Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Nunavut November 17, 2016 - 8:30 am

Inuk playwright to lead Iqaluit theatre workshop

"Theatre is a really great way to maintain Inuit storytelling"

SARAH ROGERS
Reneltta Arluk is an Inuvialuit playwright and artistic director at the renowned Stratford festival. She’ll be leading a theatre workshop in Iqaluit Nov. 21-25. (PHOTO COURTESY OF AKPIK THEATRE)
Reneltta Arluk is an Inuvialuit playwright and artistic director at the renowned Stratford festival. She’ll be leading a theatre workshop in Iqaluit Nov. 21-25. (PHOTO COURTESY OF AKPIK THEATRE)

Nunavut actors and writers will get an intensive, week-long look at theatre and writing for the stage next week when Inuk playwright Reneltta Arluk brings her talent to Iqaluit Nov. 21.

The Qaggiavuut Society is hosting Arluk, who will lead the five-day theatre workshop with a group of Inuit actors in Iqaluit.

“One of the goals with the Qaggiq project is to build new Inuit-language performing arts workshops,” said Ellen Hamilton, executive director of the Qaggaivuut Society and its brainchild, the Arctic Inspiration Award-winning Qaggiq project.

“We think that theatre is a really great way to main Inuit storytelling… and we feel it really needs some support. Live theatre isn’t really thriving [in the North.]”

Arluk is an Inuvialuit, Cree, Dene playwright from Northwest Territories and founder of the Akpik Theatre in Yellowknife.

She’s risen to fame more recently as an artistic director of the Stratford festival—the first Inuk to hold that position at one of the country’s top theatre events, which runs each year from April to October in Stratford, Ont.

During the five-day workshop in Iqaluit, actors will learn how a play is written and structured—particularly how to do that in Inuktitut.

The group will do a reading of “The Breathing Hole,” a play about a polar bear waiting over a breathing hole over a 500-year period.

Arluk will direct “The Breathing Hole” for Stratford’s 2017 season.

The National Theatre School has partnered with the Qaggiq project to offer a Nunavut-based acting workshop this year.

Following the theatre workshop, Hamilton hopes Qaggiq can follow with a writing mentorship program.

As part of the week-long program, the workshop will be open to the public Nov. 23 at 7 p.m., at house #411.

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