White Man’s Indian: not your average high school drama

darlaThe incredible emerging playwright/actor Darla Contois will bring her one-woman show White Man’s Indian to FemFest this year and we can’t wait! It’s the kind of coming-of-age story of an Indigenous girl that we rarely get to hear. This girl is the brave, independent-minded Eva, who will captivate you throughout the show and long after you leave the theatre. Darla Contois has combined dark subject matter with humour in such a way that makes them sound like they were meant to be together.

The story launches when a teacher assigns the impossible, a final essay focused on where each student’s family came from and how they transitioned to life in Canada. How does an Indigenous student address the question of adapting to Canada? As a result the play’s main character, Eva, gets a “special assignment” to write about her family history and—spoiler alert—Eva will confess to you that she doesn’t know it. Nobody taught it to her parents or grandparents in school and it’s erased everywhere.

White Man's Indian

The title White Man’s Indian comes from what Eva calls herself when she feels disconnected from her culture. There is no way she can meet all of the expectations everyone seems to have for her. Like any young person, Eva is searching for herself. There is a lot of humour as Eva tries to figure out her space in society.

What is extremely exciting about hosting the show at FemFest is that writer/performer Darla Contois is a Winnipegger. The play premiered at the Summerworks Festival in Toronto and then played at Uno Fest in Victoria. Now you have a chance to see her where she started out.

“Contois’s convincing performance is the highlight, however, culminating in some haunting and heartrending moments of realization and defeat, but also strength and resilience, that will make many reach for a tissue.” – Jordan Bimm, Now Toronto

Also, let’s be honest, there is a real need right now to explore representation on stage. So that we don’t sweep this question of under the carpet, there will be a panel discussion about it following a select performance of White Man’s Indian. Just three chances to see this great play – September 18 or 21 at 7:00 pm or September 20 at 9:00 pm! All performances are at the U of W Asper Centre for Theatre and Film, 400 Colony Street. Get your tickets now!


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