The Adventure of Young Turtle

Young Turtle, stuck between land and sea, feels they will never belong. After getting separated from their family, they meet all sorts of creatures: a butch shark, a genderfluid clownfish, a perpetually frightened eel, and many more. They teach Young Turtle important lessons about identity, being true to yourself, and the strength of community. With these new friends, Young Turtle navigates the vast and uncertain ocean to find their way home.

The Adventure of Young Turtle is a queer- and trans-led musical for young audiences that incorporates large-scale puppetry, original music, and big questions about forging your identity’s path.

Recommended Age


What Is the Inspiration For Your Piece?

Like the ocean, we know there are limitless possibilities of genders and expressions. And like the ocean, genders beyond the binary have been around forever. The creatures that Young Turtle encounters on their adventure are specifically selected because of the way they disrupt colonial conceptions of gender. We are curious about how nature and these non-human entities can teach us about queerness, adaptation, and the importance of community. In doing so, we hope to show gender-diverse, trans, and questioning youth that a life of celebration is possible and waiting for them – and that all of us can find wonder and inspiration in the many differences that make us unique.

What Point In Process Is Your Piece At? (What stage of growth is your piece at, sapling, sprout, tree, shrub, whatever you feel)

This play is a sapling, ready to hopefully grow into a big strong tree with deep roots and a leafy canopy. Our presentation at Expanse Festival is the first time this piece has been staged for an audience. The show has been developed over the past 3 years by a team of prairies queers passionate about making work for the next generation. We can’t wait to share this work with audiences at Expanse Festival.

Approximate or Estimated Duration:
60 minutes

Warnings or Content Advisories
Moments of darkness
Themes & depictions of bullying

Artist Credits:

Created by – S.E. Grummett
Music by – Rae Spoon & Ruaridh MacDonald
With Original Songs by – Alyssa Billingsley, Mitchell Larson, Katie Moore & Tiffany Thomas
Ensemble – Ali Deregt, Émanuel Dubbeldam, Oli Guselle & Logan Stefura
Director – Jay Northcott
Dramaturg – Yvette Nolan
Music Director – Ruaridh MacDonald
Stage Manager – Jalisa Gonie
Puppet Builders – Ali Deregt, S.E. Grummett, Rowan Pantel & Monica Ila
Set Design – Even Gilchrist
Lighting Design – Amberlin Hsu
Sound Designer – Sam Kruger
Costume Design – Logan Martin-Arcand
Technical Director – Frances Girard
Producer – Mac Brock

Special thanks to:

University of Saskatchewan, Persephone Theatre ,Sum Theatre,Quest Theatre, The Old Trout Puppet Workshop, Conrad Belau, Jamie Tognazzini, Whittyn Jason, Canada Council for the Arts and Saskatchewan Arts Board.

Described Performances and ASL Available for select performances

Check out Expanse’s Accessibility Here