JAN 23 - FEB 1, 2020 | THE CULTCH | TICKETS
MARCH 19 - 28, 2020 | RICHMOND GATEWAY THEATRE | TICKETS
In SKYBORN, a woman falls through a black hole in her little blue house on the reserve. There, she meets her Granny Rose in the shape of a wolf, who guides her on a spirit canoe journey to retrieve her soul from the land of the dead.
Musqueam writer and performer Quelemia Sparrow has created an unforgettable adventure story—an odyssey full of magic, beauty, and power.
“When a person had a spirit sickness, it was said that their soul had left their body. In Skyborn, we use theatre to embody a ritual that is a personal and familial odyssey of reclamation of self, and land, and blood memory.”—Quelemia Sparrow
PLAYWRIGHT & PERFORMER Quelemia Sparrow
DIRECTED BY Kim Senklip Harvey
DRAMATURGY Lindsay Lachance
SET DESIGN BY Andy Moro
VIDEO DESIGN Emily Soussanna
COSTUME DESIGN Evan Ducharme
LIGHTING DESIGN Itai Erdal
ILLUSTRATIONS BY Chief Lady Bird, Chrystal Sparrow, Carrielynn Victor
SOUND TEAM Mishelle Cuttler, Christie Lee Charles, Russell Wallace
PUPPET DESIGN Stephanie Elgersma
SUPPORTED BY National Arts Centre's National Creation Fund
FURTHER FUNDING FROM Canada Council for the Arts, the Government of Canada, the British Columbia Arts Council,The First Peoples' Cultural Council, The City of Vancouver, the Province of British Columbia, Boca del Lupo.
TEAM MEMBER BIOGRAPHIES
QUELEMIA SPARROW, PLAYWRIGHT & PERFORMER
Quelemia is an Indigenous actor, writer and director from the Musqueam Nation. She graduated from Studio 58’s Theatre program and the Langara Film Arts screenwriting program.
Some of Quelemia’s acting Theatre Credits include: ‘Lysistrata’/Bard on the Beach, ‘Timon of Athens’/Bard on the Beach, ‘The Bakkhai’/Stratford Festival directed by Jillian Keiley, ‘The Pipeline Project’/Gateway Theatre directed by Chelsea Haberlin, ‘The Snow Queen’/Globe Theatre directed by Rachel Peake, *‘Our Town’/Osimous Theatre directed by Ensemble, ‘The Edward Curtis Project’/GCTC/NAC directed by Marie Clements, ‘The Penelopiad’/Arts Club Theatre directed by Vanessa Porteous, ‘August: Osage County’/Arts Club Theatre directed by Janet Wright, ‘Ernestine Shuswap Gets Her Trout’/Firehall Arts Centre directed by Lorne Cardinal, ‘Where the Blood Mixes’/Playhouse/WCT directed by Glynis Leyshon and ‘The Fall: Industrial Horror’/Electric Company directed by Kim Collier. Various Film and T.V credits include: Tribal, Clouds of Autumn, The Letter, Fringe, V, Sanctuary 2, Blackstone, Cable Beach, Unnatural and Accidental, Da Vinci’s City Hall, Dead Zone and Da Vinci’s Inquest for which she won a Leo Award for Best Female Guest Appearance.
* Jessie Richardson award: Outstanding Theatre Production Small Theatre
Writing credits include: A podplay for Neworld Theatre and Raven Spirit Dance called ‘Ashes on the Water’, ‘Salmon Girl’/Raven Spirit Dance, Co-writer ‘The Pipeline Project’ /Itsazoo and Savage Society, Indigenous consultant and Indigenous content writer for ‘Lysistrata’/Bard on the Beach, Skyborn: A Land Reclamation Odyssey/Savage Society, ‘Women of Papiyek’/Full Circle, Animikiig Native Earth, short film: ‘Mosquitoes’.
Directing Credits: ‘Oleanna’/Main Street Productions, ‘The contest of the Winds’/Caravan Farm (Assistant Director to Rachel Peake), ‘Salmon Girl’/Raven Spirit Dance, ‘The Classroom’/Studio 58.
She was an Associate with Playwrights Theatre Centre from 2014-2016 and she completed the Stratford writing retreat in 2017. Her show Skyborn: A Land Reclamation Odyssey will premiere at the Cultch in 2020.
KIM SENKLIP HARVEY, DIRECTOR
Kim Senklip Harvey is a proud Syilx, Tshilqot'in, Ktunaxa and Dakelh Nations womxn and is a Fire Creator (director/playwright/actor/community member) and Indigenous cultural evolutionist.
Highlights from her over 15 year long acting career include the Rez Sisters, Ernestine Shuswap Gets Her Trout, The Laurier Memorial, Salmon Row, the Governor General's Award winning play and National Tour of Where the Blood Mixes, Gordon Tootoosis final show Gordon Winter and the World Premier of Children of God at the National Arts Centre.
In 2017, Kim participated in the Writing in a Racialized Canada residency which assembled 20 of Canada’s most exciting POC writers at the Banff Centre. She recently completed her 2 year residency with the National Theatre School in their inaugural Artistic Leadership Program. Kim has been shortlisted for the Gina Wilkinson prize for her work as a director and has participated in the Banff Playwrights Lab and the Rumble Theatre’s Directors Lab.
In 2018, Kim had a 3 city world premiere of her play Kamloopa: An Indigenous Matriarch Story. Under her direction Kamloopa was nominated for 8 Jessie Richardson awards and the production won the 2019 Jessie Richardson award for Significant Artistic Achievement for Decolonizing Theatre Practices and Spaces, was the first Indigenous play in the awards history to win Best Production and was the 2019 recipient of the Sydney J Risk prize for most outstanding emerging playwright. Kamloopa will be published by Talonbooks in the Fall of 2019.
Kim’s next artistic ceremony Break Horizons is a commission held in a living Treaty with the Citadel and Arts Club Theatre. This story embraces the multifaceted laws of the Indigenous many worlds and explores how breaking free from the oppression of the colonial paradigm will deliver the emancipation of Indigenous peoples.
She is currently completing her Masters in Creative Writing at UVIC and will be directing the world premiere of Savage Society’s SKYBORN: A Land Reclamation Odyssey in January 2020.
LINDSAY LACHANCE, DRAMATURGE
Dr. Lindsay Lachance is the Artistic Associate of Indigenous Theatre at the National Arts Centre. She is also a practicing dramaturge and scholar who has taught in both Theatre and First Nations and Indigenous Studies at the University of British Columbia and at Simon Fraser University. Lindsay honours her Alqonquin, Anishinaabe and mixed Canadian ancestry as she participates and facilitates various Indigenous-focused dramaturgical processes. Her areas of interest include performance as politics, the physicalization of spirituality in time and space, and the multiple articulations of Indigenous dramaturgies. Lindsay has presented her research at six international conferences and has participated at events hosted by The National Arts Centre, The PuSh Festival, Indigenous Performing Arts Alliance, the Museum of Anthropology, and the Audain Gallery at SFU.
SKYBORN (formerly O’wet) was originally commissioned by Full Circle: First Nations Performance as part of a larger work, and benefited from the work of the Full Circle Aboriginal Ensemble, including director Margo Kane, dramaturg Michael Springate, and associate dramaturg and researcher Kwasuun Sarah Vedan.
It was first performed as a workshop production at the Firehall Arts Centre, produced by Alley Theatre in June 2016.
In the summer of 2018, the focus was on land-based dramaturgy with director Kim Harvey and dramaturge Lindsay Lachance.
A design integration phase took place at The Cultch in the summer of 2019.