Ách Áwé - Bears and Women

A story of small causes with great effect.

Nan tracks down an aging Tlingit clan leader in order to record stories from his dying culture, which also is her own. She is told the story of The Woman who Married the Bear , about a young woman who, by insulting a bear, triggers a series of magical events which turn her life inside out. Nan’s life is transformed as well, when her confrontation with this story becomes a critical confrontation with herself.
Ách Áwé – Bears and Women is a poetic and comic piece about the delicate balance of life and about encounters, which leave no part unaltered.

Ách Áwé – bears and women  found inspiration in two sources: the story of The Woman who married the Bear, one of the Tlingit people’s most popular and fascinating tales, and the true story of the ethnologist Nora Marks Dauenhauer’s work in collecting the Tlingit stories – in a newly-developed written language.

Nan shares the fate of the woman in the story, as both undertake life-changing journeys. Journeys in which meetings change people, and where returning home is more difficult, than it seemed at first.

The three perfomers play five roles, and the tone of the piece moves between the deeply moving and the truly silly. The ancient story is related with a sense of atmosphere and respect for the source material – whilst the players are able to deflate any hint of pomposity. We discover along the way that Tlingit clan elders have a sense of humor, too!