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Young people sought for Oneheart musical

OneHeart in the Park

Young people from the Kainai First Nations and Cardston area are writing a musical that will be performed in Fort Macleod when it’s finished. The project, called Oneheart in the Park 2011, held its first workshop at the Civic Centre in Cardston on Friday, Sept. 10 with Kainai musician, singer and hoop dancer Jerry First Charger teaching the art of improv.

About 20 children attended.
The musical in the making is a social inclusion project created by Shinah House – a non-profit organization whose logo is Growing Wellness Together – with funding from the Human Rights Education and Multiculturalism Fund.
The young people involved will decide what the musical will be about, and with the help of local mentors will write its script and songs, and even direct it.
“Basically it will be on the subject of seeing people as people, or as some would say, to be of Oneheart,” Shinah House president Sharon Unger said. “We’re going to study great musicals with the youth, and also discuss peace building and leadership principles. The youth will take what they learn and write a musical that will share with their communities how we can be more socially inclusive and less judgmental . . . and celebrate each other’s diversity.”
As co-ordinator of the Oneheart project, Unger is inviting young people aged 11 to 21 years from Kainai First Nations or the town or county of Cardston to get involved. Young people from Fort Macleod and area are also invited if they’re willing to make the commitment.
“If there was a youth who was willing to come to all the Friday workshops for the whole school year and they lived outside of the areas mentioned we would still welcome them,” Unger said. “This is a social inclusion project. Cardston may be a little bit of a hike (from Fort Macleod) but hey, if they’re willing to come we can make room.”
Everyone who comes will be included in the making of the musical somehow or other, Unger said.
“This Oneheart project does not require you to be an actor, dancer or singer,” Unger said. “You can learn, or there will be loads of different ways to participate from costume and prop design to tech and lighting. Or if you just like to enjoy the company of great people then that’s okay too. An audience is always good.”
Unger is also looking for people who are willing to volunteer their time or their talents.
“We’ll need help with transportation and advertising,” Unger explained. “We’re also looking for those with experience in the areas of music and script writing, dance, lighting, costume design, sewing, and art of painting for our props.”
When completed the musical will take to the road.
“The exciting final chapter of the project is the youth will take the musical on the road during the summer of 2011,” Unger said. “We’re planning on July 1 at Cardston’s Party in the Park celebration, Magrath Days, either the Stand Off Rodeo or Indian Days – that’s still to be confirmed and we’re still working on what will work best for Fort Macleod. We want to pick already busy established community events to increase our audience size and also benefit the community’s program.”
Once the musical is written Shinah House will put out a casting announcement for the musical’s actual performers.
“We’ll be looking for youth and children from the area of Kainai and Cardston,” Unger said. “We won’t leave anyone out, we’ll just make a second cast if necessary and have one cast do two performances and then the other do the other two.”
Workshop sessions will be held Fridays from 1:30-3:30 p.m. at various venues in Cardston and on the Kainai reserve.

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