Pawâkan Macbeth takes place before the numbered Treaties were signed, when Plains Cree were allied with Stoney Nakoda and at war with Blackfoot over territory, food, supplies and trade. The Canadian Government were making their way west with Sir John A. MacDonald as its leader. Harsh environments brought immense fear, starvation, and uncertainty together to awaken the darkest of Cree spirits, The Wihtiko – a being with an insatiable greed.
Inspired by working with the youth of Frog Lake First Nation, and shared stories from Elders in the Treaty 6 region, writer-director Reneltta Arluk has created a terrifying journey through love, greed, honour and betrayal, with coyote howlers teaching us that resurgence requires balance.
“The inspiration of taking over Macbeth was to offer Indigenous youth a First Nations perspective of the play that lessens the language barrier and heightens the story. Bringing Pawâkan Macbeth to Indigenous communities centralizes the story around them. A community telling of Pawâkan Macbeth connects to the story with land and all it inspires.” – Reneltta Arluk, writer and director of Pawâkan Macbeth
Renaltta Arluk recently spoke with CKUA’s Tony King about to the development of Pawâkan Macbeth:
In collaboration with the National Arts Centre, a live staged reading of Pawâkan Macbeth is being made available online as part of #CanadaPerforms, a short-term relief fund that pays professional Canadian artists and professionally published authors for their online performances.
The live staged reading of Pawâkan Macbeth takes place on Facebook, May 1st at 6PM MT