November 21, 2018

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I Call myself Princess by Jani Lauzon, Sept 9-30, 2018 at the Aki Studio

I Call myself Princess by Jani Lauzon, Sept 9-30, 2018 at the Aki Studio

Marion Newman – Photo by Dahlia Katz, Design by Mariah Meawasige

Paper Canoe Projects and Cahoots Theatre
in association with Native Earth Performing Arts present the world premiere of
I Call myself Princess Written by Jani Lauzon Directed by Marjorie Chan
Aki Studio • September 9-30, 2018

A play with opera, Paper Canoe Projects and Cahoots Theatre partner with Native Earth Performing Arts for the world premiere production of I Call myself Princess written by Jani Lauzon. Including music by Charles Wakefield Cadman, and directed by Cahoots Artistic Director Marjorie Chan, this production will make its debut at Aki Studio, September 930, 2018.

When William, a modernday Métis music student, is handed a 1918 opera about Creek/Cherokee Mezzo Soprano Tsianina Redfeather, he learns more than just an aria as he begins to unravel the complex circumstances faced by Indigenous performers past and present.

Seen and Unseen worlds collide as Tsianina appears to William, the two learning from each other as he makes a decision about his future as an artist. Combining drama, biography, and contemporary opera, this interdisciplinary work explores the tension between representation, inspiration and cultural appropriation.

I Call myself Princess is inspired by and features music from, Shanewis: The Robin Woman, the real opera about Tsianina Redfeather composed by her creative partner Charles Wakefield Cadman, an American composer in the early 1900s who was part of a musical movement using Indigenous music to create a distinct North American musical identity.

By todays standard, Cadmans opera would be considered sexist, racist and naïve, says playwright Jani Lauzon. But it was popular culture of the times, and in many ways reflective of the changing landscape of Indian identity. Paralleling music and scenes from the opera with contemporary characters like William Morin and his boyfriend Alex Park, this play only begins to unravel thcomplex web of Indian identity today.

Playwright Jani Lauzon is a multidisciplinary artist of Métis ancestry. She recently directed The Monument (Factory) for which she received the Toronto Theatre Critics Award for Best Director; Alien Creature (Theatre Passe Muraille), two short films eu·tha·na·sia and Just One Word, which she also wrote and produced. Some of her other plays include The Scrubbing Project (with Turtle Gals Performance Ensemble), A Side of Dreams and Prophecy Fog. Jani is also an awardwinning film actor, a sixtime Dora Mavor Moore nominated actress, a Junonominated singer/songwriter, and a Gemini Awardwinning puppeteer.

Director Marjorie Chan is a multidisciplinary theatre artist working as playwright, librettist, director and dramaturge. A six-time nominee, Marjorie is the recipient of four Toronto Dora Awards, one for Outstanding Performance and three for Outstanding New Opera. She has received the K.M. Hunter Artists Award in Theatre for the breadth of her work; a Harold Award for her community contribution to the theatre industry in Toronto; and the George Luscombe Award for Mentorship in Professional Theatre. Marjorie was previously ArtistinResidence at Banff PlaywrightsLab, Cahoots Theatre, Factory Theatre, Theatre Direct Canada, Tapestry New Opera, SUNY (Geneseo, New York), anTheatre du Pif (Hong Kong). She has been the Artistic Director of Cahoots since 2013.

The cast of I Call myself Princess features mezzo-soprano Marion Newman, Kwagiulth and Stó:lō First Nations, as Tsianina Redfeather (Klee Wyck Woman with Emily Carr String Quartet; Bearing, Luminato Festival), Aaron M. Wells, Ehattesaht and Lax Kwalaams First Nations, as William Morin (Children of God, National Arts Centre), multiaward winning artist and musician Richard Greenblatt as Charles Wakefield Cadman (2 Pianos 4 Hands CoCreator); Dora Awardwinning Courtney Chng Lancaster as Nelle Eberhart (Of Human Bondage & Incident at Vichy, Soulpepper); and multidisciplinary artist Howard J. Davis as Alex Park (Bombay Black, Factory; Pygmalion & SweeCharity, Shaw Festival).

Indians do not believe in separation between those who are living and those who have departed.” –
~Tsianina Redfeather

Paper Canoe Projects and Cahoots Theatre
in association with Native Earth Performing Arts present the World Premiere of
I Call myself Princess Written by Jani Lauzon Directed by Marjorie Chan
Musical Director Jerod ImpichchaachaahaTate
Associate Director Keith Barker

Set & Props Design by Christine Urquhart
Lighting Design by Kaitlin Hickey Costume Design by Snezana Pesic
Sound Design by Marc Merilainen Stage Management by Laura Baxter
Performed by Courtney Ch’ng Lancaster, Howard J. Davis, Richard Greenblatt, Marion Newman, Aaron M. Wells

Aki Studio, Daniels Spectrum, 585 Dundas Street East
September 9 – 30, 2018
OPENING NIGHT: Thursday, September 13, 2018
Tuesday – Saturday @ 8pm, Sunday @ 2pm
Audio Described Performance on Friday, September 21 at 8pm
Relaxed Performance on Thursday, September 27 at 8pm

Tickets $25$30 • Previews $15$20 • Tuesdays Pay-WhatYou-Can To purchase tickets please visit http://www.cahoots.ca/shows/princess/

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