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SHI to offer workshop to support performance in Tlingit language

Published On: March 26th, 2021

March 26, 2021

(Apply) (About the Artists

Sealaska Heritage will offer a two-day online “Singing/Acting in Tlingit Workshop” for Indigenous actors and singers to learn techniques to perform in the Tlingit language.

The workshop is part of SHI’s Virtual Artist in Residence series, which this month features Ed Littlefield, and will support a Tlingit opera under development by SHI and Juneau’s Perseverance Theatre. Auditions for the full opera production will be held at a later date.

SHI will host a live interview and Q&A with Littlefield at 5 pm, Friday, April 2, on its Facebook about his work as a composer of music for theater, drawing from his Tlingit musical heritage and composing for singing in the Tlingit language.

The weekend workshop is scheduled 1-3 pm Alaska Standard Time from April 10-11 and will be led by composer Ed Littlefield and feature theater veteran Vishal Vaidya, who will share acting and singing techniques that allow participants to sing with a full and open voice. Littlefield will teach Tlingit language basics and strengthen performers’ connection to text.

A total of 15-20 applicants will be accepted into the workshop (applications are for participation in the workshop and not for the full production). Performers from all disciplines are encouraged to participate, including dancers, musicians, actors, and storytellers. Fluency in the Tlingit language is not required. The application deadline is April 5. For more information contact Flordelino Lagundino at flordelino.lagundino@sealaska.com.  


About the Artists

Ed Littlefield Shaakindustóow is a Tlingit freelance percussionist, educator and composer based out of Seattle. He is Tlingit from Sitka, Alaska, and has released three albums featuring traditional Native melodies with the Native Jazz Quartet called Walking Between Worlds, NJQ: Stories and most recently NJQ: Southeast: Northwest. Littlefield has played K’alyaan in the premier of Battles of Fire and Water and written and performed an original score for Eurydice for Perseverance Theatre in Juneau, Alaska. He has done sound design and composition for the world premieres of Our Voices Will Be Heard and composition and cultural advising for They Don’t Talk Back at Native Voices at the Autry, La Jolla Playhouse and Perseverance Theatre. He was the composer and sound designer for Off the Rails at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and Sovereignty at Arena Stage. Most recently he was the composer and sound designer for Perseverance Theatre’s Devilfish and The Spirit of the Valley, and the music director for A Tlingit Christmas Carol.

Vishal Vaidya is a performer and voice teacher based in New York City. He made his Broadway debut as Larry the Cameraman in Groundhog Day. Other performing credits include New York City Center (Road Show, 1776), Prospect Theater (Einstein’s Dreams), Arena Stage, Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, Shakespeare Theatre Company, and dozens of musicals in development. Vaidya also has a robust private voice studio and has also taught for Rock The Audition, Indiana University, Sam Houston State, Levine Music, et cetera. He can be heard on Charlie Rosen’s “Come Hang,” Losing My Mind: A Sondheim Disco Fever Dream, and the cast album for Einstein’s Dreams. IG: @Vishgram Twitter: @TweetsbyVish


Sealaska Heritage Institute is a private nonprofit founded in 1980 to perpetuate and enhance Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian cultures of Southeast Alaska. Its goal is to promote cultural diversity and cross-cultural understanding through public services and events. SHI also conducts social scientific and public policy research that promotes Alaska Native arts, cultures, history and education statewide. The institute is governed by a Board of Trustees and guided by a Council of Traditional Scholars, a Native Artist Committee and a Southeast Regional Language Committee.

CONTACT: Amy Fletcher, SHI Media and Publications Director, 907.586.9116, amy.fletcher@sealaska.com.  

Photo: Teacher and composer Ed Littlefield leading a session of SHI’s performing arts program “Voices on the Land.” Photo by Lyndsey Brollini. Note: News outlets are welcome to use this image for coverage of this story. For a higher-resolution version, contact kathy.dye@sealaska.com.

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