1. Anishinaabe Theatre Exchange Offers an Evening of Performance and Dialogue

    June 4, 2018 by Mark Rivett
    50 Cents a Pound

    Jim LeBlanc in 50 Cents a Pound
    -Photo by John Diehl

    Read More at For Sugar Island: Anishinaabe Theatre Exchange

    On June 1, 2018 Lake Superior State University hosted the Anishinaabe Theatre Exchange performance of 50 Cents a Pound and The Frybread Queen. The Evening of Performance and Dialogue was produced and coordinated by University of Michigan Professor Anita Gonzalez and LSSU Assistant Professor Spencer Christensen.

    The Frybread Queen

    Colleen Medicine (left) and Rebecca Parish (right) in The Frybread Queen.
    -Photo by John Diehl

    50 Cents a Pound was directed by UofM Assistant Professor Malcolm Tulip and incorporated writing and choreography from the ensemble into an original script by Rebecca Parish. Local fishermen involved in the Bay Mills “Fish Wars” spoke about their struggle to survive through gill net fishing on the Great Lakes. Tom Malloy Sr. and Jim LeBlanc described their resistance against “sporties” and others who were determined to stop them from exercising their rights under the 1836 Ceded Territory Treaty. Movement sequences which captured sensations of waterways and ships and being tossed were woven into the fishermen’s accounts. Bay Mills Community College student Joe Medicine delivered text describing the history of fishing rights.

    Excerpt performances from the The Frybread Queeen by Native American playwright Carolyn Dunn, were directed by Sara Rademacher and examines suicide in a Navajo reservation. Performers Colleen Medicine, Rebecca Parish, Tomantha Sylvester and Micaela Ironshell-Domiguez, played characters coming together and sharing recipes after tragedy. Performers mixed Frybread while performing and spoke with audience members about domestic violence and suicide within Native communities after the event.

    Professor Anita Gonzalez

    Professor of Theatre and Drama Anita Gonzalez

    “The biggest thing about the Anishnaabe Theatre Exchange is that we hope to continue to develop performance events which speak to social concerns and histories of the Anishnaabe people. I plan to have performers from this exchange come to Michigan in January or February to present their stories and explain their process at the University of Michigan. I would like to continue to develop work with the community for performances at Bay Mills, Kewadin and LSSU.”
    Students Perform 50 Cents a Pound

    From left to right, students Wazhinguda Eli Horinek, Michael Oakes, Magdelyn Miller, Zach Kolodzeij, Tomantha Sylvester, and Shaunie Lewis perform in 50 Cents a Pound
    -Photo by John Diehl

    ATE was formed in May 2018 to support the community’s desire to tell stories through performing arts. The Cultural Department of the Chippewa Sault Ste. Marie Tribe, LSSU, UofM and the Bay Mills community collaborated to build upon 2015 activities originated through the Third Century Initiative grant program.

    For more information on the Anishinaabe Theatre Exchange contact Anita Gonzalez at amanjo@umich.edu or 845- 380-1499.