Honouring Theatre – A tri-national tour of 3 plays from Canada, Australia & New Zealand:
What Colour is Love?
Windmill Baby – written and directed by David Milroy
Firehall Arts Centre
part of a repertory theatre tour
Oct 11-Oct 22
What colour is Love? Is it Black? Is it White?
This question is asked to the audience at a pivotal moment in the play
Windmill Baby. Set in Australia, an aboriginal woman returns to the
now abandoned former cattle station of her young adult life. Fifty
years have passed as she shares her tale with the audience in a mixture
of oral story-telling, and dream-time revelations.
as Maymay, is a captivating performer in this one-woman play,
accompanied only on stage by guitarist Adam Fitzgerard and a simple but
amazing set. As Maymay recognizes each object such as a bed, a
clothesline or a can – she interacts with it, bringing it to life with
a story. Each story segues into the next, paced nicely both by
and by acting. Nuances and expressions are sometimes subtle or
enhancingly dramatic. Whyman is careful to balance her
while also interacting with the audience. My favorite scene is
she tells the story about the dog, using a surprising stage prop.
As the play unfolds, we learn that she used to live at a cattle station
which had a large windmill. She had a husband named Melvin who minded
the livestock, and a crippled man named Wunman tended the garden. They
worked for a white man and his dainty wife who is “like a candle that
melts in the heat”. Racism is a fact of life in Maymay's
storytelling. She never complains or editorializes on it. It's just
what happens when the characters of her story interact. Life was
different 50 years ago. This is a memory play, which makes makes the
stories so much more poignant, when we discover why Maymay must return
to the deserted Kimberley cattle station for “unfinished business.” A
cell phone rings, and we are jarred back to the 21st Century, awakened
from our reverie.
The themes are universal: love, life and loss. Beautifully written and directed by David Milroy, the play could have
been set in an Alabama cotton plantation with African-American slaves,
or a BC ranch with Chinese servants. But it is culturally interesting
to hear the cadence of an Australian accent with strange words and
Windmill Baby is the first of three plays presented at Firehall Arts Centre,
as part of an aboriginal collective from three continents. Vancouver
is the final stop on a Canadian tour that started in Peterborough ON,
then travelled to Toronto and Regina each for a week, before closing
with a two week run here.
Annie Mae's Movement (Canada), written and directed by Yvette Nolan
opens on Thursday, October 12. Frangipani Perfume (New Zealand)
written by Makerita Urale, and directed by Rachel House, opens on
Friday, October 13. Each play goes into repertory, rotating for
evening and afternoon performances until October 22nd.
By witnessing 3 different aboriginal plays from 3 different countries,
we learn that while we are different, we have many similarites.
Cultural differences are merely cultural, and human imposed
structures. But love, tragedy, spirituality, passion, humour and
social activism all transcend geographical boundaries.
Below is a description of each play and the schedule. Check it out.
Here are some links:
Arthur: It’s No Spin: Windmill Baby Shows Spirit
Windmill Baby – Honouring Theatre – September 19 to 24 …
NATIVE EARTH PERFORMING ARTS
A Celebration of the Human Spirit – 3 indigenous Plays from 3
Honouring Theatre, an ambitious global initiative showcasing a
triple bill of powerful and authentic indigenous theatre from Canada, New
Zealand and Australia, will be playing at the Firehall Arts Centre
from October 11 � 22, 2006.
The theatrical stage provides the avenue for these Aboriginal nations
to reveal both their similarities and diversities. The first of the
plays is David Milroy's Award-winning play Windmill Baby
from Australia. It is a gentle tale that centres on Maymay, an
Aboriginal woman, who returns to the now derelict station of her youth
because she has some “unfinished business.” It encapsulates
universal themes of love, life and loss.
Annie Mae's Movement by Canadian playwright, Yvette Nolan
follows. Loosely based on the life of a Mi'qmak woman, Annie Mae Pictou
Aquash, it explores a woman in a man's movement, a Canadian in American
and an Aboriginal in a white dominant culture.
The final play from New Zealand is Frangipani
Perfume, a powerful and sensual black comedy about escape
and dreams of thousands of Pacific people who work as unskilled
labourers. Playwright Makerita Urale flicks out satirical slaps at
Margaret Mead while bowing down to the greatness of Einstein and
mesmerizing tropical fragrances.
All three plays are a celebration of the human spirit sharing their
humour, passion, belief, spirituality, social activism, tragedy and
love. The plays reiterate that no matter where people are from we
all share the same universal themes. Honouring Theatre has been touring
Canada and will head overseas in 2007.
Weds. Oct. 11
Thurs. Oct. 12
Fri. Oct. 13 8pm
Thurs. Oct. 12
Fri. Oct. 13
Sat. Oct. 14 2pm
Sat. Oct. 14
Wed. Oct. 18 8
Tue. Oct. 17 8pm
Sun. Oct. 15
Thur. Oct. 19
Wed. Oct.18 1pm
Thur. Oct. 19
Sat. Oct. 21
Fri. Oct. 20 8pm
Fri. Oct. 20
Sun. Oct. 22
Sat. Oct. 21 2pm
Tickets $24/$20 in advance or buy a three pack for
all three plays for $55.
Available at the Firehall Box Office 604-689-0926 or online