SASKATOON — Burnt Thicket Theatre will present New Blood: A Story of Reconciliation on March 10 and 11 at the Rawlco Radio Stage at the Remai Arts Centre. The theatre production, an acclaimed performance that blends poetry, song, and dance with music from Peter Gabriel and Blackfoot tradition, will premiere in Saskatchewan with the help of Persephone Theatre and Gordon Tootoosis Nīkānīwin Theatre.
The show features dozens of performers from the Siksika Nation and the Alberta Badlands and tells the inspiring true story of Chief Vincent Yellow Old Woman's journey of healing from being a residential school survivor to becoming the chief of his people.
Deanne Bertsch and Eulalia Running Rabbit conceived and directed the two-day show. Burnt Thicket Theatre's Artistic Director Stephen Waldschmidt said they are presenting New Blood as a companion to the We Treaty People fiction podcast to help overcome racism and support healing from trauma.
Peter Gabriel, whose music project inspired the show, said in a video endorsement that he was honoured to be part of the production. Deanne Bertsch co-directed the theatre production, which features her choreography used in the national tour of She Has a Name.
GTNT Artistic Director Jennifer Dawn Bishop praised New Blood as "a piece that keeps the forgotten unforgotten," and Persephone Theatre Artistic Director Heather Cant said the performance "brings beauty and strength to the journey towards reconciliation, through a powerful story of cultural reclamation." Rosebud Theatre Artistic Director Morris Ertman, who presented the show last year, said, "New Blood's creation is the story of a gifted professional choreographer/high school dance/drama teacher following the inspiration of First Nations Elders and artists toward an expression of honesty about the complicated story we hold together... And it is an astonishing creation."
The production was made possible with the help of a Dakota Dunes Community Development Corporation grant award.