A play about the trials and triumphs of a La Ronge Indigenous woman premieres virtually this weekend.

Wanita Singing Bird’s Spirit World is based on the true-life story of Lac La Ronge Indian Band member Adele Cook who overcame both addiction and violence to become a community leader.

The play is being put on by the Gordon Tootoosis Nikaniwin Theatre in Saskatoon.

Spirit World chronicles a number of events in Cook’s life from growing up on the trap line to battling addiction and contracting HIV.

A random act of violence shakes her to the core and tests Cook’s very being.

“What makes it such a great story is these characters are very relatable,” GTNT Circle of Voices alumnus April Rogers, who plays Cook in the production, said.  “Everyone knows someone who has been in a serious accident, who has had HIV, who has lost a child, who has been through the rehabilitation process of healing, conquering their demons and getting sober.”

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the artistic team had to do its rehearsals mainly via Zoom and partnered with Sightline Productions for filming.

Rogers said what is an emotional play was made more challenging by the fact the actors did not have the benefit of a live audience.

“It was so serious and yet so funny. There was some dialogue that if it was a sold-out house, the crowd would be laughing so hard. It was hard sometimes when we would do the funny scenes and you’d hear crickets.”

Spirit World runs Friday through Sunday beginning at 7 p.m. each night.

It is available on GTNT’s Facebook and YouTube pages free of charge.

For more information, go to the Gordon Tootoosis Nikaniwin Theatre website.

(PHOTO: Courtesy Cory Dallas Standing/Gordon Tootoosis Nikaniwin Theatre.)