Bound To Create Theatre

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Isitwendam (An Understanding)

Isitwendam (An Understanding) by Meegwun Fairbrother and co created by Jack Grinhaus

SITWENDAM (An Understanding)
Written by Meegwun Fairbrother
Co-Created by Jack Grinhaus

Isitwendam (An Understanding) is about a young man’s journey through truth and understanding. When Brendan White, a half white, half Ojibway man who is proud of his conservative party ideals is hired by Indian Affairs to discredit a Residential School survivor’s reparation claim his world is turned upside down. As he learns the truth about this troubled and often unspoken part of Canadian history Brendan rediscovers his role within his family, generation, his people, and within the Canadian community at large. 

Directed by Jack Grinhaus
Performed by Meegwun Fairbrother
Produced & Assistant Directed by Lauren Brotman
Associate Produced & Stage Managed by Sarah Koehn
Lighting & Projection Design by Andy Moro
Set Design by Hans Saefkow
Choreography by Carlos Rivera
Sound Design by Marc Merilainen

The play’s storytelling structure was developed through interviews with survivors of the schools as well as alternating views from other Canadians. Each of the characters in the story represents a perspective on the subject. The arc of the story stems from the playwright’s personal experiences as well as a fictionalized hero journey that includes various unexpected twists. These culminate in a surprise ending that helps in identifying the complex nature of the subject matter. The differing perspectives provide observers with ‘an understanding’ as their own beliefs are likely represented.

Joining the westernized storytelling arc are also various First Nations ancient storytelling means including dance, drumming, movement, sign language, and martial arts. Fused together this play offers a unique performance style that is both original and provocative. Issues of suicide, loss, love, history, confusion, family, freedom, and togetherness are all explored in this story that ends on an optimism that is both genuine and inspiring.

Bound to Create Theatre, in collaboration with Theatre Northwest, is presenting a staged workshop of this play prior to its intended tour of northern BC Reserves in the Fall of 2017. 

 

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" An intense production that addresses destructive social issues at a rapid-fire pace. "
- Mooney on Theatre