bug at FemFest 2020

The tree is sick
The poison cycled so much
Sickness was planted in us
And we are trying to get well

How can you navigate inter-generational trauma when you’re pushed beyond the brink? bug, one of our featured shows at FemFest 2020, explores this question. Although our commitment to safety during the continued pandemic means that the artists cannot travel to Winnipeg and offer the performance live, we are excited that a high quality version of the show will be offered virtually and followed by a chance for discussion in real-time with the artists.


Yolanda Bonnell created and stars in bug 

bug is the story of a girl and her mother, both fighting the effects of colonialism on their bodies. They are followed by Manidoons, a physical manifestation of trauma that crawls across generations. Created and performed by Yolanda Bonnell, this Dora Mavor Moore Award-nominated performance draws on the strength and resilience of Indigenous women as they grapple with a painful past and carve out their place to survive.

Using movement, poetry, and prose, creator/performer Bonnell weaves stories of women grappling with their painful past and making tough choices to survive.

bug pulls back the curtain on the falsehood of reconciliation using storytelling and movement, bringing everything we’ve seen in the news and the history books into the heart and gut.” Kiera Grant, Mooney on Theatre

“I think people should be excited because bug is more than just a performance,” Yolanda said. “It’s an artistic ceremony in which witnesses are invited to share space – which may not be physically – but share space nonetheless. It’s an opportunity to see a small faction of the effects of colonization, specifically in Northern communities or small cities. Performed in a poetic manner.”

When asked who inspires her, Yolanda said Indigenous youth: “The amount of fighting they do every day in a world that often treats them like garbage. Yet they keep rising up and they keep going. There’s nothing more inspiring than that.”

“While my heart broke for the protagonist, I felt hope looking across the audience, and as we cried together from the heaviness, we all felt. To move forward in reconciliation, we need to hear these stories and sit in the uncomfortable silence that precedes change.” Trisha Dayal, Stage Door Toronto

The 60-minute solo show will be virtually offered at FemFest 2020 and tickets are already on sale. The show times are Sunday, Sept 20 at 6:00pm, Monday, Sept 21 at 1:00pm, and Tuesday, Sept 22 at 6:30pm. Yolanda is also our featured “The Real Thing” lecturer who will be giving an overview of her career trajectory in theatre. Her lecture is taking place on Wednesday September 23 from 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm and is free and open to the public.

As Trisha Dayal writes in her review, “Unless you’ve lived as a marginalized person in this country, you will struggle to relate to the story in bug, but that’s exactly why you should watch it.”


Leave a comment

No comments yet.

Comments RSS TrackBack Identifier URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s