Secwépemc storyteller stars in virtual theatre festival

Performance poster for Chris Bose’s Why Coyote No Longer Wears Moccasin’s. Retrieved from The Remergence Festival website.

Chris Bose grew up in Kamloops and has been a performer his whole life, inspired by his grandparents’ stories and specifically his grandfather’s humorous style of telling them.

Bose will be performing Why Coyote No Longer Wears Moccasins in the Western Canada Theatre and Chimera Theatre’s Remergence Festival which runs online from May 5 to May 15.

Why Coyote No Longer Wears Moccasins will be performed live by Bose Thursday, May 6 at 7 p.m., Wednesday, May 12 at 7 p.m. and tickets can be purchased by clicking the respective dates.

A free matiné show is also available on Saturday, May 8 at 2:30 p.m. and tickets can be obtained online by clicking this link.

Bose’s entertaining performance (a teaser of the play is embedded in the article) is meant to leave a lasting impression on the audience while educating them with traditional teachings and stories his grandparents inspired him with.

“I found humour is a really good way [of entertaining] and making people laugh while you’re sort of slyly teaching them something about the land and the language, it’s easier for people to grasp,” explained Bose. 

“My grandfather was a really funny guy, he had a good sense of humour and he liked to make people laugh and smile. He was really animated and I would help [my grandparents] sometimes by participating in some of their stories when they travelled to other communities to tell stories.”

Bose said the stories he shares and meanings behind the performances can sometimes have multiple layers, where they teach principles but can simultaneously include information like where to find water or certain kinds of food, or where to go for ceremonies, vision quests or fasting.

“Part of the storytelling [has] something for everyone to learn, but then sometimes it’s also teaching about where we get certain things. They can include community stuff or teaching parables for kids to learn to not be a jerk like in Why Coyote No Longer Wears Moccasins,” he explained.    

He said the most important part is that storytelling ultimately acknowledges the land, brings the language and the songs and the food to not just this generation, but future generations too.

“We’ve always been gathering food here and we’ve always been finding water here. So I think it’s important to acknowledge where we are, what we’ve done and who we are. Storytelling is a good way to do all of this in a subtle way, it’s a good way to engage people about the land.”

While Bose will only be sharing and performing the one story at The Remergence Festival, you can also catch him later this month in Soundings, a five part exhibition presented by the Kamloops Symphony Orchestra and Kamloops Art Gallery where he will be performing in a musical piece with Raven Chacon. More information on Soundings can be found by clicking here.

To find out more about The Remergence Festival, click here or, to find some of Bose’s other work, find him on Youtube by clicking here.

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