Lowak Shoppala’ (Fire and Light)

Jerod Tate


Performance forces:
sop, bar, narrator — orchestra (3(2 picc).2.3(b cl).3(cbsn) – – timp, 3 perc, hp, pno, str) — children’s chorus



Lowak Shoppala’ is a work that expresses Chickasaw identity through the medium of modern classical music and theatre. The concept was inspired by Chickasaw author and Pulitzer Prize Finalist, Linda Hogan, and her poem entitled “Fire and Light.” Hogan composed an additional volume of poetry and narration for this production. Chickasaw artist and international award winner, Margaret Roach Wheeler, created costumes and stage designs. Chickasaw artist Dustin Mater created the graphic art. Original lighting design was by Choctaw artist, James Wallace and original choreography was by Cara Crawford. This production marks the first time in history that four Chickasaw artists have created a large-scale work for the stage. The work is in eight scenes and features orchestra, narration, children’s chorus, traditional Chickasaw and modern dancers, traditional Chickasaw and classical vocal soloists and Chickasaw storytellers. Each scene depicts a part of Chickasaw culture and history: SCENE 1: Fire and Light SCENE 2: Double Header SCENE 3: Shell Shaker SCENE 4: Clans Minko Bird Alligator Squirrel Skunk Panther Raccoon Minko (reprise) SCENE 5: Removal SCENE 6: Spider Brings Fire Video SCENE 7: Hymn Video SCENE 8: Double Header & Finale Scenes from Lowak Shoppala’ may also be performed as stand-alone works or in any combination.