Indigenous comedy show “Come ‘N Get Your Auntie” to be presented at the Winnipeg Comedy Festival
IndigE-girl Comedy’s newest production is set to hit the stage at the Winnipeg Comedy Festival this weekend.
Entitled Come ‘N Get Your Auntie, the lineup features five Indigenous female and two-spirited voice actors: Heather Bjorklund, Joyce Delaronde (playing the character of Skinny Kookoo), Jo MacDonald, Sherry Mckay and Shelby Tobacco, each performing a series of approximately ten minutes at the Gas Station Art Center in Winnipeg. Issa Kixen is the host of the program.
“It’s a very comfortable work group and a comfortable environment where there’s not a lot of pressure,” Delaronde said in an interview with Windspeaker.com. “We kind of support each other.”
The show is part of the Winnipeg Comedy Festival, which runs until May 9. Come ‘N Get Your Auntie takes the stage at 2 p.m. Central on Saturday, May 7. Tickets are around $25 for the in-person, live version of the event.
For Delaronde, she is thrilled to have the opportunity to launch the show.
“We all have a different type of humor,” Delaronde said. “We definitely have a variety of native humor. And a lot of it, some of it is indigenous and some of it is just general humor.
Her Skinny Kookoo character has been played mostly in online videos on various social media platforms.
“My family always asked me why I created this character and I finally realized that this character was more about me, if anything, because growing up for me there was a lot of racism and I didn’t didn’t feel like I could actually be Indigenous,” she said. “I had to create the character of Joyce to live in this world. So I feel like I connect a lot with the character too and I can really be more authentic.
In turn, Delaronde said those same family members helped inspire the character and the comedy that came with it.
“I draw my humor from my family, my cousins, my aunts, my kookoos, my grandmothers,” she said. “Because there are many times when we just sit around the kitchen table and giggle for two hours straight about absolutely nothing. We were able to laugh at our own traumas and misfortunes. As if we could take the least funny thing and laugh about it.
Delaronde said she turned to acting as her children grew up to explore her creativity.
“I could always find native men doing comedy. But not many women. So I’m super excited to do something artistic,” Delaronde added. “Most of my life has been spent taking care of my children. And now that they’ve grown up, I have the opportunity to do something artistic, which I’ve never done.
Delaronde said she enjoyed the opportunity to meet the other performers and learn from their work.
“A lot of the funniest stories come from the Indigenous women in my family, and it’s just their ability to tell a story, to draw it, to be animated, to laugh,” she said. “So I’m very excited to see more Indigenous women pursuing acting.”
In particular, Delaronde sees the show as important to Shelby Tobacco, who travels to the show from Moose Lake in northern Manitoba. Delaronde herself is from Duck Bay.
“There aren’t as many opportunities in northern and remote communities,” Delaronde said. “I’m also excited because we have a northerner because I’ve lived in northern Manitoba for most of my life. [The organizers] are also ready to take down Shelby, so it’s very inclusive.
Debbie Courchene, Artistic Director of IndigE-girl Comedy and owner of Miskoway Productions. “Very often, Aboriginal identity reaches the public through the prism of residential schools and colonialism. In this show, we want to share the joy, laughter and humor that has always been part of the Indigenous way of life,” she said in a statement.
“We created this showcase to break down barriers for Indigenous comedians to access and practice their comedic vocabulary,” added Courchene. “By engaging with a range of established, emerging and aspiring comedians, we hope to create a supportive community that will encourage Indigenous and LGBTQA2S women to advance their artistic practices in comedy.
Tickets for the show are available here: https://www.ticketweb.ca/event/indige-girl-comedy-gas-station-arts-centre-tickets/11893065
By Adam Laskaris, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Windspeaker.com, Windspeaker.com