Street closures around the NAC during Ottawa Race Weekend

Finding Wolastoq Voice

Message from the Artistic Director

This play is such a gem. For our first ever season of Indigenous Theatre, it was important for me to try to bring shows from coast to coast to coast to the NAC. Having the opportunity to catch this show in Toronto at Native Earth Performing Arts introduced me to two amazing East Coast artists, Aria Evans and Natalie Sappier. For Natalie, a visual artist, this play marks her theatre debut. Natalie’s narration leads us through her journey of resilience, discovery and empowerment as Aria’s movement and interaction with the ever evolving set reveal the transformative power of finding one’s voice in a broken world. Having toured New Brunswick and parts of Ontario, we are so excited to be presenting this work here as part of our Mòshkamo festival and our inaugural season of Indigenous Theatre. I hope you enjoy this debut work from an exciting up-and-coming playwright.

Playwright's Message

Woliwon/Thank you, to the inspiring Theatre New Brunswick team, a special thank you to Thomas Morgan Jones for his amazing mentorship and friendship. Woliwon, ArtsNB and the Canada Council for the Arts for their support in the development of Finding Wolastoq Voice, to my Momo, Meme, Sagatay, Imelda and Dave Perley, my community of negotuk, Maggie Paul, Judie Acquin, Angee Acquin, Kim and Wayne Brooks, Nate Miller and his beautiful parents. Woliwon, to my phenomenal artistic team Andy Moro, Aria Evans, and Mike Doherty. Woliwon, to my family and friends for their constant inspiration, motivation, love and support. To my mother, my teacher – you are one of the strongest and most beautiful spirits in my life. Woliwon and Koselmul always.

Finding Wolastoq Voice

Yut keti nomihtuweq amalhapomkahtimok sakihtaksik kisihtahatok Wolastoqi amalhocossawet naka tokec nutatkuhket Samaqani Cocahq (Natalie Sappier), Neqotkukew. ‘Takonutomon weckuwikitpon ‘cimaciw amsqahs pilsqehsisuwit naka letisuwit tokiw tuhkimit nikanapasihticik ‘kansuhs.
Wolastoqey translation by Opolahsomuwehs, 2019

Finding Wolastoq Voice is a powerful debut work from Indigenous artist-turned-playwright Samaqani Cocahq (Natalie Sappier) of Tobique First Nation, a leading voice in New Brunswick’s thriving Indigenous art scene.

Featuring the evocative choreography of dancer Aria Evans, this beautiful dance-theatre hybrid is the deeply personal coming-of-age story of a young Wolastoqiyik woman who is awakened by the voices of her ancestors. Evans draws on her experiences as a woman of mixed race (Mi’kmaq/Black/British) to beautifully convey feelings of sorrow, grace, and hope.

Andy Moro has created an organic, natural world that shifts and moves seamlessly, providing the foundation for this inspiring work.

Music Credits

All music (except Wolastoq Song) composed and arranged by Samaqani Cocahq.

Wolastoq Song written by Sagatay (Gwen Bear).

Wolastoq Song performed by Samaqani Cocahq, Judie and Angee Acquin.

Mother Earth Song performed by Maggie Paul.

Ancestor Voice performed by Imelda Perley.

Finding Wolastoq Voice was developed in part through support received from Arts NB.