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Grubstake Remix is a unique cinema hybrid that crosses between the worlds of performance documentary and narrative fiction. The actors and musicians perform live with the original silent film in a redux where the on-screen characters are speaking and thinking in Shakespearean English and French.

The original 1923 silent film The Grub-Stake is a 'Northwoods melodrama' written, produced by and starring Canadian cinema icon, Nell Shipman. A young woman [Faith] goes north to the Klondike to seek her fortune only to be deceived and manipulated in a world of men. When Faith discovers that she has been brought to Dawson City to be sold into prostitution by the man who has promised to marry her, she escapes into the bush with a team of sled dogs, her ailing father, and a half-wit prospector where she will lead a fight against her wrongful suitor and his henchmen.

Director's Statement
Grubstake Remix began as a live touring show featuring five musicians and six actors. It may be thought of as a layering of archetypes, juxtaposing the language of the silent film screen with the even older language of Shakespeare. A contemporary music score provides a third-eye layer serving as a sort of glue, binding the elements together.

What emerges is a wonderfully upbeat and intricate parallel text. The Shakespearean dialogue – extracts from numerous plays - washes over us, at times literal, at other times providing an oblique counterpoint. The audience is lulled into sharing that liminal state between film and live theatre.

The result is imbued with humour and irony, but is never cynical or jaded. Grubstake Remix remains true to the original story, and respectful of the original works. For Shakespeare buffs it is a testament to the Bard’s enduring relevance. For silent film fans it gives new life to a long ago gem of the silent screen.
- Daniel Janke

Daniel Janke

Sarah Moore – Faith Diggs
Aaron Janke – Jeb, Shopkeeper
Celia McBride – Klondike Kate, Wong
Dave Haddock – Father, Boss
James McCullough – Malamute Mike
Roy Ness - Leroy
Eric Epstein – Mountie

Jesse Zubot – violin
Peggy Lee – cello
Andrea McColeman – percussion
Jordy Walker – guitar, banjo
Daniel Janke – piano / composer

Andrew Connors
Daniel Janke

Nell Shipman papers, Boise State University, Albertsons Library, Special Collections and Archives

Nell Shipman papers, Boise State University, Albertsons Library, Special Collections and Archives

Nell Shipman
Canadian-born actress, writer, producer and animal trainer Nell Shipman was best known for her portrayals of strong, adventurous women, with many of her productions being filmed in Canada. Born: October 25, 1892, Victoria, BC, Canada. Died: January 23, 1970, Cabazon, California, USA.

More information

Homepage photo credits:
Nell Shipman papers, Boise State University,
Albertsons Library, Special Collections and Archives


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