June 01, 2012

Aboriginal Romeo and Juliet

"Romeo and Juliet" Aboriginal style at Manitoba Theatre for Young People

By Andrea RatuskiRomeo and Juliet takes on an Aboriginal twist at Manitoba Theatre for Young People.

Their Aboriginal Arts Training and Mentorship Program's Master Class is tackling this timeless Shakespeare classic with gusto.

Kelsey Wavey plays the role of Juliet and she feels honoured and excited to be a part of the production.

"It sheds a different light on Aboriginal people from the regular stereotypes so that's really important for me," she exclaims.

Anne Baragar is directing the production. "I really want to change attitudes about Aboriginal youth," she says. She was concerned that there was a perception that Aboriginals could do works about their own community, but couldn't tackle conventional plays. But through the Aboriginal Arts program, and the solid training from mentors like Columpa Bobb and Ryan Black, the students are ready to take on almost anything.

Other than having an Aboriginal cast, the production stays very true to tradition, with period costumes, music and dancing. And the sword-fighting sequences will be impressive.
Comment:  For more on Native theater, see The Glooskape Chronicles and Schellenberg's King Lear Reviewed.

Below:  "Kelsey Wavey and Tracey Nepinak in Romeo and Juliet." (Leif Norman)

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