January 29, 2011

All about Ishmael Hope

Ishmael Hope:  Alaska Native Art & Culture Educator

By Gale Courey ToensingCall him Ishmael, but this storyteller, actor, playwright and poet is no sailor wandering across the foamy brine. Ishmael Hope journeys through the intriguing language, landscapes and history of his Iñupiaq and Tlingit heritages. Hope, 29, calls himself “an enthusiastic learner and educator of Alaska Native art and culture,” and for the past 10 years he has immersed himself in Tlingit history and culture, preserving and revitalizing the myths and legends that he has been learning from elders he honors at every opportunity.And:Ishmael Hope is developing The Reincarnation of Stories with Generator Theater Company, which he hopes to perform this spring. He has a small, but significant role in Universal Studios’ Everybody Loves Whales, to be released in 2012. He is also developing with Perseverance Theatre The Defenders of Alaska Native Country, about the pursuit of the Tlingit and Haida land claims by William Paul and his contemporaries.Comment:  Ishmael Hope also wrote the STRONG MAN comic book.

For more on Native theater, see Yup'ik Swan Lake and Yellow Robe, Geiogamah, and Glancy.

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