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Traditional Menominee Pageant “Waupau” to be Staged August 1


July 10, 2018 – The College of the Menominee Nation’s theater department invites the public to witness a traditional Menominee Pageant in the Woodland Bowl at sunset on Wednesday, August 1. CMN faculty member Ryan Winn directs for the third consecutive year, with Melinda Cook also returning as stage manager.


This 2018 production will be “Waupau,” which was originally produce by James Frechette in 1959 with James Frechette, Jr., serving as director. Set in the 1700s, the script depicts interactions between the Menominee and French and British settlers. The 1959 audience included tourists attending the Keshena Fair, and the pageant’s message implored spectators to consider the perspective of the Menominee People.


Courtesy of the Wisconsin Historical Society, the pageant program will include images and the provenance for the medal the British presented to Menominee Chief Tomow in 1778, an act that is depicted within the show.


Menominee Pageants are a mixture of pantomiming, live music, and dancing. This means that the show’s oration will be recorded, enhanced with sound effects, and then performed with the actors speaking their lines along with the recorded track. The pageants also served as an exhibition of dances. As was the case in the past, all dancers are welcome to join the production, but should check-in with the lead dancer, Jamie Awonohopay, prior to the show.


The production is made possible through a grant from the Wisconsin Art’s Board and donations from CMN, the Menominee Powwow Committee, and other area businesses and individuals.


The pageant will begin at dusk in the Woodland Bowl, which is located on Fairgrounds Road in Keshena. The show runs around two hours, with an intermission where food and beverages will be sold by local vendors. The pageant is perfect for all ages. Admission is free, but any donations received will be used to fund next summer’s production.