Pawakan Macbeth, a terrifying journey through love and betrayal

Set in Cree Territory in the 1870s

Pawakan Macbeth makes its only Saskatchewan stop at the Dekker Centre for the Performing Arts on Wednesday, Feb. 12.

Using traditional storytelling and contemporary theatre magic, Indigenous playwright Reneltta Arluk has re-imagined Macbeth in Cree Territory in the 1870s.

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Pawakan Macbeth is presented as part of the Dekker Centre’s professional presenting series, but the organization is also working with the Battlefords Agency of Tribal Chiefs to bring members of surrounding Indigenous communities to come to see the performance.

For tickets or more information visit, or phone the Dekker Centre Box Office at 306-445-7700.

This take over sets Pawâkan Macbeth in Cree territory in 1870s Alberta, with the cannibal spirit, Wihtiko.

Pawâkan Macbeth happens before the numbered treaties were signed, when Plains Cree were allied with Stoney Nakoda, and at war with Blackfoot over territory, food, supplies and trade. The Canadian Government was making its way west with Sir John A. MacDonald as its leader.

Harsh environments brought immense fear, starvation and uncertainty together to awaken the darkest of Cree spirits, the Wihtiko – a being with an insatiable greed. Through the exploration of Cree language, history, stories and cosmology Arluk asks, what is it to be human? What makes a human vulnerable to the Wihtiko?

Inspired by working with the youth of Frog Lake First Nation, and shared stories from Elders in the Treaty 6 region, Arluk has created a terrifying journey through love, greed, honour and betrayal, with coyote howlers teaching that resurgence requires balance.

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