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Since incorporating in 1991 in Regina, this small professional theatre company has produced an impressive variety of artistic performance, much of it touring beyond Saskatchewan. 

Burning Sun continues to develop entertaining Saskatchewan shows – dramas, musicals and “horse operas” -- as demand grows for such “local” cultural production. We also want to explore the limits of touring theatre, in the tradition of B.C.’s Caravan Theatre and the Chatauqua tent shows. Our interest is in fresh and barbeque-flavoured family entertainment, featuring the history and art of Saskatchewan: cowboy mythology, first nations culture, a contemporary “real west” show staged in parks, corrals, arbours, community halls, and prairie hilltops – but as much as possible in the old Chatauqua tradition – outdoors and live, with livestock where possible.

1991: Gone the Burning Sun, award-winning drama about Dr. Norman Bethune, opened in Whitehorse, Yukon, directed by Gerald Lenton-Young.  It toured the Yukon, and went on to theatres in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Ontario, and British Columbia, as well as internationally (with GFAIT assistance) in Scotland, Ireland, India, China, and Korea, until 1994. 
View>> 'A Cultural Ambassador in China' pdf

1996: This Train, a two-act drama set in rural Saskatchewan, went on a Saskatchewan OSAC tour as well as to the Saskatoon Fringe, directed by Ken Mitchell.  It was recorded by CBC Radio.

2000-2005: Cowboy Poetry, a folk art presentation, opened in fall, 2003 at the Royal Saskatchewan Museum, and toured Alberta and Saskatchewan, with a varying band of participants including brothers Ken and Slim Mitchell, the centenarian cowboy Bill Gomersall, and singer-songwriter Phyllis Wheaton of Calgary.  Venues included Regina Folk Festival, Pincher Creek Cowboy Poetry Gathering, Chinook Regional Library system, Fort Qu’Appelle Arts Festival and Canadian Western Agribition.  


2005: Wanted:  Bill Gomersall and the Mitchell Boys, a CD

recorded at Talking Dog Studio, and launched on Bill Gomersall’s 100th birthday, preceding a provincial tour by the legendary Spring Valley cowboy.  This was the first presentation of Mitchell’s widely published poem “Spook”.  (photo of DVD)

2006–2008:  No Ordinary Cowboy, a musical drama about Bill Gomersall by Ken and Slim Mitchell (music by Phyllis Wheaton), was first presented in 2006 at the Unitarian Theatre in Regina, a year after Bill’s death at 101. Directed by Gerald Lenton-Young, it went on to theatres in Saskatoon, Pincher Creek, Stony Plain, Calgary, and many points between, mostly in rural Saskatchewan. Venues included Moose Jaw Cultural Centre, Saville Theatre at Ravenscrag, Coronach Outlaw Days, Calgary Stampede, The Lyric Theatre in Swift Current, and the Prince of Wales in Assiniboia. It was invited to the Shanghai International Theatre Festival in 2008.

2008: A Classic Cowboy Christmas, a seasonal special featuring the entire Mitchell family of Moose Jaw, performed by brothers Don, Slim, Gord and Ken, along with friends, spouses, in-laws, outlaws, hangers-on, and deserving musicians.  Opened at the Moose Jaw Cultural Centre in December 2008, with another performance in the Lashburn Sask., Community Hall.  Dinner theatre set in a one-room country-school concert, complete with medieval carols and folk dancing, a cowboy nativity scene, and grandma’s shortbread cookies.  Now titled A Very Prairie Christmas!  it will be presented at the RSM theatre in Regina as a Christmas special in December, 2010.

2009: Spirits of the Trail, an outdoor historical drama about Sitting Bull and NWMP inspector James Walsh.  This production was a condensed touring version of The Medicine Line, a historical epic produced by Moose Jaw Cultural Centre in 2007 (with a cast of 30 actors and 11 horses).  It was funded by the Sask. Dept of Culture and commercial sponsors.  Our outdoor “horse opera” opened July 1in Wood Mountain, and toured for five weeks through south-west Saskatchewan as the feature act in Celebration of the Trail, a touring festival created by Saskatchewan Rural History and Culture Association.  Each full-day presentation began with a ride into town on horseback by the actors and as many local riders as could be included.  We were celebrating the history of the NWMP trail, also known as Everett Baker’s Trail, and concluded each evening with a campfire concert featuring aboriginal performers, musical artists and story-tellers. 

Saskatchewan Rural History and Culture Association website



Posters/promos from previous productions: