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Salt Baby tackles cultural identity with heart

author: ethan butterfield a&c writer

City versus reserve plays a major role in the upcoming production. | Dakota Hebert. Photo by Chris Graham Photo, photo manipulation by Hayley Peters. Courtesy of Globe Theatre.

Globe’s next Mainstage show a must-see for modern Canadians

Every once in a while, there are shows that’ll make you consider different points of view or lifestyles. Globe Theatre’s production of Salt Baby is one of those shows. A look into the life of an Indigenous woman trying to figure out who she is within society, this thought-provoking piece will surely touch the hearts and minds of many. As well, it may open the doors toward a better understanding among communities, and people as well.

Fortunately, to help bring some light to the show, the Carillon got in touch with a couple of individuals from the production to give us an idea of what will be in store. Nathan Howe and Curtis Peeteetuce tell us why Salt Baby is a cultural necessity below.

 

This isn’t the first time Salt Baby has been in Regina – it was produced as a part of the Globe’s Shumiatcher Sandbox Series in Jan. 2015. What does it mean to have this show back after two years?

CP: It is timely, given the current issue of identity and authenticity concerning Joseph Boyden and the ongoing discussions and conversations being had in our country.

NH: It feels great to be able to come back. It’s familiar, but the whole game has changed being on the Mainstage. We’re able to rehearse the play again and find some new moments, dig into the ones we had discovered before, and realize what two years has done to us as actors.

 

What do you hope to accomplish with the show? What makes it important now to an urban Saskatchewan audience?

CP: My intent is to, this time, make Dad more honest and believable as a character.

NH: This show is important now because it’s about real people who live in our communities. The questions Salt Baby is asking are real. It’s hard to really learn about people in this world where we associate with the people around us through Facebook comments.

 

What message do you hope people leave the theatre with?

CP: Identity is an important issue, Indigenous identity primarily.

NH: Keep asking questions. Go to the Google machine and research what you didn’t understand. Find empathy before dismissing someone’s turmoil.

 

How have you noticed the show change over the years of development?

CP: Staging and configuration.

NH: The show has changed as we grew and as the world has kept turning. Every time we came back to this show there was something new. Truth and Reconciliation, DAPL, Spirit Halloween. This time it’s Joseph Boyden. It’s important to keep reminding ourselves of the damage done by taking away someone’s identity, and that any and everybody can have a part in the healing, can support.

 

How has Salt Baby resonated with you? After developing this show for so long across the province, have you noticed the community gaining understanding?

CP: I’ve primarily learned a lot about performing in the round, primarily in a unique venue such as Globe.

 

Why should young people in Regina who may not regularly attend the theatre be excited about Salt Baby?

CP: Salt Baby is an Indigenous story written by an Indigenous playwright. Additionally, the Indigenous actors in the show at some time in their lives have endured the issue of identity and can thus speak to the characters they portray.

NH: It’s contemporary, it’s for everyone, it’s written by a young person about the questions she had in her life. It’s hilarious, shocking, and touching.

So, there it is. If that isn’t reason enough to go and experience this show, I’m not sure what is. To take in this heartfelt and powerful story, Salt Baby will be on the Mainstage from Jan. 18-Feb. 5. For more information, go to globetheatrelive.com.

 

About Ethan Butterfield