By Taran Kootenhayoo
A new play by Taran Kootenhayoo, White Noise is a comedy about two Canadian families who have dinner together for the first time during the Truth and Reconciliation week, White Noise explores what it means to live in Canada from two different paradigms. How do we deal with internalized racism? Do we keep pushing it away and pretend to live safely in our day-to-day?
White noise is the sound you hear until something real happens.
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Taran ‘Standing Sunrise’ Jerry Kootenhayoo was proud to be Denesuline and Stoney Nakota. Born in Cold Lake, Alberta, and a member of the Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation. Taran was like water flowing between many different mediums and disciplines.
First and foremost he was a storyteller, and all of his passions filled a big basket that he shared with us. He was an activist standing up for Indigenous rights, weaving his activism and art because he cared about the land and the people. He was an actor and had the gift of captivating an audience by understanding his body’s movement and truth to the words he said; he was a poet and spoken word artist.
That was a place where he could bring his activism, humour, and powerful voice to life; he was a skateboarder, which was also a considerable part of his film creation. He was a transformer. He was a director. He was a writer. He wrote for the screen and stage. He was a fantastic dancer and had style – the poster boy of Indigenous fashion. He had a popular meme page.
Taran was cool in whatever he was involved in. He could steal the show, but he was always generous in his offerings as a person and performer. He just made things better.
ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR & SOUND DESIGNER
Sam Bob as Deneyu
Columpa Bobb as Tse’kwi
Braiden Houle as Windwalker
Mike Wasko as Jason Manning
Anita Wittenberg as Ashley Manning
Anais West as Jessika Manning
ASSISTANT STAGE MANAGER
PRE-PRODUCTION TECHNICAL DIRECTOR
GNW Scene Shop
White Noise was originally commissioned by Savage Society and developed in collaboration with Playwrights Theatre Centre and The Anvil Centre.
April 2022 – World Premiere at Firehall Arts Centre
March 2019 – Workshop presentation at the Anvil Centre in New Westminster and the Talking Stick Festival in Vancouver.
Dramaturg: Kathleen Flaherty
Company: Sam Bob, Braiden Houle, Mariel Belanger, Pippa Mackie, Craig Erickson, Anita Witttenberg, Jan Hodgson, Tai Amy Grauman
2019 – Rubaboo Festival, Edmonton
Artists: Lindsay Lachance, Barry Bilinsky, Gloria Okeynan, Lancelot Knight, Theo Auigbelle, Amber Borotsik, Jesse Gervais, Melanie Bahniuk
January 2018 – Reading and the Massey Theater Skookum Series
Artists: Eden Fine Day, Samantha Pelkey, Michael Kruse Dahl, Chelsea Rose-Tucker, Anais West, Latisha Wadhams Pelkey, Deneh’ Cho Thompson, Anita Wittenberg.
December 2017 – Wright Space Residency with Playwrights Theater Centre, Vancouver
Dramaturg: Linsdsay Lachance
Company: Kerriann Cardinal, Mitcholos Touchie, Deneh’Cho Thompson, Anais West, David Mott, Jennifer Lines, Paulo Ribeiro
November 2017 – Workshop at Weesageechak, Native Earth Performing Arts Society, Toronto
Dramaturg: Aaron Jan
Company: Brefny Caribou, Brandon Oakes, Cheri Maracle, Danik McAfee, Tyler Sloane, Kaitlynn Tomaselli