SKOOKUM Playreading Series: 2018-2019 


Savage Society and the Massey Theatre Society joined their artistic forces in 2018 and launched the inaugural Indigenous multi-disciplinary arts program: The Skookum Indigenous Arts Series. 

The program consists of original plays, dance, film and mixed arts utilizing the theatrical resources of a colonial institution to help make Indigenous talent visible, raise awareness of the talent, and foster cultural exchange and dialogue. This series is made possible by a three-year grant from the Vancouver Foundation.


The first schedule of events took place over the month of January 2018 in New Westminster at the Massey Theatre, the Plaskett Gallery (in the Massey Theatre), and the Anvil Centre.


Details about the Skookum Series launch in 2018 are on this web page and on our Facebook Page and Twitter.



THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 2018  7 pm in the Plaskett Gallery

MASSEY THEATRE 735 Eighth Avenue, New Westminster, BC


Written by Tai Amy Grauman

You Used to Call me Marie follows two souls in five different Indigenous love stories at five different distinct periods in history. Moving through five different lives, the souls first begin their journey in the pre-colonial time within the plains Cree community, and spend their final life as two young Metis people where the man marries a non-Indigenous woman, disrupting the bloodline. Through alternate forms of theatrical structure, the piece explores ancestor’s history and the ways in which a young woman inherits trauma from the matriarchs in the family.



Tai Amy Grauman is currently our Artist in Residence and the producer of this play reading series. She is Metis, Cree and Haudenosaunee from Ardrossan, Alberta. She has a BFA in Acting from Theatre at UBC with a minor in First Nations Studies. Tai recently received a 2018 Jessie Richardson award for most promising newcomer. She was also Vancouver's Mayor's Emerging Theatre Artist of 2015, nominated by Margo Kane. She is currently working with Nightswimming Theatre on a commission of a new play which will be developed over the next five years. Tai is the Arts Club's LEAP program's Level 3 participant; it was with LEAP that she has written this full-length play, You Used to Call me Marie. Recent acting credits include Thanks for Giving (Arts Club), THOWXIYA (Axis Theatre), The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (Carousel Theatre) and Weaving Reconciliation (Vancouver Moving Theatre). Tai also wrote and directed, Her Name was Mary at the 2017 Vancouver Fringe Festival. 


THURSDAY, JANUARY 31, 2019  7 pm in the Plaskett Gallery

MASSEY THEATRE 735 Eighth Avenue, New Westminster, BC

Written and directed by Tara Beagan 


In turns poignant and funny, Dreary and Izzy is the story of Deirdre and her adopted sister, Isabelle. Deirdre is barely staying afloat as Isabelle's sole caregiver when gorgeous vacuum cleaner salesman Freddie Seven Horses arrives, sparking in each sister hopes for new opportunities and perhaps even love. 

Bonus: The playwright will be in attendance on January 31. 



A Ntlaka'pamux and Irish “Canadian” theatre artist, Tara Beagan co-founded ARTICLE 11 in 2013 with her most frequent collaborator, Andy Moro. A playwright, actor, director, dramaturg, workshop facilitator, public speaker and producer, She is also a member of the advisory board for Canadian Theatre Review (CTR) and the Aboriginal Liaison for the Toronto Centre NDP riding association. Tara succeeded her mentor, Yvette Nolan, as AD of Native Earth Performing Arts (NEPA) in February of 2011. Not one to thrive under fluorescent lights and so much talking, she resigned in December 2013 to ply her talents where they are at their strongest - in creation mode. Three of Tara's twenty plays are published through the Playwrights Canada Press and she has written for NOW magazine, CTR, and Urban Native Magazine.  She participated in the November 2014 hackathon for this theatrewiki from the Berton House in Dawson City, Yukon, where she was in residence thanks to the Writer's Trust of Canada. Previously, Tara has been in residence at NEPA, the National Arts Centre (NAC), the Stratford Festival's playwright retreat, and Cahoots Theatre. She has been working more steadily as a director, always staunchly seeking Indigenous collaborators.


SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2019  7 pm in the Plaskett Gallery  

MASSEY THEATRE 735 Eighth Avenue, New Westminster, BC

Free Admission     Free childminding will be graciously provided by Massey Theatre. 

Written and directed by Kevin Loring

Little Red Warrior and His Lawyer is a satirical fable about power, politics and procreation. Little Red is the last remaining member of his tribe. One day while heading into town, Little Red discovers that the development firm Smith, Smyth and Goldsmithe has violated his traditional territory. Enraged, he attacks one of their engineers, is arrested and assigned a court-appointed lawyer. Since Red no longer has a place to stay, the lawyer and his wife invite him to stay with them. But as they soon find out, when you invite a coyote into the coop, don't be surprised if he walks away with your chickens.

BONUS: Kevin Loring will be in attendance on Feb. 17 for a talkback after the reading. 

See more details about cast members, etc. at our Facebook event HERE


MARCH 2019

MASSEY THEATRE 735 Eighth Avenue, New Westminster, BC

Written by Marie Clements 

Three young Native American sisters and their mother board a bus bound for Los Angeles, leaving home as part of a 1950s government mandate to relocate reserve Indians to urban centres. This assimilationist policy was one focus of Métis playwright Marie Clements’s research when she was commissioned to create a new play for the tenth anniversary of the Native Voices series at the Autry National Center, Los Angeles. 

Clements dramatizes the emotional, psychological and social repercussions of this, and subsequent, bureaucratic incursions into the girls’ lives. 


Marie has ignited her brand of artistry within a variety of mediums including film, TV radio, new media and live performance. As writer/director: The Road Forward, a feature music-doc that premiered at Hot Docs and opened the 2017 DOXA Documentary Film Festival receiving five Leo Awards including Best Production, Best, Director, and Best Screenwriter. The Road Forward has screened at over 200 venues in North America, also receiving a Best Director Award at the North American Indian Festival in San Francisco, as well as a Writer’s Guild Nomination for Best Documentary Screenplay in 2018. Her documentary Looking at Edward Curtis premiered at DOXA and The Yorkton Film Festival with four nominations for best documentary and premiered on Knowledge Network in summer 2018. She is currently in post-production for her feature drama, Red Snow, a WIDC feature film award winner due to release in 2019. A multi- award-winner for her previous work, Marie Clements’s films have screened at Cannes, TIFF, MOMA, VIFF, Whistler Film Festival, American Indian Film Festival and ImagineNATIVE Film Festival. Her fourteen plays, including Copper Thunderbird, Burning Vision, and The Unnatural and Accidental Women, have been presented on some of the most prestigious stages for Canadian and international work including the Festival de Theatre des Ameriques (Montreal), The National Arts Centre and The Magnetic North Festival (Ottawa). Her work has garnered numerous awards and publications including the 2004 Canada-Japan Literary Award, two prestigious Governor General’s Literary Award nominations for Burning Vision and Copper Thunderbird. Recently, her libretto Missing, composed by Brian Current, directed by Peter Hinton and produced by City Opera Vancouver/Pacific Opera, premiered in November 2017 and her play Iron Peg will premiere at Vancouver Children’s International Festival in May 2019. 


Date TBA

MASSEY THEATRE 735 Eighth Avenue, New Westminster, BC

Written by Kevin Loring

Can a person survive their past; can a people survive their history? Irreverently funny and brutally honest, Where the Blood Mixes is a story about loss and redemption. Caught in a shadowy pool of alcoholic pain and guilt, Floyd is a man who has lost everyone he holds most dear. Now after more than two decades, his daughter Christine returns home to confront her father. Set during the salmon run, Where the Blood Mixes takes us to the bottom of the river, to the heart of a People.

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