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NATIVE EARTH PERFORMING ARTS ANNOUNCES NEW PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT SERIES PART OF THE 28TH WEESAGEECHAK BEGINS TO DANCE FESTIVAL NOVEMBER 11 – 21, 2015

NATIVE EARTH PERFORMING ARTS ANNOUNCES NEW PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT SERIES PART OF THE 28TH WEESAGEECHAK BEGINS TO DANCE FESTIVAL NOVEMBER 11 – 21, 2015

TORONTO, ON – Native Earth Performing Arts announces a new Professional Development Series, part of the 28th annual Weesageechak Begins to Dance festival. The series, created with the support of the Amicus Foundation, consists of classes, workshops and a panel aimed at advancing the careers of Indigenous and non-Indigenous theatre artists. Designed to be accessible for all artists, workshops range from free to pay-what-you can and are located in venues across Toronto.

We launch the Professional Development Series with Approaching New Plays, a workshop facilitated by Gemini Award-winning actress and renowned voice and acting coach, Elley Ray Hennessy. Hennessy will teach actors to hone in on their instincts, make strong choices on the fly, and strengthen the skills needed to excel at a “cold read”.

Actors will also have a rare opportunity to register for one of twelve one-on-one Private Acting Coach Sessions with Kennedy C. MacKinnon, Stratford Festival’s resident Voice, Text and Dialect Coach. Bring a monologue, audition sides, or a particular skill you want to develop and learn from one of the greats!

In collaboration with Dancemakers, Native Earth is offering a Dance Master Class with Montreal-based artist Lara Kramer (Ojibwa/Cree). This is a chance for experienced dancers to expand on their training and deepen their relationship with movement. The fee for the Dance Master Class is pay-what-you-can, and participants are asked to bring movement clothing and footwear.

On the heels of a successful stint at Vancouver’s Talking Stick Festival, Suzanne Keeptwo (Algonkin-Métis) brings her participatory workshop The Exchange Experience: Validating 500 Years of First Nation History. This participatory workshop thrives on the many layered teachings of the Medicine Wheel in structure and content, leading participants of all cultural backgrounds in Canada’s First Nations history and culture. Please note that traditional medicines will be used during the workshop. The fee for The Exchange Experience workshop is pay-what-you-can and participants are asked to bring a blanket or shawl.

Lastly, Native Earth welcomes aspiring set, lighting, sound and costume designers to join us for our all-star Developing New Designers Panel. The panel has been curated with a focus on skills, training and mentorship opportunities that help launch a new career designing for the stage. Our industry-recognized panelists include nationally celebrated designer and current Director of Set and Costume Design at the National Theatre School, François St. Aubin; independent theatre director and Professional Theatre and Education Manager at Theatre Ontario, Rebecca Ballarin; costume designer and Artistic Producer at Native Women in the Arts, Erika Annie Iserhoff (Cree); and Alex Williams, Instructor at the National Theatre School, filmmaker, and video and sound designer.
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT SERIES – WEEK ONE
Approaching New Plays: A Workshop with Elley Ray Hennesy
Tuesday November 10, 3pm – 6pm | FREE | COBA Studios: 585 Dundas Street East
Private Acting Coach Sessions with Kennedy C. MacKinnon
Thursday November 12,  11am – 6pm | FREE | Cahoots Theatre: 388 Queen Street East, Unit 3
Dance Master Class with Lara Kramer
Friday November 13, 11am – 3pm | PWYC | Dancemakers Studio: 9 Trinity Street, Unit 314
The Exchange Experience: Validating 500 Years of First Nation History
a workshop with Suzanne Keeptwo
Sunday November 15, 12pm – 4pm | PWYC | Native Canadian Centre: 16 Spadina Road

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT SERIES – WEEK TWO
Private Acting Coach Sessions with Kennedy C. MacKinnon
Tuesday November 17, 11am – 6pm | FREE | Cahoots Theatre: 388 Queen Street East, Unit 3
Developing New Designers Panel
with François St. Aubin, Rebecca Ballarin, Erika Annie Iserhoff and Alex Williams
Friday November 20, 3pm – 5pm | FREE | COBA Studios: 585 Dundas Street East

The Professional Development Series events are either pay-what-you-can or free to attend.
Space is limited for free events; interested participants are asked to register by email.

For more information regarding the Professional Development Series, or to register for a free event, please contact Jessica Lea Fleming, Weesageechak Festival Producer by email at jessica[at]nativeearth.ca or by phone at 416-531-1402 ext 32.
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nativeearth.ca@NativeEarthNativeEarthFBNativeEarthInsta  • #Weesageechak  • #W28PSD

Native Earth Performing Arts is Canada’s oldest professional Indigenous theatre company. Currently in our 33rd year, we are dedicated to creating, developing and producing professional artistic expressions of the Indigenous experience in Canada. Through stage productions (theatre, dance and multi-disciplinary art), new script development, apprenticeships and internships, Native Earth seeks to fulfill a community of artistic visions. It is a vision that is inclusive and reflective of the artistic directions of members of the Indigenous community who actively participate in the arts.

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