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'Heart and intellect'
Akpik Theatre presents latest theatre production

Nicole Garbutt
Northern News Services
Published Friday, March 15, 2013

Organizers of the latest Akpik Theatre Production invite audiences to explore a dreamworld at the Snow Castle next week.

NNSL photo/graphic

Phoebe Vlassis rehearses for Within/Without in the old Ron's Auto warehouse on Woolgar Ave. The Akpik Theatre production is scheduled to run at the Snow Castle at 8 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday. - Nicole Garbutt/NNSL photo

Within/Without is a one-act-play featuring two female characters within a dream, although one is more aware of the fact she is in a surreal environment.

Former Yellowknife artist Reneltta Arluk, originally from Fort Smith, is the owner of Akpik Theatre and one of the two actors involved. She describes the performance as physical theatre.

"The show is physical theatre based on performance art but it has a clear beginning, middle and end," she said.

Within/Without relies heavily on its physical movements with the script and dialogue taking a back seat. It unfolds in movements and minimal dialogue that supports the story on stage.

"It is a dreamscape. The play explores themes of night terrors and weariness of the heart. From there we build," said co-director German Saravanja during a rehearsal earlier this week. "There is a lot of duality explored in it, a woman who comes undone in her dream world and the two extremes of her personality come up against each other. The duality is the separation of heart and intellect."

Saravanja, raised in Yellowknife but currently living in Toronto, is collaborating with Arluk and actor Phoebe Vlassis, from Greece.

Arluk and Vlassis met in Greece a number of years ago and reconnected in Vancouver, where they both now live.

"I work in theatre but I am not often on stage, I would say I am still an emerging artist, this is the perfect opportunity for me to try new things," Vlassis said.

Arluk said this is more than a work-shopped production. It stands alone but is also the seed of something that could develop further, she said.

"It is beautiful and tight-running. There will be two actors but it has the ability to add a number of more bodies to it," Saravanja said. "It is a template to build on."

The set and props for Within/Without are minimal.

"It is continuous action from the beginning to end," he said. "We will only be using a couple of props, but in a way we could do it with just the two actors."

Arluk put together the costumes for the show, including long white skirts that have a flow to them.

"It is visually very beautiful, people will feel impacted," Saravanja said.

Within/Without goes up at the Snow Castle on Yellowknife Bay on March 19 and 20 starting at 8 p.m. sharp. The play is scheduled to run for approximately 50 minutes.

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