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TIME WILL TELL
Intersecting with Canada’s history from the moment of First
Contact to a future ravaged by climate change, this saga follows the mythic
adventures of a polar bear to a profoundly moving conclusion. Download the Breathing Hole House Program here. Please call 1-800-567-1600 for any further questions.
Specially commissioned by the Festival to mark Canada 150.
In 1534, an Inuit
widow, Huumittuq, has a strange dream. The next day, she discovers an orphaned polar bear cub and – somewhat to the alarm of her community – adopts it. Over the next 500 years, the bear encounters many other humans, among them explorer Sir John Franklin and his doomed crew, 21st-century scientists and entrepreneurs, and the passengers and crew of an Arctic cruise ship, who finally – and fatally – fulfil the mysterious vision that came to Huumittuq half a millennium earlier.
The Stratford Festival is grateful for the support of the artists of Qaggiavuut and Executive Director Ellen Hamilton for their support in the development of this production.
Note From Qaggiavuut
Qaggiavuut is a non-profit society dedicated to
strengthening the Nunavut performing arts, with a focus on Inuit. This year we
begin an international fundraising campaign to build a Nunavut Performing Arts
Centre – Nunavut is the only territory/province in Canada without one. We know
that a space for the Nunavut performing arts is vitally important so that
Nunavut, Canada and the world can hear the Inuit point of view in our culture,
when Inuit artists strengthen traditional practice and create new work.
The partnership between Qaggiavuut and Stratford has been
an exciting and challenging part of our drive to include Inuit in Canadian
theatre. It began when director Reneltta Arluk reached out to us to hold a
reading of The Breathing Hole with Inuit actors in Iqaluit,
but immediately initiated an intense discussion about cultural authenticity and
who can and how to create drama from the Inuit perspective, in a post-colonial
Canada. It was months of critique and two revisions by playwright Colleen
Murphy based on feedback and cultural knowledge from Inuit actors Miali
Buscemi, Vincent Karetak, Siobhan Arnatsiaq-Murphy, Annabella Piugattuk and
Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory; but what it asserts is a genuine concern for
authenticity and indigenous cultural truth.
During the process, we coined a new term – Inuit Cultural
Dramaturge – and Qaggiavuut looks forward to a productive and collaborative
relationship between Canada’s southern and northern theatre communities in the
years to come. We urge all who wish to hear the voices of Inuit artists to help
us build a Nunavut Performing Arts Centre and shout out “Qaggiavuut! Come into
the large iglu that we have built together!”
by Colleen MurphyWorld première commissioned by the Stratford FestivalDirector Reneltta Arluk
Production support is generously provided by Esther
& Sam Sarick.
Support for the 2017 season of the Studio Theatre is
generously provided by Sandra & Jim Pitblado.
Inuit Dramaturgy and Cultural Consultation: Siobhan Arnatsiaq-Murphy, Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory, Miali Buscemi, Mary Itorcheak, Vinnie Karetak, Alika Komangapik, Annabella Piugattuk
Inuktitut Consultation and Translation: Kevin Eetoolook, Arnaoyok Alookee
Inuit Props Consultant: Koomuatuk Curley
Inuit Costume Consultant: Beatrice Deer
Inuit Makeup Consultant: Lucy Tulugarjuk
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