september 2022 | Volume 219


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Frozen River (nîkwatinsîpiy)
by Michaela Washburn, Joelle Peters & Carrie Costello
Manitoba Theatre for Young People
Carousel Theatre for Young People
Waterfront Theatre, Granville Island
Sept. 28-Oct. 16
From $18/$14 or 604-685-6217

Carousel Theatre for Young People Explores Reconciliation and Environmental Stewardship in West Coast Premiere of Frozen River

Play tackles important topics of Indigenous rights and conservation through intimate storytelling and captivating puppetry

Carousel Theatre for Young People (CYTP) opens its 2022/23 season with the West Coast premiere of Manitoba Theatre for Young People’s award-winning play Frozen River (nîkwatinsîpiy), at Granville Island’s Waterfront Theatre (1412 Cartwright St), from September 28 to October 16, 2022. A poignant and powerful play about reconciliation, environmentalism, and interconnectedness, Frozen River tackles meaningful issues through engaging storytelling, whimsical puppetry, and an age-appropriate narrative – suitable for children and youth of all ages (5+) – about the generational impact of our actions on the environment and our communities.

“We are delighted to open our season with Frozen River, which offers a beautiful portrayal of the complexity of relationships with nature, with animals, and with one another, through the perspective of two 11-year-olds who come from two very different worlds,” says Dave Deveau Co-Artistic and Managing Director of Carousel Theatre for Young People.

Adds Jennica Grienke, Co-Artistic and Managing Director of Carousel Theatre for Young People: “A vital story that spans centuries, Frozen River doesn’t shy away from asking important questions about the true meaning of reconciliation and how we can all play an active and hopeful role in honouring Indigenous reconciliation and protecting our environment.”

Set in a forest destined to become modern-day Manitoba, a compassionate narrator, Grandmother Moon, guides audiences through the story of two 11-year-olds, Wâpam, who is Cree, and Eilidh, who is Scottish. Born under the same blood moon, they form an instant kinship, despite their differences and lack of shared language. As Grandmother Moon shares their story, introducing terms from the maskeko-Ininiwak (Swampy Cree) language, we learn of a broken promise that leaves a lasting impact for generations. Jumping forward to present day, we meet two youth, descendants of Wâpam and Eilidh. Past wrongdoings are made right through an openness and curiosity to learn from those who have stewarded the waterways for centuries.

Hailed by Winnipeg Free Press as “timely” and full of “warmth and kindness,” Frozen River offers audiences a vulnerable and impactful look at what connects us to others, and how we can learn important life lessons from our ancestors. With moments of lighthearted whimsy, creatively enhanced through shadow and rod puppetry, and devastating heartbreak, Frozen River tackles mature concepts with gentleness and grace.

The play received its world premiere on Treaty 1 Territory (colonially known as Manitoba) in February 2022. Co-written by Michaela Washburn, Joelle Peters and Carrie Costello, the trio received the Playwrights Guild of Canada’s 2021 Sharon Enkin Plays for Young People Award.

Directed by Katie German, the play stars Krystle Pederson as Grandmother Moon, Keely McPeek as Wâpam and their descendant, and Mallory James as Eilidh and her descendant.

Language Keeper is Cameron Robertson, Sets and Props Designer is Andrew Moro, Costume Designer is Jay Havens, Lighting Designer is Dean Cowieson and Composer and Sound Designer is MJ Dandeneau.

CTYP gratefully acknowledges the premiere of Frozen River on the ancestral, traditional, and unceded territories of the Tsleil-Waututh, Squamish and Musqueam Nations.

Frozen River’s opening performance, which falls on the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation (Sept. 30), will kick off a series of community events, in partnership with CMHC Granville Island, the Vancouver International Children’s Festival, the Vancouver Writers Fest, the Vancouver Fringe Festival, and 3 Crows Productions. Included are a teachers’ talk, opening night celebrations featuring local Indigenous musicians and vendors, and a writing workshop for teens, among other events. For a full list of events, visit

Tickets and information at

About Carousel Theatre for Young People (
Carousel Theatre for Young People (est. 1976) empowers young people and families through playful, imaginative and accessible theatre experiences that develop emotional literacy. CTYP uses theatre arts to inspire, support and encourage the healthy development of young people in their journey to become healthy, confident, well rounded, compassionate human beings. We envision a community that empowers young people to be imaginative, expressive and engaged. We are the only company in BC that presents a season of professional local, national, and international plays for young audiences, commissions new works, mentors emerging artists in the field, and offers a robust drama school for ages 3 to 17.

CTYP creates and performs on the beautiful ancestral, traditional, and unceded territories of the Tsleil-Waututh, Squamish and Musqueam Nations. Located on Granville Island, we are a gathering place for artists and young people at the crossroads of imagination and possibility. Our commitment to artistic excellence has resulted in a strong reputation as Vancouver’s professional mainstage TYA company, a growing, loyal audience base, and numerous Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards, including seven nominations and four wins in 2022.

Dates & Times: September 28 to October 16, 2022
School Performances: Tuesdays-Thursdays, 10am & 1pm Friday, October 14, 11am only
Public Performances: Fridays, 7pm Saturdays & Sundays, 11am & 2pm (no performances Sunday, October 9)
Venue: Waterfront Theatre, 1412 Cartwright St.
Ticket Prices: From $18 ($14 for School Groups of 10 or more)
Ticket Link:




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