: Indigenous theatre practice from the North and South
Todd Houseman and Lady Vanessa Cardona created the show Whiteface to address the harms caused by cultural appropriation. Todd, who is a Cree of mixed blood and indigenous to amiskwaciy, and Lady, who is a mestiza Colombian indigenous to Cali, drew from their shared and differing experiences to write the show. They created a decolonial process of working together and an alliance that respects each other’s people and land.
Lady Vanessa, Caleña, Colombiana, is currently living in her homeland and visitor of Treaty 6 Territory, Amiswachiwaskahegan. She is committed to honouring the treaty by learning to understand it, observing the ways in which we are not honouring it at the moment and listening to the original people of this land on how to protect and take care of this home. She is a multi-disciplinary artist choosing to learn from as many mediums to get my messages across. She offers tools for self-healing, community engagement, community building and accountability. The 2018 'Canadian' Individual poetry slam champion, she is former youth mentor of "Newcomers are Lit”, playwright, author and performer of the play "Three Ladies" and co-creator of "Whiteface". She is also the founder of Sinergia, Fiesta y Resistencia and "Remix the Ritual"- A Hip Hop theatre collective. She is a daughter, a granddaughter, a sister, a lover, a niece, an auntie, a woman, a human, a future birth worker, a healer, a mentor, a student, an artist, a poet and a prophet always aiming to channel the message of love.
Todd Houseman is Apihtaw Nehiyaw (Cree mixed blood) actor, improviser, and writer from Amiskwaciy. His work focuses on decolonization by prioritizing indigenous narratives through satire, commentary, and traditional and contemporary storytelling. Todd is a recent graduate of the acting program at the National Theatre School of Canada where he attended as a mature student. He is the co-writer/producer/star (with Ben Gorodetsky) of the cultural comedy web series Folk Lordz, and the co-creator of the award winning play Whiteface (with Lady Vanessa Cardona). In his free time, he enjoys building masks, forging knives, or being in the forests of western Alberta.