Tales of an Urban Indian at THSS
“I was a happy, well-adjusted seven year old Native boy. So naturally I had to be taken away. “ And so begins Simon Douglas’ journey from Coyote Lake Reserve to Vancouver’s downtown eastside.
Raised by a single mother, Simon struggles to discover who he is as a First Nations youth while at the same time fitting in with his peers at his new school. By high school he is plagued by typical teenage concerns such as getting the girl and gaining some semblance of popularity. His problems run deeper when he is forced to deal with the deaths of his only two friends on the reserve. Lost without identity and unable to come to terms with his friends’ deaths, Simon finds solace in downtown East Hastings where he finds the company of like minded individuals and assumes a lifestyle of drugs and alcohol abuse. With the aid of his mother and a ‘visitation’ from his grandmother Simon struggles to leave the blur of addiction behind.
In this new adaptation of Darrell Dennis’ play Tales of an Urband Indian, director Patrick McDonald from Green Thumb Theatre focuses the production’s appeal to secondary school audiences. Using video segments created by Victoria new media artist Jackson2Bears and a music track by Montreal Native hip hop artist Daybi, the production is a mature and hard hitting look at racial prejudice.
Artistic Director Patrick McDonald says “Darrell’s play is as often laugh out loud funny as it is moving and thoughtful while examining the ugly side of cultural stereotyping and alienation. In the end Tales of an Urban Indian proves to be uplifting and offers the audience a glimpse of a better, more humane world for Simon.”
Tales of an Urban Indian embarked on a sold-out tour to British Columbia secondary schools in September.
• It plays at Thomas Haney Secondary School on Monday at 1:45 p.m. For more information about Green Thumb Theatre, visit www.greenthumb.bc.ca.