Date of Press Release: 10-07-2015
The UAS Juneau campus is the first stop for a statewide tour of the play, Assimilation. Five actors and Alaska Native playwright and storyteller Jack Dalton take the stage Friday, October 9 at 7 p.m. at the Egan Library. The ensemble is touring the play around Alaska with hopes of healing brutal history.
Set in a dystopian future, the play flips the script on the boarding school history that plagues indigenous people around the world. In “Assimilation”, the Natives are running the boarding school and the Whites are being assimilated into Native culture. The play premiered at Cyrano’s Theatre Company in Anchorage in 2010, and again at Out North Contemporary Art House in 2013 to sold-out performances and critical acclaim. Then Anchorage Daily News Arts Editor Mike Dunham called it “One of the most powerful pieces of locally written theater ever produced here.”
Alaska Natives who survived abuse at boarding schools have praised the play for telling the story of what happened to them without reopening the wounds. Strategies for healing will be shared to encourage communities to seek ways to move forward. The hope is the play will start a statewide dialogue to heal from this history.
“This is a history the entire state must address,” said playwright Jack Dalton. “Whether your family has been in Alaska for generations, or you moved here last week, this history affects us all, and we must all come to terms with it.”
Other confirmed dates and venues include October 13 at the Elders & Youth Conference; Denaina Center Anchorage, Hilton Anchorage Hotel, October 14-18, during AFN; the North Slope Healthy Living Summit, Barrow, October 21-23; UAF, Fairbanks, November 20-21 and Bunnell Street Art Center, Homer, November 27-28.