Pawâkan Macbeth live staged reading to be presented on Facebook

Wednesday, April 29th, 2020 9:28am



The reading starts at 8 p.m. EST May 1.

A live staged reading of Pawâkan Macbeth A Cree Takeover by Reneltta Arluk will be presented on Facebook on May 1.

The reading starts at 8 p.m. EST at

Indigenous playwright Reneltta Arluk sets Pawâkan Macbeth in Cree territory in 1870s Alberta with the cannibal spirit Wihtiko.

In collaboration with the National Arts Centre, the live staged reading is made available online as part of #CanadaPerforms, a short-term relief fund that pays professional Canadian artists and professionally published authors for their online performances.

#CanadaPerforms eases the financial strain for Canadian artists impacted by the closure of performance venues across Canada related to COVID-19, and to lift the spirits of Canadians during the crisis.

Pawâkan Macbeth is for ages 14 and up. The staged reading is 50 minutes in length.

Pawâkan Macbeth happens before the numbered Treaties were signed, when Plains Cree were allied with Stoney Nakoda, and at war with Blackfoot over territory, food, supplies and trade. The Canadian Government was making its way west with Sir John A. MacDonald as its leader. Harsh environments brought immense fear, starvation, and uncertainty together to awaken the darkest of Cree spirits, the Wihtiko – a being with an insatiable greed.

Through the exploration of Cree language, history, stories and cosmology Arluk asks, What is it to be human? What makes a human vulnerable to the Wihtiko?

Inspired by working with the youth of Frog Lake First Nation, and shared stories from Elders in the Treaty 6 region, Arluk has created a terrifying journey through love, greed, honour and betrayal, with coyote howlers teaching us that resurgence requires balance.

Written and directed by Reneltta Arluk, with Barry Bilinsky as Assistant Director, Pawâkan Macbeth features a talented all Indigenous cast with: Sophie Merasty, Joel Montgrand, Allyson Pratt, Mitch Saddleback, Aaron Wells and Kaitlyn Yott. Lighting Design by Daniela Masellis, Sound Design by Leif Ingebrigtsen and Costume Design by Logan Martin-Arcand.