A play at the Evergreen Brick Works not only entertained an all-ages audience but also delivered a powerful reminder about the land on which they were enjoying it.
Written by and starring Lisa Hamalainen, the family-oriented There is No Word For Wilderness , performed Oct. 3 and 4, delivered a potent message: Do not take the environment for granted.
“It’s about not seeing nature as a resource, but seeing it as energy and spirit,” Hamalainen said.
It also provided a lesson on Indigenous culture and heritage.
Prior to the play’s start, an acknowledgment was made of the Indigenous land upon which Evergreen stands. The story centres on a woman who is lost in the forest but befriends animals along the way in order to gain clarity.
Annie Vandenberg, program manager at Evergreen, thinks the play was a success.
“I’d like to see something like this in elementary schools,” she said.
The most powerful part of the evening took place after the play ended, when Shelba Deer, a friend of Hamalainen, led an Anishinaabe teaching.
Held around a fire, it provided a lesson about the land and spirituality, which included the audience participating in a traditional smudging ceremony and an offering to Shkagamik-Kwe, or Mother Earth.