February 12, 2021 update on live performances and events at the NAC.

The Edward Curtis Project

Angeline

Played by: Quelemia Sparrow

A Canadian photojournalist of Dene/Russian descent, struggling with the plight of contemporary Aboriginal peoples within the context of colonialism, as seen through the lens of turn of the (previous) century’s American photographer, Edward Curtis.


Edward Curtis

Played by: Todd Duckworth

Historical figure: 1900s photographer, lecturer, and businessman who adopted the pet name “Chief”. He dedicated his life to a passion for documenting First Nation Peoples in an attempt to preserve images and memories of pre-contact life, albeit often times composed to suit his – and others’ – impression of what an Indian once was.


Dr. Clara

Played by: Kathleen Duborg

Angeline’s fair-skinned sister who works as a psychiatrist in an office decorated with framed certificates. She represents mainstream society’s definition of success, yet her marriage has broken down and her children are being raised by their white father.


Yiska

Played by: Kevin Loring

Angeline’s First Nation boyfriend of N’lakap’mux identity. He works as a translator of Aboriginal languages at a university and is strongly based in his culture and traditions. He supports Angeline throughout her crisis and challenges the seemingly well-intended but imposing and manipulative “ethnographic” photographer who was Edward Curtis.


Clara

Played by: Kathleen Duborg

Historical figure: Edward Curtis’ wife, mother of his children and business partner. She feels desperately abandoned by her husband whose obsession with “The Vanishing Race” has kept him away from home and family.


Alexander Upshaw

Played by: Kevin Loring

Historical figure: Crow (or "Apsaroke") interpreter and fieldworker who worked extensively with Curtis between 1905 and 1909. He was widely respected among the Crow First Nations as an advocate for Aboriginal rights. A graduate of the Carlisle Indian School in 1897, he went on to become a teacher. He was murdered in 1909.


Hunger Chief

Played by: Kevin Loring

A spirit-like figure dressed in a bear skin, representing the many Nations of Aboriginal Peoples both past and present, strong and weak.


Princess Angeline

Played by: Quelemia Sparrow

Historical figure: the eldest daughter of Chief Sealth of Seattle, named Kikisoblu but renamed Angeline by an American pioneer and referred to as “Princess” by the white community of Seattle. In 1896 she became the first First Nation individual to be photographed by Edward Curtis, thus launching his career as a portrait photographer of Aboriginal peoples.

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