Frozen River (nîkwatin sîpiy) Presented by Carousel Theatre

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Carousel Theatre for Young People (“CYTP”) opens its 2022/23 season with the West Coast premiere of Manitoba Theatre for Young People’s award-winning play Frozen River (nîkwatin sîpiy).

A poignant and powerful play about reconciliation, environmentalism, and interconnectedness, Frozen River (nîkwatin sîpiy) tackles meaningful issues through engaging storytelling, whimsical puppetry, and an age-appropriate narrative – suitable for children and youth of all ages (5+) – about the generational impact of our actions on the environment and our communities.

Carousel Theatre Frozen River
Krystle Pederson and Kathleen MacLean in Frozen River (nîkwatin sîpiy). Set and props design by Andrew Moro, costume design by Jay Havens, and lighting design by Dean Cowieson. Photo: Leif Norman, courtesy of Manitoba Theatre for Young People.

Frozen River (nîkwatin sîpiy)

  • When: September 28 to October 16, 2022
    • Public performances Fridays at 7:00pm; Saturdays & Sundays, 11:00am & 2:00pm (no performances Sunday, October 9)
  • Where: Waterfront Theatre, 1412 Cartwright St (Granville Island, Vancouver)
  • Tickets: Available online now from $18

Set in a forest destined to become modern-day Manitoba, a compassionate narrator, Grandmother Moon, guides audiences through the story of two 11-year-olds, Wâpam, who is Cree, and Eilidh, who is Scottish. Born under the same blood moon, they form an instant kinship, despite their differences and lack of shared language. As Grandmother Moon shares their story, introducing terms from the maskeko-Ininiwak (Swampy Cree) language, we learn of a broken promise that leaves a lasting impact for generations. Jumping forward to present day, we meet two youth, descendants of Wâpam and Eilidh. Past wrongdoings are made right through an openness and curiosity to learn from those who have stewarded the waterways for centuries.

Hailed by Winnipeg Free Press as “timely” and full of “warmth and kindness,” Frozen River offers audiences a vulnerable and impactful look at what connects us to others, and how we can learn important life lessons from our ancestors. With moments of lighthearted whimsy, creatively enhanced through shadow and rod puppetry, and devastating heartbreak, Frozen River tackles mature concepts with gentleness and grace.

The play received its world premiere on Treaty 1 Territory (colonially known as Manitoba) in February 2022. Co-written by Michaela WashburnJoelle Peters and Carrie Costello, the trio received the Playwrights Guild of Canada’s 2021 Sharon Enkin Plays for Young People Award.

Directed by Katie German, the play stars Krystle Pederson as Grandmother Moon, Keely McPeek as Wâpam and their descendant, and Mallory James as Eilidh and her descendant.

Language Keeper is Cameron Robertson, Sets and Props Designer is Andrew Moro, Costume Designer is Jay Havens, Lighting Designer is Dean Cowieson and Composer and Sound Designer is MJ Dandeneau.

Frozen River’s opening performance, which falls on the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation (September 30), will kick off a series of community events, in partnership with CMHC Granville Island, the Vancouver International Children’s Festival, the Vancouver Writers Fest, the Vancouver Fringe Festival, and 3 Crows Productions.

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