Costume designer Michelle Lieffertz described her Messages on Doors project as “physically de-constructing the Victorian/colonial silhouette and using the fabric from it to make the lining of a robe.” (Photo courtesy Michelle Lieffertz)

Costume designer Michelle Lieffertz described her Messages on Doors project as “physically de-constructing the Victorian/colonial silhouette and using the fabric from it to make the lining of a robe.” (Photo courtesy Michelle Lieffertz)

Indigenous, non-Indigenous theatre artists create collaborative project

‘Messages on Doors’ to be presented at Snuneymuxw Recreation and Wellness Centre

Sixteen local and mainland theatre artists of both Indigenous and non-Indigenous descent have come together to create a collaborative project of reconciliation.

On Nov. 17, Messages on Doors comes to the Snuneymuxw Recreation and Wellness Centre. The performances will touch on two themes: taking action against anti-Indigenous hate and the need for connection in times of isolation.

Messages on Doors was conceived by Nanaimo theatre artist Tamara McCarthy, her creative partner David Mott and Tsatassaya White of Snuneymuxw First Nation.

“We’re trying to create theatre in a new way,” McCarthy explained. “Really looking at our colonial training and years of theatre making and breaking that apart and looking at Indigenizing our work.”

McCarthy said that means viewing her vocation through a new lens and changing how she approaches her craft.

The project also involves five “core artists” as well as eight community participants who signed up during the Nanaimo Fringe Festival. The core artists are Nanaimo’s Daniel Puglas, Jessica Lowry of Ladysmith, Michelle Lieffertz in Chemainus and from the mainland, Quelemia Sparrow and Raven John.

Over the past month the group has held workshops together and their performances will draw from those experiences.

“We’ve been connecting with the participants and the core artists on what impulses and what inspiration has come out of all of this work and it’s unlike anything I’ve ever done…” McCarthy said. “We don’t really have any previous production, anything like this to refer to. We’re really creating this new work as we go.”

WHAT’S ON … Messages on Doors takes place at the Snuneymuxw Recreation and Wellness Centre, 1145 Totem Rd., on Nov. 17 from 5:30 to 10 p.m. Free admission, click here to register.



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Theatre