Theatre

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Alanis King: Three Plays
Authors:
Alanis King
Format: Paperback

This long—awaited first collection by playwright and director Alanis King presents three exciting plays interconnected by themes of hope: spiritual (If Jesus Met Nanabush), personal (The Tommy Prince Story) and cultural (Born Buffalo).
When Jesus turns up at the Champion of Champions Pow—Wow, the first person he meets is Nanabush. Together they form an odd pair. Nanabush is earthy, irascible, fun—loving. Jesus is formal, introverted, a fish out of water. However, as they venture across the back roads, bars and bus depots of Turtle Island, the two will discover that they are not so different after all.

Merging Native and Western traditions, If Jesus Met Nanabush is a thought—provoking and often hilarious cosmological First Contact story. The Tommy Prince Story an emotionally charged drama that brings to light the incredible life and times of the great Saulteaux warrior. As Drew Hayden Taylor concluded: "This is Alanis at her finest." The final play is the lively Born Buffalo which will take the reader back into the mystical age of the buffalo alongside fraternal twins magically transformed into bison.

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$22.95

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Crees in the Caribbean
Authors:
Drew Hayden Taylor
Content Territory: Cree
Format: Paperback
A heartwarming comedy about two middle-aged First Nations seniors, Evie and Cecil, on their very first trip out of the country. Evie and Cecil reminisce and bicker as they review a lifetime together.

CECIL
So, what exactly are we going to do now that we’re here in Mexico?

EVIE
I’m so glad you asked. Supposedly there are some ancient Mayan ruins somewhere in the interior, not far from here. I thought that might be interesting.

CECIL
If you want to look at an ancient, broken-down, Indian ruin, we can go visit your cousin.


Evie and Cecil are celebrating their thirty-fifth wedding anniversary. As a gift, their grown children send them on a second honeymoon – to a fabulous resort on the Caribbean coast of Mexico. The only problem is that neither have ever been out of the country, let alone off their Cree reservation. Each reacts to their new experiences differently, and something ominous seems to be bothering Cecil. Despite the sun, sand, and sea sparkling right outside the resort window, all Cecil seems to want to do is sit alone in his hotel room, idly flipping through TV channels, the curtains pulled tight. What is he worried about? Maybe there is more behind this trip than he has been told. The past, present, and future all pay the couple a visit as they acclimatize to the pleasures of Mexico –and spicy food. Mixed up in all the fun is their hotel housekeeper, Manuela. As they form a bond with this courteous young local, they help her navigate some of the troublesome situations in which she finds herself.

Cast of 1 man and 2 women.

Review
"The play is packed with wit and humour, but also packs an emotional punch. At the heart of Crees in the Caribbean is a commentary on the universality of human experiences from culture to culture; it shows that people from all parts of the world can share similar stories and experiences."
The Argus

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128 pages | 5.50" x 8.50"
Authentic Canadian Content
$18.95

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From the Heart: How 100 Canadians Created an Unconventional Theatre Performance about Reconciliation
Authors:
Will Weigler
Format: Paperback
From the Heart - How 100 Canadians Created an Unconventional Theatre Performance about Reconciliation

Over the summer of 2013, a group of over one hundred community members from 16 to 88 years old took part in an unconventional theatre production in Victoria BC. From the Heart: enter into the journey of reconciliation was performed in a beautiful 14,000 sq. ft. indoor labyrinth made from salvaged doors and windows, trees, and hundreds of metres of fabric, all lit by paper lantern lights. In the alcoves and chambers of the labyrinth, the audience encountered songs, scenes, and shadow theatre performances created by our ensemble of non-Indigenous Canadians to tell the transformative stories that have deepened our understanding about the lived experience of Indigenous peoples in Canada. We created the show to encourage dialogue about what it might mean for non-Indigenous people to take responsibility for learning more about our own history as a first step toward standing in solidarity with First Nations, Métis, and Inuit people.

This book tells the story of how the show was developed and what it was like in performance. For those with an interest in reconciliation, From the Heart offers a gripping example of how theatre can contribute to public dialogue in a creative and vital way. Community groups will be able to use the book as a model to create their own unique production of From the Heart based on the pilot project.
$24.00

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God and the Indian
Authors:
Drew Hayden Taylor
Format: Paperback
While panhandling outside a coffee shop, Johnny, a Cree woman who lives on the streets, is shocked to recognize a face from her childhood, which was spent in a residential school. Desperate to hear the man acknowledge the terrible abuse he inflicted on her and other children at the school, Johnny follows Anglican bishop George King to his office to confront him.

Inside King’s office, Johnny’s memories are fluid, shifting, and her voice cracks with raw emotion. Is the bishop actually guilty of what she claims, or has her ability to recollect been altered by poverty, abuse, and starvation experienced on the streets? Can her memories be trusted? Who is responsible for what?

At its core, God and the Indian, by celebrated Aboriginal playwright Drew Hayden Taylor, explores the complex process of healing through dialogue. Loosely based on Death and the Maiden by Chilean playwright Ariel Dorfman, the play identifies the ambiguities that frame past traumatic events. Against the backdrop of Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which has facilitated the recent outpouring of stories from residential school survivors across the country, the play explores what is possible when the abused meets the abuser and is given a free forum for expression.
$17.95

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Gordon Winter
Authors:
Kenneth T. Williams
Format: Paperback
Gordon Winter is an RCMP hero, a life-long champion of First Nations rights, and a bigot. He's challenging the next generation of chiefs to stand up to the federal government when he spews a Nazi-inspired racist and homophobic rant. Suddenly, one of the most revered First Nations leaders is now one of the most reviled human beings in Canada. While most want to consign Winter to the dustbin of history, some are quick to defend a man who did so much good in his life. Questions get asked: how should society respond to such outrageous comments from a prominent and public figure? Is it right to condemn a man based on just one moment of his life? Where did these convictions come from?

The play moves forward in following Winter as he fights the criminal charge of inciting hate. It also moves backwards to show why Queen Elizabeth II pinned a medal of bravery onto his chest in the 70s, and to a critical moment in his childhood when the seeds of hate were planted by a small act of kindness.
$14.95

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Nicimos: The Final Rez Christmas Story
Content Territory: Cree
Format: Paperback

This Christmas season, things have gone awry for the kohkoms of Kiwetinohk. Clare Bear is engaged to be married, Zula Merasty is moving off-reserve and Sihkos Sinclare is in jail. It all comes to fruition at Clare's stagette. Nicimos is dedicated to the memory of Lacy Morin-Desjarlais.

Reviews
“Nicimos means sweetheart in Cree and that’s what this play is. A warm-hearted sweetheart with depth and charm and a great sense of humour. The final installment of the Rez Christmas series finds Saskatchewan Native Theatre Company director-writer Curtis Peeteetuce in outstanding form. His words are a gift to the actors and his generosity is reciprocated by incredibly satisfying performances. There’s more here than just a play, you realize. It’s an example of the power of theatre to unite, heal and humanize by appealing to First Nations audiences and the broader community.” – Saskatoon Star Phoenix

Educator Information
This book may be useful for courses in English language arts, creative writing, and performance arts for grades 11 to 12 students, as well as for students at a college/university level.

Caution: references to sexual and alcohol abuse and some Indigenous stereotypes.

Additional Information
72 pages | 5.50" x 8.50"

 

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$15.95

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Reckoning
Content Territory: Indigenous Canadian
Format: Paperback

Reckoning is a triptych of three short plays: Witness is a dance-movement piece featuring a Truth and Reconciliation Commissioner who unravels as he confronts the brutal testimony of residential school survivors; in Daughter, the daughter of a teacher who was accused of rape seduces her father's accuser; and Survivor is a solo piece about a man preparing to commit suicide as a protest against the insufficiencies of the reconciliation process.

Agonizing, poignant, theatrical, hilarious, and true, Reckoning illuminates the difficulties of trying to come to terms with our country's painful past.

Educator Information
Recommended for grade 11 and 12 students for courses in performance arts, language arts, and English.  Also useful for college and university courses in these areas.

Caution: explicit language and discussion of sexual and physical abuse.

Additional Information
66 pages | 5.00" x 8.00"

 

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$15.95

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Return to the Land of the Head Hunters: Edward S. Curtis, the Kwakwaka'wakw, and the Making of Modern Cinema
Authors:
Aaron Glass
Bill Holm
Brad Evans
Format: Hardcover
The first silent feature film with an "all Indian" cast and a surviving original orchestral score, Edward Curtis's 1914 In the Land of the Head Hunters was a landmark of early cinema. Influential but often neglected in historical accounts, this spectacular melodrama was an intercultural product of Curtis's encounter and collaboration with the Kwakwaka'wakw of British Columbia.

In recognition of the film's centennial, and alongside the release of a restored version, Return to the Land of the Head Hunters brings together leading anthropologists, Native American authorities, artists, musicians, literary scholars, and film historians to reassess the film and its legacy. The volume offers unique Kwakwaka'wakw perspectives on the film, accounts of its production and subsequent circulation, and evaluations of its depictions of cultural practice.Like his photographs, Curtis's motion picture was meant to document a supposedly vanishing race. But as this collection shows, the film is not simply an artifact of colonialist nostalgia. Resituated within film history and informed by a legacy of Kwakwaka'wakw participation and response, the movie offers dynamic evidence of ongoing cultural survival and transformation under shared conditions of modernity. Brad Evans is an associate professor of English at Rutgers University. Aaron Glass is an assistant professor of Anthropology at the Bard Graduate Center.

Brad Evans is an associate professor of English at Rutgers University. Aaron Glass is an assistant professor of Anthropology at the Bard Graduate Center.
$57.95

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Sir John A: Acts of a Gentrified Ojibway Rebellion
Authors:
Drew Hayden Taylor
Content Territory: Anishinaabeg, Ojibway
Format: Paperback

An uproariously funny and sharply inquisitive new play from one of Canada’s leading Indigenous playwrights, Sir John A: Acts of a Gentrified Ojibway Rebellion explores the possibility of reconciliation between Peoples and urgently questions past and contemporary forms of Canadian colonialism. Taylor’s twenty-seventh play, Sir John A’s characters include Canada’s infamous first Prime Minister, red-nosed and pompous, full of patriarchal contempt for those “strange and perplexing Indians,” and his contemporary accusers: two Ojibway men and a soul-searching white woman. 

Bobby Rabbit, Sir John A’s irked, Anishinaabe main character, in a fit of anger and revenge, convinces his friend Hugh to accompany him on a “sojourn of justice”: to dig up Sir John A. Macdonald’s bones and hold them for ransom. Decades before, a medicine pouch belonging to Bobby’s grandfather was taken away by the staff of the residential school where he was detained. The precious object was sent to a British Museum exhibition room for conservation – and now Bobby wants it repatriated. Along the way the pair pick up Anya, a young, bright, and opinionated woman fleeing a bad breakup, with conflicting ideas about Sir John A’s place in Canadian history. Not to be left out of the argument, Canada’s first Prime Minister, broadcasting live from nineteenth-century Ottawa, shows up with opinions of his own. 

Sir John A: Acts of a Gentrified Ojibway Rebellion is a powerful satire, a creative debate about the past violences of colonial racism and the as yet untested potentiality of restoring harmony between Peoples in Canada. A contemporary classic by Taylor!

Additional Information
128 pages | 5.50" x 8.50"

Authentic Canadian Content
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$17.95

Coming Soon
Thanks for Giving
Authors:
Kevin Loring
Content Territory: Indigenous Canadian
Format: Paperback

Kevin Loring is one of Canada's most promising young Indigenous playwrights.

Nan's family is home for Thanksgiving, but some unsolicited truths are about to be dropped at the dinner table. Old wounds and new realities collide, and sibling rivalry is stoked, but the enduring spirit that guides this family charges on, ever fierce. Thanks for Giving offers plenty to chew on. This intimate and restorative new play from Governor General's Literary Award winner Kevin Loring, the first ever Artistic Director of Indigenous Theatre at the National Arts Centre of Canada, is about legacy - the legacy of our personal and collective histories, and a family's legacy as it moves into an age where the assumptions of the old ways surrender to new possibilities. But if the play's main course is legacy, the dessert is pumpkin pie. Tuck in!

Reviews
"Loring has a lot to say - about colonialism, reconciliation, residential schools, intergenerational trauma and its contemporary effects, but also about the rich, matriarchal First Nations culture, Indigenous respect for the land, the need for new perspectives on history." - Globe and Mail

Additional Information
128 pages | 5.50" x 8.50"

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$16.95

Coming Soon
The (Post) Mistress
Canada’s most famous Aboriginal playwright, Tomson Highway, sets his latest theatrical achievement, The (Post) Mistress, in a not-so-distant past, when sending letters through the mail was still vital to communicating with friends and loved ones, and the small-town post office was often the only connection to faraway places longed-for or imagined.

Born and raised in Lovely, Ontario, a small French-Canadian farming village near Lake Huron, Marie-Louise Painchaud has never had occasion to venture much farther than the nearest community – Complexity, a copper-mining town and a somewhat larger dot on the map of the Georgia Bay area. For thirty years, Marie-Louise has worked at the local post office, and, through the many letters she sorts when they arrive and the ones that she stamps before they go out, she has come to know the lives of everyone in town and vicariously experience their various loves, losses, and personal dramas.

In this one-woman musical tour de force, Marie-Louise confides in us the interwoven stories sealed in the envelopes she handles every day. A samba beat offers the soundtrack for the tale of a local woman’s passion- ate but doomed affair with a man from Rio de Janeiro; a rhythmic tango plays as Marie-Louise divulges a friend’s steamy tryst in Argentina. All together, twelve unique musical pieces, ranging from Berlin cabaret to French café chanson to smooth bossa nova, accompany a multilingual French, Cree, and English libretto.

In The (Post) Mistress, Tomson Highway creates not only a rural comedy but also a sublime parody of small-town life – the northern Ontario version of Thornton Wilder’s Our Town or Stephen Leacock’s Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town.

Cast of 1 woman.
$8.50

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The Incredible Adventures of Mary Jane Mosquito
Artists:
Sue Todd
Content Territory: Cree
Format: Hardcover
Timely, Fun, Challenging and Wise!
Tomson Highway's musical cabaret, The Incredible Adventures of Mary Jane Mosquito, couldn't be more vividly presented unless you were sitting in the middle seat of the front row watching the Cree playwright, performer, musician and poet himself. The story of a wingless little mosquito from Manitoba has all the whimsy and wise humour any audience could ask for.
The ageless theme of a misfit, who finds her voice through song and who learns to make friends by communicating directly with her audience, is a timely treat for anyone who has felt like an outsider, dealt with bullying, moved to a new place, or was different from the rest of the pack.
The entire script is here, complete with song lyrics, stage directions, Cree vocabulary, and challenging tongue twisters to delight all ages. A perfect book for drama students, teachers, and theatre enthusiasts, this beautiful full—colour volume serves as an interactive read—aloud for the young, or a great way to introduce students to the joys of staging a musical production.
$24.95

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Where the Blood Mixes
Authors:
Kevin Loring
Format: Paperback

Irreverently funny and brutally honest Governor General's Award-winning play about loss and redemption. Cast of 2 women and 4 men.

 
Where the Blood Mixes is meant to expose the shadows below the surface of the author's First Nations heritage, and to celebrate its survivors. Though torn down years ago, the memories of their Residential School still live deep inside the hearts of those who spent their childhoods there. For some, like Floyd, the legacy of that trauma has been passed down through families for generations. But what is the greater story, what lies untold beneath Floyd's alcoholism, under the pain and isolation of the play's maincharacter? Loring's title was inspired by the mistranslation of the N'lakap'mux (Thompson) place name Kumsheen. For years, it was believed to mean "the place where the rivers meet"-the confluence of the muddy Fraser and the brilliant blue Thompson Rivers. A more accurate translation is: "the place inside the heart where the blood mixes." But Kumsheen also refers to a story: Coyote was disemboweled there, along a great cliff in an epic battle with a giant shape-shifting being that could transform the world with its powers-to this day his intestines can still be seen strewn along the granite walls. In his rage the transformer tore Coyote apart and scattered his body across the nation, his heart landing in the place where the rivers meet. Floyd is a man who has lost everyone he holds most dear. Now after more than two decades, his daughter Christine returns home to confront her father. Set during the salmon run, Where the Blood Mixes takes us to the bottom of the river, to the heart of a People. In 2009 Where the Blood Mixes won the Jessie Richardson Award for Outstanding Original Script; the Sydney J. Risk Prize for Outstanding Original Script by an Emerging Playwright; and most recently the Governor General's Literary Award for Drama.



$16.95

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