across B.C. and Alberta, with a final performance that audiences around the world can watch.

What does reconciliation really mean?

That’s what Theatre for Living asks with its powerful performance šxʷʔam̓ət (home). The live theatre production debuted in Vancouver last year, and immediately the company was flooded with requests for a tour. And so, in January and Febuary they will visit 21 different communities to share their compelling story with audiences across B.C. and Alberta, including Chilliwack on Jan. 17.

The production is not just about putting on a play and leaving it there on the stage. It’s about engaging audiences, before, during and after the show. For example, even the title of the show is explained in detail. The title, šxʷʔam̓ət, is based on a hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ (Indigenous dialect) word used to reference home. The Musqueam Language and Culture Department created a pronunciation guide, and an audio recording featuring Musqueam Elder Larry Grant.

On the production’s webpage, it’s explained that the š is pronounced like English “sh”, while the xʷ sounds like the “wh” in “which”. The stress is on the first syllable, like in the name “Amit”. ʔam̓ sounds like the first syllable in the word “omelet”. ət sounds like the second syllable of the word “comet”.

And after the production tours B.C. and Alberta, they will hold a final performance on March 10. That will be broadcast globally, so anyone with an internet connection can tune in. But they won’t just be watching. They can access “webactors” acting as intervenors. Those actors will be behind the scenes with computers taking part in live chat rooms, and able to intervene on stage on viewers behalf.

The more viewers the better. Theatre for Living has been producing live webcast plays for 25 years, as a pioneer in the concept in 1989. They encourage people to gather and watch together, to share ideas and chat online with the backstage actors, and to get conversations going as a way to actively work through what reconciliation can look like.

šxʷʔam̓ət is directed by David Diamond with associate director Renae Morriseau. The original play was workshopped by a courageous group of Indigenous and non-Indigenous community members and then created and performed by a cast of seven original and relevant voices, from a diverse range of Canadian society. The cast includes Asivak Koostachin, Joey Lespérance, Madeline Terbasket, Rev. Margaret Roberts, Mutya Macatumpag, Nayden Palosaari and Sam Seward.

The production company makes special acknowledgement to Sam Bob who originated the role of Joe and to Tom Scholte who originated the role of Doug (now Robert). Neither cast member could tour.

Chilliwack’s show is the tour’s opening night, with shows following in Victoria, Nanaimo, Comox, Campbell River, Port Hardy, Kitamaat, Hazelton, Vanderhoof, Prince George, Chetwynd, Nelson, Penticton, Kamloops and select cities in Alberta.

For more information, visit www.theatreforliving.com.

To learn more about the Chilliwack showing, on Jan. 17 at 7:30 p.m. at the Tzeachten Community Centre, phone 604-824-3211.

In Canada, Health Support Services for Former Indian Residential Schools Students: An Indian Residential Schools Crisis Line (1-866-925-4419) is available 24 hours a day for anyone experiencing pain or distress as a result of his or her residential school experience.


@CHWKcommunity
jpeters@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

 

A scene from the original showing of šxʷʔam̓ət, by Theatre for Living. Left to right in front: Asivak Koostachin, Rev. Margaret Roberts, Madeline Terbasket; in back: Tom Scholte, Sam Bob. (Theatre for Living photo)

Just Posted

Police investigating more racist slogans on First Nations signs

Police are investigating racist graffiti being posted on First Nations signs in the Kamloops area

Update: Kamloops wildfire now mapped at 500 hectares

Firefighters worked overnight on what was a fast-growing wildfire east of Kamloops.

Man charged after police chase through Cache Creek

Matthew Bouwknecht faces four charges, including threatening to use a weapon.

Cache Creek Volunteer Fire Department gets new command vehicle

Corporate donations funded the purchase of the new vehicle.

France doubles up Croatia 4-2 to win World Cup

Played in Moscow Russia, latest Fifa World Cup marks the highest scoring final since 1966

REPLAY: B.C.’s best video this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

Northern B.C. cadet goes from English Channel to BC Summer Games

Amber Ly is taking her experience aboard the tall ship Royalist with to Cowichan July 19-22

Intertidal Music Festival back for round two

More than 20 performances throughout the day at the North Pacific Cannery on July 21

Former NHL goalie Ray Emery drowns in Lake Ontario

Police say the 35-year-old’s death appears to be a ‘case of misadventure’

Air quality statement warns of smoky air for Kamloops area

Environment ministry says area on north side of Thompson River may be affected by wildfire smoke

Pussy Riot claims on-field protest at World Cup final

Russian protest group claimed responsibility after four people ran onto field in police uniforms

Fans party on Montreal streets after French World Cup win

To city is home to nearly 57,000 French nationals

B.C. VIEWS: Making private health care illegal again

Adrian Dix battles to maintain Cuba-style medical monopoly

Almost every part of Canada’s largest national park deteriorating: federal study

Drawing on decades of research — the report lists 50 pages of citations

Most Read