Announcing Nakai's Landscape Theatre Residency Year 1!

July 10, 2019

Kicking off its 40th season, Nakai is taking it outside – onto a stage of unimaginable possibility.

In pursuit of “Theatre that can only be made here,” Yukon’s Nakai Theatre is launching an ambitious new program this summer that asks, “What is the theatre that matches the scale of our landscape?”

This first year of a multi-year project includes community build nights (July 24 and 31) at Yukonstruct’s Makespace, hosting Outdoor Theatre Workshops for Youth with Kwanlin Dün First Nation Youth Recreation (August 7-9) and the inaugural Landscape Theatre Residency (August 15-25) at the Yukon College - Cold Climate Innovation wing in NorthLight Innovation, the Yukon Arts Centre and a range of outdoor sites around Whitehorse and Carcross.

Learning on the land is a key element – three days will be spent working at Fish Lake with local youth in partnership with Kwanlin Dün First Nation. The residency cohort will also stay overnight at Conrad Campground outside Carcross, as well as take various day trips to sites around Whitehorse.

The residency brings together artists, performers, and academics from across Canada and the territory to learn, share, and prototype the potential for theatre in the landscape of the Yukon and the role digital immersive technologies might play in it.

Participants include Yukon artists and researchers Nicole Bauberger (visual and all-around artist,, Heather Steinhagen (visual and community based artist and educator,, Véronique Lachance (immersive and devised theatre artist and educator,, Brian Fidler (theatre artist and host of Theatre in the Bush, Ramshackle Theatre ), Aimée Dawn Robinson (dancer, choreographer and educator, Trace Dance Practice), Jayden Soroka (Digital media creator, Outpost 31) and Suzanne de la Barre (Researcher and educator, Vancouver Island University,  International Polar Tourism Research Network).

Joining them will be visiting collaborators Cole Lewis (playwright, director and educator, Guilty by Association, Simon Fraser University), Bruce Barton (dramaturge, researcher and educator, University of Calgary), Helen Yung (designer, researcher and consultant,, and Brandy Leary (dancer, choreographer and organizer, Anandam Dancetheatre).

They’ll be joined by a documentation crew including Kerry Barber, Gabriel Bullen and Thomas Bullen.

For the public

Contribute and Get Involved!

For a full list activities and times, check out or find us on Facebook or Instagram

Donations needed for giant puppets and the like! 

We need your ripped tents, your stray poles, that old metal framed backpack, the 3’ or longer lengths of PVC from the pile out back and that high-visibility shirt that you never wear! Click here for a list. Drop off at Makespace 4-6 Tuesday July 16th, or get in touch and we’ll arrange a pass off. FACEBOOK


Want to help build big puppets, sew giant flags or make some stilts? We will be getting together at Yukonstruct’s Makespace on Wednesday July 24 and July 31 to assemble prototypes for the residency. FACEBOOK / WEBSITE LINK 


There are a few spots left in Aimée Dawn Robinson’s Trace Dance Practice workshop on the afternoons of August 16 & 18. The rest of the residency cohort will be there too! More details and to register:

Learn and Meet!

Join us at NorthLight Innovation August 15 & 23 for public conversations with residency participants and other Yukon artists and creators. 

New partnerships

Cool big things only happen when people get together and all pitch in. Nakai is humbled by the relationships we’re making in this project, and we look forward to making more.

Nakai and NorthLight Innovation team up

As NorthLight Innovation’s “Theatre in Residence,” Nakai will be found variously through July and August hosting community build workshops for stilt and puppets in the Makerspace, having spirited co-design sessions with residency participants in the Yukon College - Cold Climate Innovation wing of the building, as well as hosting two engaging public events in Yukonstruct’s Northwestel Event Space.

On the partnership between NorthLight and Nakai, Nakai Artistic Director Jacob Zimmer says,

“I’m thrilled with this partnership and hope it’s the first of many with NorthLight. The collaborative ‘do it together’ spirit of Yukonstruct and Cospace excited me when I first arrived in Whitehorse. Cold Climate Innovation’s work on innovation and technology in the northern context is a centre of excellence that’s only getting started. As the new building inspired me with its potential, I’ve lurked around, hoping to find ways of working together, and the Landscape residency was the perfect opportunity – a mix of physical, digital and collaboration that could only happen here.”

Kwanlin Dun First Nation Youth Recreation and Nakai
Collaborate on Youth Workshops

Big puppets in big spaces – land, water and sky. We’ll use the landscape as an inspiration and as a stage for play and storytelling with Kwanlin Dün First Nation youth. Each day we’ll learn and play together to co-create with puppets, objects and the landscape. 

Outdoor Theatre and Learning on the Land. August 7, 8, 9

We’re thrilled to be working with KDFN to bring together land based learning from elders and creative play at the scale of the landscape. Outdoor theatre facilitated by Véronique Lachance and Jacob Zimmer in partnership with Kwanlin Dün First Nation Youth Recreation.



With over 40 years of theatre creation in the territory, Nakai has a history of presenting site-specific shows and performing in Yukon campgrounds and parks. Currently we are creating an annual activity that embraces and celebrates the complex and multifaceted realities of land, story and culture – facilitating uncommon connections to the landscapes around us through art and performance. For more about Nakai, click here.

Project Funders

Community Development Fund, Yukon Government Department of Economic Development; and The Hamber Foundation

Local Partners
Kwanlin Dün First Nation Youth Recreation; NorthLight Innovation (Yukonstruct’s Cospace and Makespace and Cold Climate Innovation); Outpost31; Yukon Arts Centre through the @YAC Residency

Local Sponsors
Air North; Alpine Bakery; Driving Force; Home Hardware; Midnight Sun Coffee Roaster; Wykes' Your Independent Grocer; Save On Foods; Real Canadian Superstore

Academic Connections
Simon Fraser University; University of Calgary; Vancouver Island University/World Leisure Centre of Excellence; Yukon College

Supporters of Nakai’s Annual Activity
Yukon Arts Operating Fund, Yukon Government Department of Tourism and Culture; Canada Council for the Arts; Lotteries Yukon; and Department of Canadian Heritage.

Jacob Zimmer