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Special reading of the play “1939” explores Indigenous perspectives on Shakespeare

Survivor -led event is open to the public by donation

(SAULT STE. MARIE, ON – May 24, 2024): In support of the Children of Shingwauk Alumni Association (CSAA), NORDIK Institute’s Community Support Team, YES Theater, and the City of Sault Ste. Marie and partners at Algoma University invite the community to attend a special Survivor-led reading of the play “1939” at the Roberta Bondar Pavilion on June 1 and 2, 2024.

The thought-provoking “1939” is a compelling production written by Jani Lauzon and Kaitlyn Riordan. It delves into historical narratives and invites guests to listen as an extraordinary narrative unfolds, promising attendees an engaging and thought-provoking experience.

“This evocative work explores Indigenous experiences and perspectives through the lens of Shakespearean drama, enriched by the profound insights of local Elder and Survivor Shirley Horn,” shared Tara Burell, Children of Shingwauk Alumni Association Waa’ Naadmaaged. “This special event is free to the public and is a unique opportunity to engage with Indigenous culture and history through the powerful medium of theater.”

In “1939,” Indigenous students in a fictional residential school in Northern Ontario prepare for a visit by Give George VI by staging a production of Shakespeare’s “All’s Well That Ends Well.” As the students grapple with a clash between the traditional and rigid approaches to Shakespeare and their own perspectives, they begin to draw parallels between their own lives and the characters in the play. The themes of this moving work include resilience and defiance against colonial expectations.

Sault Ste. Marie and area residents can attend by donation to the CSAA on Saturday, June 1, from 4 to 7:30 p.m. or Sunday, June 2, from 11 am to 2:30 p.m.

More information about the event is available online.

Vendor applications are still being accepted for the weekend-long event, and interested parties can contact [email protected] to reserve a spot. Donations to the CSAA make initiatives like this reading of “1939” and other residential school Survivor supports possible. For sponsorship or donation inquiries, contact [email protected]

Photo credit: Stratford Film Festival

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