Monday, June 27, 2011

Our Day!

If you’ve ever wondered whether or not theatre in a business environment can work, let me assure you… it can!

Native Earth was welcomed into the Ontario Power Generation Native Circle’s National Aboriginal Day Celebration yesterday to communicate sensitivity in the work place. The celebration opened with an introduction from the wonderful David Harney, a prayer from  Bill Woodworth of Six Nations, kind words from John Murphy, and a beautiful opening song by the incredibly talented Rosary Spence.

The show,  titled Win-Talkers (written by Craig Lauzon and Tara Beagan), is a satirical look at "sensitivity training" in the workplace. The premise is that OPG has brought in a facilitator to instruct non-Caucasians on how to better understand their "Visible Majority" co-worker. It starts with a highly entertaining intro  by  Aloysius (yes, spelled with a “y”) played by Isaac Thomas. He begins by shedding light on Canada’s not - so - sunny past in its relations with the First Nations, and graciously introduces his seminar “Win-Talkers: Speaking with Sensitivity”. A crowd pleaser by the name of Marianne  (played by Michaela Washburn)  is soon after stirred out of her seat  in the auditorium by the subject matter. She snags the spotlight for as long as she can. Kurt,  (AKA Kent, Kristy or Klurp) played by Craig Lauzon, is summoned to the stage to reenact his experience with insensitivity with a fellow co-worker deemed a “Non-Sensi-talker”. Through some  reluctant role-play, a dispute at a printing centre line -up  is explored by Kurt (AKA Kent, Kristy, or Klurp) played by Craig Lauzon and the big bully Stuart played by Jeremy Proulx.   

Using great chemistry on stage and constant humour, the characters teach the audience how they to can become Win-Talkers  - primarily by never assuming one's make-up by one's appearance. 

Everyone was treated to some lovely venison and rice, with a refreshing strawberry beverage , all  provided by Council Fire.  

On the whole, Native Earth felt very welcome in  OPG's corporate domain, and have been invited back! 

-contributed by Richael Laking

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