Two men display friendship through theatre

Skyler Anderson and Pete Kytwayhat wrote a performance to be shown at the Globe Theatre. Photo by Morgan Esperance.

A new play at the Globe Theatre explores the friendship between two university students.

The workshop performance, “Wanisiniwin/kweski-pimatisiw” is written and performed by Skyler Anderson and Pete Kytwayhat.

The one-of-a-kind show “Wanisiniwin/kweski-pimatisiw” was written by Skyler Anderson, of Peepeekisis and George Gordon First Nation, and Pete Kytwayhat, of Makwa Sahgaiehcan First Nation Band. They are both students at the University of Regina; Anderson is taking theatre and Kytwayhat is in film and media production.

“Our play is about two guys that are friends,” said Anderson.

“It’s a lot about friendship, and it is a comedy. We poke fun at theatre. We really focus on what keeps our friendship strong, stories around our friendship and with serious parts spread throughout.”

The title is Cree. Wanisiniwin means “the act of losing one’s way or being lost,” and kwêski-pimâtisiw means “he changes his way of life.”

Anderson and Kytwayhat didn’t want to give away too much, but said the play will tell real stories they have experienced together and separate.

They said there will be funny stories, serious stories and personal stories.

“It’s basically a theatrical version of our everyday lives,” said Kytwayhat.

“It’s very personal, I would like to think that it’s compelling.”

Audience members will see only two actors on the stage. The production also involves voiceover from director, Jayden Pfeifer, and possible projection.

The idea of this story was born in summer 2018 but was only brought to life recently with the help of Pfeifer. Their non-traditional script was written in a matter of weeks. Anderson and Kytwayhat previously staged “Making Treaty 4” at the Globe Theatre in 2019.

“Making Treaty 4” was a re-enactment of the signing of Treaty 4 in 1874 by Chief Starblanket. This performance gave an insight of reconciliation, equality and a vision of the future.

Anderson, Kytwayhat and others worked with Ruth Smilie to create this large piece that was performed for three weeks. They say this story is more intimate and emotional.

“We wanted to do a two-man show that just the two of us could do, that if we wanted to, we could tour,” said Anderson.

Kytwayhat said it’s a complicated play and could not be re-enacted by others.

“It’ll be controlled improvisation,” said Anderson.

Anderson and Kytwayhat hope their performance removes “the thought of toxic masculinity.” Photo by Morgan Esperance.

Kytwayhat considers the play “not finished,” but as it is performed over time it could be completed. Both men are excited to perform and show their work.

Kytwayhat hopes the play raises interest in conventional theatre and brings light to what people could expect in larger theatre. He said their play is like a documentary theatre in a way.

Anderson hopes the audience will appreciate the performance and that everyone knows it is okay to be vulnerable.

“I hope they see our friendship and they use that to remove the thought of toxic masculinity, I hope the male audience takes away that it’s okay to love a guy without being ostracised for it,” said Anderson.

Both men say their performance will show it is okay to have conflict, resolve it and being vulnerable is healthy.

Tickets are available for purchase at the Globe Theatre, there is the option to “pay what you can.”

The performance runs from Thursday until Saturday at the Globe Theatre in Regina.

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