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THE MUSH HOLE: ACKNOWLEDGING THE TRUTH ABOUT CANADA’S FIRST RESIDENTIAL SCHOOL

THE MUSH HOLE: ACKNOWLEDGING THE TRUTH ABOUT CANADA’S FIRST RESIDENTIAL SCHOOL

Created by multi-disciplinary artist and choreographer Santee Smith, and performed by Kaha:wi Dance Theatre, The Mush Hole features an all-Indigenous cast 

April 5, 2022 – OTTAWA (Canada) – From April 13 to 16, the National Arts Centre (NAC) Indigenous Theatre brings The Mush Hole to the stage, a story that weaves through the traumatic memories and celebrates the resilience of two generations of Survivors of the Mohawk Institute Residential School.

The Mohawk Institute – nicknamed the Mush Hole by students because of the sticky porridge they were served there – is the oldest residential school in Canada, after which all others were modelled. It operated in Brantford, Ontario, from 1828 to 1970, and served as an industrial boarding school for First Nations children from Six Nations and other communities throughout Ontario and Quebec. After closing in 1970, it reopened in 1972 as the Woodland Cultural Centre.

Visceral performances by an all-Indigenous cast, the cinematic imagery and the musical score will catapult audiences into the bricks and mortar of the school.

“The Mush Hole is a story about hope and finding light in dark places, as much as it speaks to intergenerational trauma, it screams resilience. Every single element represented on stage comes from survivors sharing their experiences with us.”

Santee Smith, Managing Artistic Director of Kaha:wi Dance Theatre

PRODUCTION CREDITS

Creator/Producer/Director/Performer: Santee Smith

Tour remount: Kaha:wi Dance Theatre

Advisors: Geronimo Henry, Thohahoken Michael Doxtater, Roberta Hill

Performers: Jonathan Fisher, Julianne Blackbird, Montana Summers, Raelyn Metcalfe

Composition/Arrangement: Jesse Zubot

Additional Composition: Adrian Dion Harjo

Songs: “Find My May,” commissioned remix by Nick Sherman; “The Storm” by Iskwe

Set/Original Lighting Designer: Andy Moro

Production Tour Manager/Tour Lighting Designer: Evan Sandham

Costume Designer: Adriana Fulop, Santee Smith, Leigh Smith

Production Support/Videographer: Shane Powless

Tour Stage Manager: Senjuti Sarker

Production Support: Woodland Cultural Centre, Thru the RedDoor, Art Gallery of Guelph, The Socrates Project - McMaster University

Company support: Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council, Toronto Arts Council

 

PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE

 

Regular Performances: Wednesday April 13 to Friday April 15, 8 pm

Saturday April 16, 2 pm

Student Matinee: April 13 and 14th, 11am

In-person panel discussion: Friday April 15 at 2pm

Tickets: Starting at $25
All My Relations $15 – Indigenous Theatre is committed to welcoming the Indigenous community at the NAC. The $15 All My Relations ticket is available to all self-identifying members of the Indigenous community throughout the Indigenous Theatre season.

To purchase tickets, visit Ticketmaster to purchase tickets online or call 1-888-991-2787 (ARTS). In-person purchases at the NAC Box Office are suspended until further notice. 

As health and safety regulations continue to evolve, we want you to feel as comfortable as possible before you return to the NAC. Please visit nac-cna.ca/visit to find out what you need to know before accessing the building and facilities. 

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