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Lakota Country Times: Native youth work on drama and filmmaking

The following article was written and reported by Tom Crash, Lakota Country Times Correspondent. For more news, subscribe to the Lakota Country Times today. All content © Lakota Country Times.

Chance Pettigrew, left, and Giovanni Bush performed in last year’s Pillowman. Both participated in a drama camp in North Dakota and will be the returning core of the drama program this year at Little Wound School on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota

Little Wound students attend drama, filmmaking camps
Summer’s not just for athletics
By Tom Crash
LCT Correspondent

KYLE – Dan Snethen, Little Wound high school instructor and oral interpretation / drama coach, came to Nunpa Theater Thursday evening to watch “Songs My Brothers Taught Me," film he acted in, as a high school teacher.

"We have three students doing a drama camp 15 miles north of Dunseith, North Dakota, on the Canadian border and three students doing a two week filmmaking course with actress Irene Bedard in Beavercreek, Ohio," stated Snethen.

“We were looking around and found an International Music Camp that had a section on drama; it went June 21-27," said Snethen who has been working with oral interpretation and drama students at Little Wound for the past 20 years. "I had three students who are our top drama students coming back, Malena Cross and Chance Pettigrew who will be seniors and Giovanni Bush who’ll be a sophomore. I took the proposal to the principal and she said sure I can sign off on that,”

“The students are going to get some training in drama," he said. "I never had any formal training, maybe I could even learn from these three students. Over the years, we’ve qualified only one one-act play for state. I’d like us to improve and be more competitive in drama this coming year.“

Irene Bedard, a respected Native actress, also was at the movie showing last Thursday at Nunpa Theater. During the filming of "Songs My Brothers Taught Me," in which she stars as Lisa, she learned about Cloud Horse Art Institute and their filmmaking grant and met some of the students.

Little Wound drama students, from left: Everett “Bubba” Wilson, Malena Cross (in costume for role in "Pillowman") and Carson O’Rourke.

An opportunity arose for Everett “Bubba” Wilson and Carson O’Rourke, who will be sophomores at Little Wound, and Skylar Cox, who will be a senior, when she wanted some students to work with her in doing a documentary film during the Five Rivers Chautauqua-Healing the Sacred Hoop in Beavercreek, Ohio running June 19-28.

“What an opportunity those three students have, working with a professional, Irene Bedard, and to get hands on experience working on a film,” said Snethen, “The Chautauqua includes Planting the White Pine of Peace, Sacred Sites Chautauqua-Voices of the Elders, Mending the Sacred Hoop-One World, OnePrayer, Footprint for Peace and Keeping the Traditions pow wow.”

Snethen will be back at Little Wound this fall. He expects somewhere between 20 and 25 students to participate in the oral interpretation / drama program at Little Wound.

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