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  • Kim Senklip Harvey

The new faces of Indigenous Theatre


A part of my residency with the National Theatre School in Tiotia:ke is meeting and working with the students and it is my most favourite thing. I've been able to audit some of the classes and it is incredibly inspiring and powerful, they are working very hard. It makes me want to be a better practitioner for them.

An Indigenous person stewardship is at the core of my being, it is the single most important value and principle I hold and work towards.. My most important job is to create a better environment for the next generation.

The CEO of NTS is Gideon Arthurs who is an incredibly inspiring person has really enriched my time with NTS, he's a powerful disrupter, ally and leader. Gideon told me and my NTS residency counterpart Mel Hague (who will be running a giant institution and or the world. she's brilliant) that as we transition into the next leaders and assume these roles in institutions "we have to hold our predecessors accountable while also thanking them." That statement has really ignited something in me because I adamantly believe in that challenging responsibility. Gideon has undoubtedly informed my approach to artistic leadership in such a profound way.

I am very interested in accountability, but I think that's for another post because what I really want to do is introduce you to some of the most inspiring young Indigenous artists I've had the privilege of getting to work with. All of my work is for this next generation, I started playwriting to give the next generation more opportunity, I started directing so I could build a method that more effectively embraces the next generation of Indigenous artists to safely engage with the work. Everything is for them because "we do not inherit the land from our ancestors we borrow it from our children" everything is for these young ones.

We've started meeting as an Indigenous caucus holding space in the school, having talking circles and it's been the most rewarding and powerful initiative of my residency. And that's all yo gonna be hearing about that because what happens in the circle stays in the circle.

So without further ado, here are the 5 powerhouses coming for all our jobs in the best way possible.

In first year, we have the dynamic duo Wahsontiio Kirby and Todd Houseman.

Holding it down like the lone wolf howling at the moon in second year, Tara Renwick.

And the graduating class who we all need to be hiring for the upcoming seasons immediatly, Christopher Mejaki and Kathleen MacLean.

These are the bright, innovative, intelligent and powerful new faces of Indigenous Theatre and I could not be prouder.

NTS currently has 5 Indigenous students training hard in their acting program and 3 Indigenous artists in residence, Carlos Rivera, Jimmy Blais and myself.

Yo rest of Canada what you got?

To all the other young Indigenous storytellers out there, message me and tell me about your journey! Keep training hard because we all got to ignite our excellence and I'm a huge advocate for training....I think my next mission might be centered around Indigenous theatre training...knowledge sharing...

With excitement, with pride and so much love for the next generation, you have all stolen my heart.

kim.

p.s Book I'm reading right now comes from NTS Indigenous student Kat MacLean's recommendation and is called, Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline. It's a part of CBC's Canada reads and you can find out more information about this incredibly haunting book here.

"Humanity has nearly destroyed its world through global warming, but now an even greater evil lurks. The Indigenous people of North America are being hunted and harvested for their bone marrow, which carries the key to recovering something the rest of the population has lost: the ability to dream."


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