Performances will be held 7:30 p.m., Nov. 17-20 at Intermedia Arts, 2822 Lyndale Ave South Minneapolis, MN 55408. An artist discussion will follow the Friday and Saturday evening performances. The Opening Night Reception will be held from 5 ro 7 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 17, followed by a special “pay-what-you-can” performance.
What would a polar bear say if he could talk? How does a small Indigenous Community fight a large multi-national corporation that is intending to exploit its natural resources?
“Calling All Polar Bears” is a one-woman show by Inupiaq Eskimo Inter-Disciplinary Artist, Allison Warden, whose roots are from Kaktovik, Alaska, a village in the heart of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
Through the show, Allison takes on the characters of animals, and of people in her village, as they bring to light the complexity surrounding climate change in the Arctic and the push to extract resources from the Arctic regions. Indigenous communities all over the globe are facing similar challenges and “Calling All Polar Bears” hopes to engage audiences through an Inupiaq perspective and inspire audiences to think critically about these pressing issues and also hopefully take action to help fight for Indigenous sovereignty and traditional and customary ways of life.
Through humor, tears and engaging characters, “Calling All Polar Bears” takes you into the heart of the Arctic, with the hope of melting your heart towards a new perspective on the fate of the polar bears and the Inupiaq people.
Tickets are $12 advance, students, seniors; $15 door. Purchase advance tickets online at www.IntermediaArts.org, or over the phone by calling 612-871-4444.
Allison Warden (Aku-Matu) is an Iñupiaq Eskimo Inter-Disciplinary Artist with a passion for the self-determination of Indigenous Peoples. She raps under the name AKU-MATU and loves working with young people, empowering them through the use of theatre and music.
Warden creates her own beats for her rhymes, sampling traditional sounds and inserting her Iñupiaq language into her songs. She recently performed as Aku-Matu at Columbia University, as part of a concert put on by the Department of Ethnomusicology. She lives in Anchorage, Alaska and has close ties to her home community of Kaktovik, Alaska.
Her one-woman show, “Ode to the Polar Bear” has toured extensively across Alaska and the lower-48 and is now re-worked into a completely new and longer piece, titled “Calling All Polar Bears” which is debuting at Pangea Theatre in 2011. The show focuses on an Indigenous perspective of climate change, the push to drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and the fate of Alaska’s polar bear.
She is excited to tour this new show in 2012. She acted in Andrew MacLean’s film, “On the Ice” that premiered at Sundance in 2011. In 2009, she was part of the “virtual subsistence” exhibition at MTS Gallery and coordinated over 25 people to participate in a performance that focused on the incident with the Point Hope caribou and land use issues.
Allison was the MC for the Elders and Youth Convention at the Alaska Federation of Natives Conference in October of 2010 and 2011 and was active in presenting about language revitalization. Allison is an engaged community member, passionate about awakening Indigenous youth to their potential and voice. She is most excited about working on her AKU-MATU album and about expressing herself through writing more poetry, plays and a screenplay.
This project is made possible in part by support from the National Performance Network Performance Residency Program. For more information: www.npnweb.org.
The Indigenous Voices Series was created by Pangea World Theater and is co-presented annually by Intermedia Arts. Indigenous Voices explores issues in the indigenous agenda, focusing not only on internal details but also the wider global and national contexts through the medium of theater and performance art.
In this series, local, national, and international artists raise issues that affect their community-issues of identity, rights, struggles, and experiences. Featured artists have included Native Americans James Luna, Bently Spang, Marcus Amerman, Heid Erdrich, Sterlin Harjo, and Keo Woolford; Niuean-Samoan Dianna Fuemana; Native Canadian Margo Kane; and Tasmanian aboriginal Tammy Anderson. The series has included youth workshops, poetry slams and a global indigenous summit featuring speakers from across the world.
The Catalyst Series showcases the heart of Intermedia Arts’ mission: sparking dialogue and social change with new performing arts, visual arts and film presentations. Through this new series, Intermedia Arts provides quality exhibition, performance, screening, meeting and workshop space to independent artists, arts organizations, youth groups, community groups and individuals who are dedicated to using art as a tool for social change.
Pangea World Theater begins from the fundamental paradigm of diversity in the world. Our work expresses this reality and our organization advances this possibility consciously.
Since its inception in 1995, Pangea’s goals have included creating a new literature with stories from different communities for theater, changing our methods of auditioning in order to include artists from diverse communities who are not trained in the traditional western methods of the audition process, and creating new possibilities and new aesthetic realities for a more diverse audience.
As the community of the Twin Cities has become increasingly diverse with the influx of new immigrants, Pangea has actively sought individuals from these communities to be part of our artistic and advisory team. www.pangeaworldtheater.org