JAN 23 - FEB 1, 2020  |  THE CULTCH   

1/5

Production photos by Emily Cooper

PRODUCTION TEAM

PLAYWRIGHT & PERFORMER

Quelemia Sparrow

 

FIRE CREATOR/DIRECTOR 

Kim Senklip Harvey

 

INDIGENOUS FRAMEWORK CONSULTANT/DRAMATURG

 Lindsay Lachance

DRAMATURG 

David Bloom

SET DESIGNER 

Andy Moro

VIDEO DESIGNER 

Emily Soussana

 

COSTUME DESIGNER 

Evan Ducharme

LIGHTING DESIGNER 

Itai Erdal

ILLUSTRATIONS 

Chrystal Sparrow, Carrielynn Victor   

 

PUPPET DIRECTOR/DESIGNER 

Stephanie Elgersma

PUPPETEER 

Kelsey Kanatan Wavey

STAGE MANAGER  

Lois Dawson

APPRENTICE STAGE MANAGER 

Brody Halfe

SOUNDSCAPE VOCALS 

Renae Morriseau, Chelsea Rose Tucker, Kaitlyn Yott

PRODUCTION MANAGER  

Matt Oviatt

CONSTRUCTION MANAGER  

Andrew Pye

TECHNICAL DIRECTOR  

Conor Moore

PROPS 

Jennifer Stewart

VOICE-OVER  

June Fukumura, Tetsuro Shigematsu

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.

 

SYNOPSIS

A black hole, hungry ghosts, a Grandmother wolf—Quelemia Sparrow’s Skyborn is an epic odyssey grounded in Indigenous ancestral knowledge. Guided through the universe on a river made of stars, Sparrow makes a journey by canoe to recover her lost soul from the land of the dead. This adventure is deeply rooted in the cosmology and teachings of her Musqueam heritage. It invites the audience to bear witness to a reclamation of culture, land and self.

Skyborn is imaginatively constructed and fiercely poignant. It introduces never-before-seen Musqueam/Sto:lo visual storytelling and animation, as well as inter-Indigenous sound and puppetry, but at its heart is the simple, irreducible force of human presence: Sparrow is a natural performer, endowed with grace and magnetism. This work is her gesture of liberation.

“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

MEDIA COVERAGE

"Skyborn is a spiritual voyage for Quelemia Sparrow"

- Stuart Derdeyn, Vancouver Sun

 

"Quelemia Sparrow’s Skyborn: A Land Reclamation Odyssey is a spirit journey"

- Alex Varty, The Georgia Straight

AUDIENCE RESPONSE

"I work in First Nations healthcare, and it gave me a new medium through which to explain the healing journey and where to direct allies for information." - Audience Member

 

"Thank you for the privilege of being an honorary witness. Skyborn is the best thing I’ve seen in a long while - poignant, provocative, transformative." - Janice Abbott (via Twitter)

 

"I was extremely moved by Skyborn. I served as an honorary witness yesterday and it is my responsibility to tell you this: It is a crucial piece of theatre that I believe every Canadian should see." - Marsha Lederman (via Twitter)

PRODUCTION HISTORY

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.

Skyborn: A Land Reclamation Odyssey had its World Premiere at the Cultch as part of the PuSh International Performing Arts Festival, in January, 2020.

 

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