The University of the Fraser Valley theatre department and Sto:lo Research & Resource Management Centre present staged readings of Kwantlen First Nation playwright Joseph Dandurand's play Please Do Not Touch The Indians on Sept. 28 and 29 as part of Culture Days.
Please Do Not Touch the Indians begins with two "Hollywood Indians" sitting on a bench in front of a gift shop. Throughout the play, stereotypical tourists, fascinated with these "wooden" figures, pose with them and take their pictures.
When the tourists leave the stage, however, Dandurand shows the audience a contrasting world, where the dream world and stories of the characters are revealed. In this world, Sister Coyote, Mister Wolf and Brother Raven tell their fantastic, moving, satirical, and beautiful stories, showing how they came to be and how contact and colonization changed their lives in painful ways.
"[T]he play reads from beginning to end like a fluid and intemperate dream, moving from past to present, from metaphorical to historical, from symbolism to realism with the same disarming justification as dreamtime and space," according to a review by D. Ellenburg in The American Indian Quarterly. "Dandurand has so mischievously evoked another dimension that we are caught in its current, trust its momentum, and finally crash against our own obtuse notions of time and memory."
Performances are Sept. 28 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., and Sept. 29 at 2 p.m. at the Sto: lo Resource Centre, 10-7201 Vedder Rd. Tickets are free and available at the door. Attendees are welcome to join in a dialogue with the actors after the readings.
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