Theatre

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Alanis King: Three Plays
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Anishinaabeg;
Grade Levels: 8; 9; 10; 11; 12; University/College;

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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An Anthology of Canadian Native Literature 4th Edition
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian;

This collection presents writing in English by Canadian Native authors featuring prose selections, traditional songs, short stories, plays, poems and essays, showing a complexity and rich wealth of this culture.

Twenty years after the publication of its groundbreaking first edition, this collection continues to provide the most comprehensive coverage of Canadian Native literature available in one volume. Emphasizing the importance of the oral tradition, the anthology offers a diverse selection of songs, short stories, poems, plays, letters, and essays crafted by exceptional writers from First Nation, Inuit, and Metis communities across Canada.

Reviews
"This textbook is indispensable to teachers and students of Native literature in Canada." --Allison Hargreaves, University of British Columbia, Okanagan Campus

"This text is very much the gold standard of anthologies of contemporary Indigenous literatures in Canada. . . .Excellent new introduction by Armand Garnet Ruffo - the highlight of the new edition." --Daniel Heath Justice, University of Toronto

Educator Information
Grades 10/11 English First Peoples resource for various units.

Note: Some works in this anthology contain mature and challenging material that may not be suitable for all students.  Only specific works identified in English First Peoples units are recommended for classroom use.

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688 pages | 6.00" x 9.00"

Please NoteThis item could take 2-3 weeks for delivery, as it is a special order item.

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$125.00

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Copper Thunderbird
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Anishinaabeg; Ojibway;
Grade Levels: University/College;

Copper Thunderbird is a play on canvases based on the life of Norval Morrisseau. Inside the power-lines which Morrisseau boldly defined in his art were the colours he experienced between his Ojibwa cosmology, his life on the street, and his spiritual and philosophical transformations to become the Father of Contemporary Native Art and a Grand Shaman. Appearing simultaneously in this multi-layered drama as a small boy, a young warrior and an old man, Morrisseau confronts his many selves over the Faustian destiny he encountered during his vision quest—a momentary terror that led to a life wracked by both triumph and ordeal, drawing his vibrant colours, both luminous and dark, from the life-force within him.

Norval Morrisseau is notorious for the life he has led, the company he has kept, the wives, lovers, parasitic drinking buddies and abusive family members he has had and passed through as if they were merely insubstantial phantoms. The paintings he has sold to buy another bottle of alcohol, to get through another brutal day, hang in galleries around the world, a phenomenon Morrisseau himself simply took for granted. Framed variously with the identities of Indian, Artist and Shaman, Copper Thunderbird interrogates both the stereotypes and the politically correct judgments that have manufactured Morrisseau’s public personae, creating a power-figure that transcends culture and morality, earth and water, fire and air.

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84 pages | 6.00" x 9.00"

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Crees in the Caribbean
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Cree (Nehiyawak);

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"

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$18.95

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From the Heart: How 100 Canadians Created an Unconventional Theatre Performance about Reconciliation
Authors:
Will Weigler
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Inuit; Métis;

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.

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God and the Indian
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Cree (Nehiyawak);

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.

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Gordon Winter
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations;

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.

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In Spirit
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian;
Grade Levels: 11; 12; University/College;

Twelve-year-old Molly was riding her new bicycle on a deserted road when a man in a truck pulled up next to her, saying he was lost. He asked if she could get in and help him back to the highway, and said he could bring her back to her bike after. Molly declined, out of interest for her own safety. The next things Molly remembers are dirt, branches, trees, pain, and darkness.

Molly is now a spirit.

Mustering up some courage, she pieces together her short life for herself and her family while she reassembles her bicycle—the same one that was found thrown into the trees on the side of the road. Juxtaposed with flashes of news, sounds, and videos, Molly’s chilling tale becomes more and more vivid, challenging humanity not to forget her presence and importance.

Reviews
“Tara Beagan's In Spirit distills the tragic disappearance of hundreds of native women along BC's Highway of Tears into a powerful theatrical experience.” —Jon Kaplan, NOW Magazine 

In Spirit is a very touching piece, not only for the content, but also because of how we were transported into this little girl’s world… It is a refreshing change to see a play tackle a societal defect without hate and guilt. Through love and empathy, it reminds us of the missing women and the horrors that are still taking place in our county.” —Emma Letki, Mooney on Theatre

Educator Information
This play is listed in the 2018-2019 Canadian Indigenous Books for Schools list as a resource for Grades 11-12 for these subjects: Acting, Drama, English Language Arts.

Caution: discussion of violence and death.

Additional Information
64 pages | 5.13" x 7.65"

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Indian Act: Residential School Plays
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian;
Grade Levels: 10; 11; 12; University/College;

Indian Act is a tribute and thank you to those who survived the Indian Residential School system so that future generations could be free to pursue their lives unhindered by educationally enforced lowered expectations and institutionalized abuse. Plays by contemporary First Nations and Metis playwrights cover the broad scope of residential school experiences, all kinds of characters, and no stereotypes, giving voice to those who could not be heard.

Includes the plays:
Bunk #7 by Larry Guno
God and the Indian by Drew Hayden Taylor
They Know Not What They Do by Tara Began
A Very Polite Genocide or The Girl Who Fell to Earth by Melanie J. Murray
Kihew by Curtis Peeteetuce
Dear Mr. Buchwald by Yvette Nolan

Educator Information
Recommended resource for Grades 10-12 English Language Arts, Drama, and Acting.  

Caution: Some plays contain mature subject matters and cover themes of substance abuse, sexual and physical violence, etc.  Some plays are not appropriate for high school use and may be better suited for college-level courses. 

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392 pages | 6.00" x 9.00"

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$29.95

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Nicimos: The Final Rez Christmas Story
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Cree (Nehiyawak);
Grade Levels: 11; 12; University/College;

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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Only Drunks and Children Tell the Truth
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian;
Grade Levels: 11; 12; University/College;

Only Drunks and Children Tell the Truth is the emotional story of a woman’s struggle to acknowledge her birth family. Grace, a Native girl adopted by a White family, is asked by her birth sister to return to the Reserve for their mother’s funeral. Afraid of opening old wounds, Grace must find a place where the culture of her past can feed the truth of her present. Cast  of 2 women and 2 men.

Reviews
“…this play is a very tender, engaging look at two strangers learning to be sisters…witty one-liners and snappy dialogue has crafted likeable, real characters…brings a satisfying sense of closure to the struggles of Barb and Janice/Grace. It is a welcome ending, one that reflects hope for the future – not only for these two sisters , but also for all the others who have yet to find their way home.” - Cheryl Isaacs, Aboriginal Voices.

Awards

  • James Buller Award for Playwright of the Year, 1997
  • Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding New Play, Small Theatre Division, 1996.

Educator Information
Grades 11-12 BC English First Peoples resource for the units Yes, there is Funny Stuff - Humour in First Peoples Literature and What Creates Family?

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112 pages | 6.00" x 9.00"

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Reckoning
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian;
Grade Levels: 11; 12; University/College;

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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Sir John A: Acts of a Gentrified Ojibway Rebellion
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Anishinaabeg; Ojibway;
Grade Levels: 12; University/College;

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!

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128 pages | 5.50" x 8.50"

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Thanks for Giving
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian;
Grade Levels: 12; University/College;

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

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128 pages | 5.50" x 8.50"

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$16.95

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The Incredible Adventures of Mary Jane Mosquito
Artists:
Sue Todd
Format: Hardcover
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Cree (Nehiyawak);
Grade Levels: 12; University/College;

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.

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$24.95

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