New Native Theatre kicks off 2019 in collaboration with Stages Theatre Company. In “The Three Snow Bears,” ride along with us through the magnificent Arctic landscape as a young Yup’ik girl embarks on a heroic sled-dog journey to save her village. On the search for the reasons of the widening river she meets a raven, a hare, a baby seal, and, finally, three snow bears. Join us as an endearing Baby Bear and a determined Yup’ik girl meet center stage in the world premiere production. Performances run from Friday, January 18th, to Monday, February 18th, at Stages Theatre Company, 1111 Mainstreet, Hopkins, MN 55343.

“The Three Snow Bears,” directed by Sandy Boren-Barrett and Sara Pillatzki-Warzeha with music composed by P. Ossie Kairaiuak, is inspired by THE THREE SNOW BEARS by Jan Brett. The script was written by New Native Theatre Artistic Director and Founder Rhiana Yazzie in collaboration with Alicia Smith and Grace Smith. Alicia and Grace are Yupik from Pitka’s Point Tribal Village in Alaska. Alicia says she and her mother are very involved in the play, from being writers/consultants to acting in the production itself.

“My mom and I helped write the storyline of the play,” Alicia says. “[We] offered some feedback and dialogue to New Native Theatre[‘s] Rhiana Yazzie, who wrote the play.  [Stages Theatre Company] hosted us three to share more about American Indians as a learning opportunity for Stages Theatre staff. There is not much taught about us in mainstream society.” The play is very personal for the Smiths, with Alicia adding,  “My mom shared her story of growing up in Alaska in the boarding school and we shared how we returned to Alaska for a visit, after over 50 years since my mom left Alaska and moved to Minnesota.”

The themes are rooted in Indigenous storytelling and ways of knowing and, as is common with Indigenous knowledge, presents a narrative that is crucial and timely. Alicia says the message of the play is important “because we only have one earth.  We need to take care of the earth.” Furthermore, she says, “Stages Theatre provides a great platform with a broad audience to share our cultural ways and [how] we have used them to survive. Because of our traditional ways, we are still here. It is through our cultural ways that we are all interconnected.  Interconnected as humans, plants, animals and earth – we are all interdependent. We saw an opportunity to share these teachings… We all can do our part to take care of the earth.”

The performance dates and times are as follows:

  • Friday, January 18 – 7 PM
  • Saturday, January 19 – 1 PM
  • Sunday, January 20 – 1 PM & 4 PM
  • Monday, January 21 – 10 AM
  • Wednesday, January 23 – 10 AM & 12:30 PM
  • Thursday, January 24 – 10 AM & 12:30 PM
  • Friday, January 25 – 7 PM
  • Saturday, January 26 – 10 AM & 1PM
  • Sunday, January 27 – 1 PM & 4 PM
  • Wednesday, January 30 – 10 AM & 12:30 PM
  • Thursday, January 31 – 10 AM & 12:30 PM
  • Friday, February 1 – 7 PM
  • Saturday, February 2 – 10 AM* & 1PM
  • Sunday, February 3 – 1 PM & 4 PM
  • Wednesday, February 6 – 10 AM & 12:30 PM
  • Thursday, February 7 – 10 AM & 12:30 PM
  • Friday, February 8 – 7 PM
  • Saturday, February 9 – 10 AM** & 1 PM
  • Sunday, February 10 – 1 PM & 4 PM
  • Wednesday, February 13 – 10 AM & 12:30 PM
  • Thursday, February 14 – 10 AM & 12:30 PM
  • Friday, February 15 – 7 PM
  • Saturday, February 16 – 10 AM & 1 PM
  • Sunday, February 17 – 1 PM & 4 PM
  • Monday, February 18 – 10 AM

* = Sensory Friendly performance

** = ASL performance

Pay What You Can Performance: Sunday, January 20, 1 PM

Sensory Friendly Public Performance: Saturday, February 2, 10 AM

ASL Interpreted Performance: Saturday, February 9, 1 PM

Audio Described Performance: Saturday, February 9, 1 PM

To purchase tickets or to read more details on performances, visit www.stagestheatre.org.

New Native Theatre is a new way of thinking about, looking at, and creating authentic Native American stories for the stage. Based in the Twin Cities, it is the only and longest running professional Native American theatre company in the Upper Midwest focusing exclusively on Native American playwrights, actors, and directors. For more details or questions, please contact New Native Theatre at (612) 367-7639 or through email at [email protected]. Visit www.newnativetheatre.org for details.