Pawâkan Macbeth: A Cree Tragedy

The groundbreaking Pawâkan Macbeth is Indigenous playwright, Reneltta Arluk’s reimagining of Shakespeare’s darkest play into Cree history, legend and cosmology. 

Set in Plains Cree territory in the 1870s, before the establishment of First Nations reserves, Pawâkan Macbeth takes place in a time when First Nations warred with each other and the Canadian Government over territory, food supply and trade. Harsh environments brought immense fear, starvation, and uncertainty together to awaken the darkest of Cree spirits, the Wihtiko – an evil being with an insatiable appetite for human flesh.

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Tookoolito started guiding at fifteen for fishing boat captains, and explorers. In 1860, she met Charles Francis Hall. He was looking to hire an Inuit guide to help locate Sir John Franklin's remains. A deep friendship grew that greatly influenced each other’s lives. This friendship was not without its conflicts.

Reneltta is writing a play about this, virtually unknown, national icon of Canadian history from the perspective of a modern Inuk woman writing about a then modern Inuk woman.

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Based in a dreamscape atmosphere, Within/Without is a theatre performance art piece and collective creation exploring the dreaming psyche. The workshop production premiered at the Snowking Festival XVIII in their ice castle at 20 below .

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