Storytelling in Play: Upisasik Theatre Revisited
This is the story of Upisasik Theatre, a small high school theatre troupe in northern Saskatchewan that created, performed and toured its plays from 1978 to 1985. It is a story told by the teacher-director, and it weaves together the meanings and memories of the actors of Upisasik. The author of this narrative returned to the Cree-Metis community of Ile-A-la-Crosse in the spring of 1992 to visit and interview past students, many of whom are now community actors in a revived Upisasik Theatre Collective. Through these interviews he explored the significance of the Upisasik experience for its participants and for the local community. Field notes were used to document the work of the new Collective. The story that emerges is one of personal and social meanings both for the actors and for the teacher who writes this narrative. It is a story of collective creation, of cultural expression, of storytelling in play.