Thanks to Teresa Andrews of the Enderby RiverTalk for a revealing profile of Splats'in elder Anne Cook, who will be playing Coyote in Tuwitames running August 6-10, 2014. We thank the RiverTalk for their enthusiastic ongoing support of our projects. The current issue and previous issue of RiverTalk are available as Adobe Reader files on their website www.enderbyrivertalk.com
Anne Cook Brings Coyote’s Light to Splats’in Play
by Teresa Andrews - Enderby RiverTalk – August 1, 2014
The amazing power of light can be seen in Runaway Moon’s play, Tuwitames.
In Tuwitames, living in the light is the healing and growth Coyote wants for people.
There is no one better suited for the important role of Coyote than Splats’in elder Anne Cook.
A language authority once told Spats’in they should “just turn out the
light” on the Sewapmectsin language -- too few fluent speakers -- there was no way to save the language.
As one of the remaining fluent speakers, Anne Cook did not turn out the light. She did just the opposite.
Soon, Anne was part of a Spats’in-based language and culture program. The program restored a traditional method of teaching - interaction between grandmothers and children. Anne knew.
“My grandmother said ‘sit down. You have to learn Sewapmectsin language. I do not want you to go out and make a fool of yourself because you do not know the language.’ So, every night for two hours I learned Sewapmectsin.”
The play, Tuwitames, looks at many of Splats’in’s values, including language.
“It is like … a challenge for many players. They are learning Sewapmectsin for the first time so they can speak their lines.”
Anne brings Coyote (Sek’lap) to the stage.
“Coyote (Sek’lap) creates day. He brings in the light.”
Anne explained that, in the play, Coyote stumbles into Grizzly because Coyote can’t see anything. Grizzly represents night. He just wants darkness all the time.
“He wants to sleep his life away. Coyote stubs his toe in Grizzly’s darkness and Coyote smells something bad. That is because Grizzly is so lazy he just poops where ever.”
She noted that Coyote is a medicine man that speaks to people where they are in their lives right now.
Anne acknowledged that Tuwitames “is very emotional for the players.”
“I lived in the darkness. Now, I have lived in the light for 30 years. You can’t run away from yourself. I had to change so I could see how I was living.”
If you go for no other reason, go to see Tuwitames to watch Anne Cook as Coyote. In the words of one of the play’s writers,
“You haven’t seen Coyote until you’ve seen Anne Cook as Coyote.”
The play runs from August 6th to 10th at Splats’in Tsn7ak-saltn (Childcare and Language Centre) on Canyon Road. Show time is at 7:30 pm. Tickets are $20 for adults, $10 for those 13 -18 years and five dollars for children 12 and under. Ticket reservations are made by calling 778-443-4000.
From the Vernon Morning Star - Friday Aug 1, 2014
Thanks to Kristin Froneman for her thoughtful profile of Tuwitames - great pictures too!
If story is no longer available on the Morning Star site, you can download it here (Adobe Reader required).
Check out this great profile of our upcoming show Tuwitames...with thanks to reporter Charlotte Helston (and the great pictures too) and the Infotel.ca website:
Click here for <Splatsin First Nation plots dramatic return of traditional stories>
If story is no longer available on the InfoTel.ca website, you can download it here (Adobe Reader required).
From the Okanagan Advertiser, with thanks.
Click here to read <Historical play project underway> on their website
For archiving purposes, we include their full story here...
Historical play project underway
Jul 11, 2014
An extraordinary historical project is underway in the Splatsin Community bringing three long time players together again.
Fifteen years ago, Rosalind Williams, cultural historian of Splatsin, James Fagan Tait a Vancouver director and Cathy Stubington, puppeteer of Runaway Moon
Theatre in Grindrod, collaborated in the writing of a script Not the Way I Heard It. This compilation and adaptation of stories from Enderby and Splatsin became the
Enderby and District Community Play, which grew to include a cast of 163, and is still cited nationally for its extraordinary success in building community across
This same trio has gathered once again to write a new community play Tuwitames (too-weet-a-miss; he/she is growing up).
“Creation stories and history from ancient times to recent are intertwined with a personal story of a young man trying to find his roots,” explained Stubington.
Williams, who has been speaking with Splatsin Elders and documenting stories, history and tradition for over 30 years, approached Runaway Moon Theatre to
collaborate on the project, which will incorporate the Splatsin Language Program.
Williams said that this large-scale production is the best way to share this cultural knowledge with the Splatsin youth, and the wider population. It is also an
opportunity to share her efforts towards Secwepemc language regeneration through some of the songs that are in the play.
Rehearsals for Tuwitames began last week at the Splatsin Tsm7aksaltn Teaching Centre on Canyon Road behind the SuperSave gas station. A core of community
members of all ages have signed up to be part of the play, but there is still time and room for more to join, said Stubington.
“We will also be needing people to help make costumes, traditional, contemporary and fantastical, and with other aspects of the production,” said Stubington. For
more information call (250) 838-6404 (ext.2) or email email@example.com.
To help the younger actors prepare for Tuwitames, there are afternoon youth theatre programs offering acting training through voice, movement and improvisation
with Tait and other theatre professionals. There are a few spots left for youth ages 13- 24.
Tuwitames will run Aug. 6-10, at the Splatsin Tsm7aksaltn Teaching Centre.
Don’t miss “A Small Miracle” this Christmas!
How can we adapt a wordless book to theatre, while maintaining as closely as possible the quiet peacefulness of reading it? Runaway Moon’s adaptation of “A Small Miracle”, Peter Collington’s illustrated story about Christmas in a small city, has no words at all!
How can we adapt a story that is set on a downtown street, while capturing the feeling of the cold crisp air? Our adaptation is set outside, on the main street of Enderby!
How can we make sure the audience doesn’t get too cold?
Invite them in to the shops! Runaway Moon’s Christmas play goes in and out of the Market Place IGA, as well as other scenes taking place in Enderby Jeweller’s (Featuring jeweler Judy Dangel herself) and Mel’s Pizza! And, we start and finish inside 703 Vernon Street in Enderby (across from Kal Tire and Gilbert Parts), thanks to the generosity of the Seventh Day Adventist Church.
How do we make sure you won’t get lost along the way?
A chorus of 24 community members will guide you and make sure you are safe as you cross the street from one scene to the next!
How do we reflect the magical sense of tiny figures coming alive?
Runaway Moon’s puppets and masks bring the spectators into changes of scale and reality that remind us that miracle take place around us
all the time!
Please come join us and experience “A Small Miracle”!
Performances are on:
Saturday December 7th at 7 pm
Sunday December 8th at 4:30 pm
Thursday December 12 at 7 pm
Friday December 13 at 7 pm
Saturday December 14 at 4:30 pm and 7 pm
Sunday December 15 at 4:30 pm
Tickets are $12 for adults and $5 for children; Thursday December 12th is pay-what-you-can.
Tickets can be purchased at the Enderby Chamber of Commerce or reserved at firstname.lastname@example.org . Please reserve as audience size is limited.
With thanks to our supporters - BC Arts Council, the Government of BC, and local Enderby businesses Mel's Mainstreet Pizza and Pasta, Marketplace IGA, Enderby Jewellers and Johnston Meier Insurance Agents.