Stats and Stories
Our grants making a difference

Patricia Flather

Program and component
Arts Across Canada, Travel

Community
Whitehorse, Yukon

Field of practice
Theatre

Grant amount
$1,303

Fiscal year
2018-19

Travel Grant Helps Whitehorse Artist Research Language in the Performing Arts

A man sitting at a desk converses with a woman.
Stoney Nakoda language specialist Buddy Wesley in a translation booth, with Nightswimming’s Brittany Ryan

With a Canada Council grant, Patricia Flather was able to lead an experiment focusing on the best ways to incorporate text and design performance in languages that audiences don’t understand.

Experimenting with language in theatre performance

In 2018, Whitehorse theatre artist Patricia Flather and co-collaborator Reneltta Arluk were selected by theatre company Nightswimming to participate in its Pure Research program in Calgary. Nightswimming focuses on research, creation and performance in Canadian plays, musical works and dance. The aim was to explore ways to use text and design performance in a language that the audience does not speak or understand, with a particular focus on Indigenous languages.

Exploring innovative ways of communicating with audiences

Flather was the lead researcher in a three-day experiment entitled “(Not) Our Mother Tongue – Exploring Language, Story and Connection in Performance.” Using English and Stoney Nakoda texts and stories, she and Arluk tried various ways to communicate with audiences in languages they didn’t understand, using live translation, props, heightened physicality and more. They shared their discoveries in two debriefs and a final presentation and discussion.

Tagged As Stats and Stories Arts Across Canada Travel Theatre Yukon