Our Audience Responds

Our Audience Responds

Ruth PackardRuth PackardCook / Katie John Mentasta Lake School

“I wanted to tell you how much your visit meant to these beautiful kids. They spoke of you all afternoon, and most went home dancing. Dancing for their futures, dancing in their hearts.”

Liana Charley JohnLiana Charley JohnExecutive Director / Ahtna Heritage Foundation

“I am always looking for ways to use the rich heritage of our elders to help our youth. The story of this play opened up the discussion of some issues that are very hard to address and gave people permission to talk about them. In that way, I think it brought our youth and elders together and will have an impact.” 

Michelle Bayless JacksonMichelle Bayless JacksonTribal Administrator / Native Village of Kluti-Kaah

“I believe The Winter Bear Project had a lasting and positive impact. I myself was reluctant to watch it, fearing it would stir up a lot of unwanted emotions…[but] this project made the sadness approachable; it made it “ok” to talk about it in a very non-threatening, respectful way.” 

Audience MemberAudience MemberHooper Bay

“Quyana, thank you for coming to Hooper Bay- we have a lot of hurting people and I hope this play has shed some light in their lives.”

Audience MemberAudience MemberHooper Bay

“[The Winter Bear] told me to take action and keep at it until they make a choice to live.” 

Student LeaderStudent LeaderHooper Bay

“Because I am a student leader, [The Winter Bear] made me know I can help more people.” 

Audience MemberAudience MemberBethel

“I will speak the truth and tell my story more.”

Audience MemberAudience MemberHooper Bay

“We are who we are and we cannot be replaced.”

Audience MemberAudience MemberEmmonak

“I have been thinking about suicide myself and been needing someone to talk to but nobody would talk to me about anything. Sometimes it feels like nobody cares at all. Thank you so much for coming I have realized how much people care about me, love me, and need me. Quyanna Ceknak!!!”

Audience MemberAudience MemberBethel

“This is so worth seeing. I couldn't take my eyes off the stage I was so drawn in to the story. All you Bethel folks especially the young teens should see this wonderful production.”

Audience MemberAudience MemberAnchorage

"I believe this play not only helps with understanding suicide, but helps us better understand native culture and how Elders can help youth."

Audience Member, Age 15Audience Member, Age 15Anchorage

"It was funny and made me have hope to save someone’s life.”

Lizbeth MeredithLizbeth MeredithMcLaughlin Youth Center, Anchorage

"Our youth were captivated by the fine acting, the compelling story, and gorgeous stage set and costumes. Many of the residents related to the story that addressed both suicide and hope, and one girl asked how soon they could see another play by the performers.I highly recommend Winter Bear be supported in their efforts to bring their message to Alaskans everywhere."

Audience Member, Age 14Audience Member, Age 14Bethel

"I saw the play when it came to Bethel last year. I was just as moved watching it a second time. It goes to show how well you're presenting your message to the audience. I hope you continue what you're doing and that it starts a movement to end suicide."

Language Arts TeacherLanguage Arts TeacherBethel

"I haven't seen smiles like that in months."

Audience Member, Age 15Audience Member, Age 15Aniak

"It really helped me thinking about who loves me. I'm going through a tough time right now and was questioning my life. This helped a lot! Thank you!"

Audience MemberAudience MemberNikolai

"The Winter Bear play got me so interested. When Act #1 ended, I couldn't wait for Act #2 to start. Lots of our elders and folks in our community enjoyed your play."

Alice BioffAlice BioffKawerak & Nome Arts Council

"I was nervous about the subject matter of suicide and drug abuse (in The Winter Bear play), but it was done in a way that was respectful, relevant and meaningful with a focus on looking to our elders for support and advice. Great night of performance art."

Audience MemberAudience MemberNikolai

"...The play was very educational for us kids. Showing alcohol is never the answer. Showing you could get help for suicide...Good to tell us kids to get an education...knowing it was [based on] a true story shows how strong some of us Natives are."

Darlene TrittDarlene TrittKawerak and member of Nome City School Board

“I had the best discussion I ever had with my teenage son after The Winter Bear play.”

“That was a good play. I’m glad you brought it to Nome.”