Ách Áwé – Bears and Women

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!


In the beginning

…And then, there we were – but what were we?
We are all alike, and yet so different!

In the Beginning is a different kind of creation story, without words, with masks, music, and a little magic. three fantastic creatures appear in a world of paper. They are connected, but each is drawn in its own direction. One throws itself at the world with a ravenous appetite. Another wants to analyze it. One is simply looking for its wings…

These simple, lovable creatures’ efforts to evolve are at once entertaining, thought-provoking, and playful. A physical and spellbinding performance for ages 6-9 and adults, based on the philosophical and quirky performance The Pocket Oracle.

In the beginning, in darkess, is the word.

But all beginnings are difficult. The creatorcomplains. Tries, fails. Tries again.

At last, there is light. It falls upon a landscape of aborted attempts. Crumpled balls of paper form hills and valleys. Under the surface, something stirs. Life! Three creatures, each with its own purpose: body, mind, and spirit. The great book shows them the way to completeness.

But the umbilical is in the way. It must be cut before they can each move on. Once they are free of each other, they can move forward at full steam.

But their development brings them further and further from one another, and at last they discover that what they need most of all is someone to throw them a rope…