The Crossing Theatre Company is an emerging theatre company, with a mandate to produce high quality theatre that reflects the contemporary, historical, cultural and artistic stories and experiences of Indigenous people.
Grounded in the heart of the Métis homeland, The Crossing Theatre Company was named to honor Métis leaders Gabriel and Madeline Dumont who resided at Gabriel’s Crossing, located on the banks of the South Saskatchewan River, which is in close proximity to the Batoche National Historic Site. The river was a natural meeting place where community members gathered together to share their visions and dreams for their people. The Crossing Theatre Company honors these values and traditions of the Métis people and so many of our projects including workshops and cultural gatherings continue to take place at Gabriel’s Crossing.
The Crossing Theatre Company creates a respectful space for Indigenous stories to be developed and presented, and encourages a creative process that reflects and honors the Indigenous worldview. Our projects respect Indigenous traditions and protocols, which is the foundation of all that we create and produce.
Indigenous stories are held in the oral tradition and are a means of passing on knowledge. It is in these stories that the laws, protocols, ethics and values of Indigenous peoples are found. Stories teach about respect and reciprocity including how to get along with one another and the importance of respecting the land and all of your relations, including your human and non-human relatives. The sharing of these stories with artists, theatre professionals and Indigenous community members contributes to theatre artist’s professional development and inspires the incorporation of these stories into new creative and collaborative works.
The Company engages emerging and professional Indigenous artists as key contributors in the creative process of our projects. Given the vast experience of the Company’s founding Artistic Director, Maria Campbell, believes in the power of theatre as a means to inspire and educate young emerging artists we use our projects to develop emerging artists in mentorship with experienced theatre professionals. Our work creates opportunities for Indigenous peoples to share their stories, songs, music and dance, and brings them together with theatre professionals to work collaboratively in the creation of new artistic and theatrical productions. These understandings are integral to the success of our projects and impacts on the short and long term success of the organization. Our Company’s work provides a means to further develop emerging artists in their professional career development and provides mentorship in incorporating oral traditions into their work, instilling cultural pride, building cultural capacity and leadership in Indigenous artists and theatre professionals for the future.
Tahwahkun, Autumn Storytelling Gathering is an annual project that brings together Indigenous Knowledge Keepers, storytellers, community members, artists, musicians, dancers, singers and theatre professionals as a means to create new artistic and theatrical works. Over a four-day gathering, participants listen to and take part in stories and storytelling, spend time on the land and listen to stories about the land. The gathering is held at Gabriel’s Crossing and participants are invited to camp over for the duration of the event.
The August 2015 Tahwahkun, Autumn Storytelling Gathering brought together approximately 60 individuals including emerging and professional theatre artists from across Canada and First Nation and Metis Knowledge Keepers and storytellers from the local Batoche area and One Arrow First Nation who participated as Elders and storytellers from other parts of Saskatchewan, Ontario and Manitoba. The script was initially animated for the Canadian Institute for the Administration of Justice Conference in October 2015, and then went into a workshop again in January 2016 at the Refinery, in partnership with On The Boards. This show is scheduled for a Saskatoon production and Saskatchewan community and school tour in February of 2017.