Julie Burelle

Category: Creative work (page 1 of 2)

Native Voices at the Autry

Do you know about the Native Voices at the Autry Festival of New Plays? You should! Co-founded by Randy Reinholz (Choctaw) and Jean Bruce Scott, this festival has been nurturing the voices of new Indigenous playwrights for two decades now. See some of their work here: https://theautry.org/native-voices/theatre-native-voices

Last spring, I served as dramaturg for Too Damn Proud by Justin Neal (Squamish) during the retreat at the Autry in Los Angeles. See an interview with Justin here: http://nativevoices.blogspot.com/2015/05/meet-playwright-justin-neal.html

Justin’s play is funny and heartbreaking, capturing the journey toward healing of two siblings united by a tragic loss. The actors that have been part of Native Voices for the last 20 years are top-notch, Here is a photo taken after the staged reading held at the Autry. The other reading took place at the La Jolla Playhouse (LJP) on the same day that LJP resident artist BD Wong held a gathering with members of the San Diego Native American communities to see how the Playhouse could better serve and support Native American theatre and performance. I met Miss Ami Admire of the Rincon Youth Storytellers and writer Gordon Johnston at this meeting. More on our future collaborations soon!

Staged Reading at UCSD

The students of my TDHT101 Native American Performance class spent the quarter studying plays and performances by First Nations artists from Canada and the US like Marie Clements, Tomson Highway, Shirley Cheechoo, Spiderwoman Theatre, Monique Mojica, Yvette Nolan, and Randy Reinholz. They also examined the work of visual artist Nadia Myre, of hip hop artists Samian and Shauit, of the DJs A Tribe Called Red. They watched short films by the Wapikoni Mobile, met with Jennifer Bobiwash to talk about her youtube channel called Welcome to the Tipi, had the chance to chat with Randi Reinholz… It was a full quarter! The class culminated with a staged reading of Preston Arrow-weed’s play Provocation: A Deadly Game.  In his play, Mr. Arrow-weed creates an encounter outside of time, held in a mystical courtroom, between Joe Homer, a Quechan leader, and the perpetrators of what has been recorded in the archives as the Glanton Massacre. That Horsehair, the Quechan leader, killed John J. Glanton and his gang is undisputed in Mr. Arrow-weed’s play. Instead, the play meditates on the reasons that pushed Horsehair to end Glanton’s reign of terror on the Colorado River. The play seeks to provide another version of the events that took place in 1850 near what is now Fort Yuma.

Working with The Trip

Check out the photos of The Trip’s adaptation of Orpheus and Eurydice, written and directed by Tom Dugdale, and performed last December at the Molli and Arthur Wagner Theatre in San Diego. I worked as a dramaturg with Tom on this production which was nominated for a Craig Noel Award. The Trip is a young theatre company in San Diego and seeing their work always reminds me of why I love theatre so much, that it can still be urgent, community-based, serious but not serious, profound…I love how Tom revisits myths that are larger than life and infuses them with a quotidian form of intimacy. His adaptation of Alcestis, entitled We Only Live Once, was recently performed at the MStudio Movement Theatre in Romania (check out photos here: http://www.tomdugdale.net/we-only-live-once.html)


Dee(a)r Spine

There is nothing I love more than accompanying an artist on a journey of exploration and discovery. Sam Mitchell is a current MFA student in the Dance-Theatre program at UCSD and working with him on his piece Dee(a)r Spine has been an immense pleasure. The piece, which he developed with musician Tommy Babin was presented last week as part of WinterWorks’ 14 along with the beautiful work of his colleague Lisa J. Frank. Dee(a)r Spine is Sam’s very personal exploration and re-interpretation of the Yaqui Deer Dance. Being a Yaqui who did not grow up close to the Yaqui culture, Sam has felt a great need to explore and connect with the culture of his parents and this particular piece is a moved and moving meditation on genealogy, connection to the land, repatriation, and all that exists under our feet as we walk this earth.

Photos by Jim Carmody.

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New Theatre touring in San Diego Schools

Last fall, I had the great pleasure of collaborating with fantastic playwright Kristin Idaszak , Professor Judy Bauerlein at CalState San Marcos and her students in the Theatre Department. Idaszak penned two fantastic new plays –Captain Becca the Feared Buccaneer and Rosy-Fingered Dawn and the Winged-Sandals- two ludic and thought-provoking adaptations of Greek myths for young audiences. The two plays were performed by Judy’s students and toured San Diego schools where they were met by enthusiastic audiences. I created a pedagogical guide and a series of exercises for school teachers.


I recently acted as a dramaturgical consultant for Québékoisie, a documentary film by Mélanie Carrier and Olivier Higgins of MÖfilms on the relationship between Québécois and the 11 First Nations of what is now known as the province of Québec.

The film has just been released and is garnering excellent reviews. It was awarded the Magnus Isaacson Award at Les Rencontres Internationales du Documentaire de Montréal.

Québékoisie- trailer

Poster design: Simon Beaudry

Stage Combat: Titus Andronicus

I choreographed the stage combat sequences for what is perhaps Shakespeare’s bloodiest play.

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The Rest is Silence

An experimental and experiential dance theatre performance inspired by the death scenes of Shakespearian heroines and directed by Janet Hayatshahi. Performers: Emily Aust, Jane Blount, Julie Burelle, Christine Herde, Lily Kelting, Regan Linton, Larissa Lury, and Heather Ramey. Presented in February 2012 at the Mandell Weiss Theatre in La Jolla California.

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Class Ick! de Cons Truck Ted

A re-examination, re-configuration, re-interpretation, de/re-hydration, illumination, exhumation, and contamination of what we think we might know about the story of Agamemnon.

System Sweeping Tangent

A three-hour installation performance; a container for questions, nothingness, lineage, and choreography through bodies in relationship to time.

Copyright © 2018 Julie Burelle

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