Between May 22 and June 3, 2018, the Living Arts Centre brings an exciting, one-of-a-kind performance not to be missed: Talk Is Free Theatre’s production of Tales of an Urban Indian, written by CBC’s Darrell Dennis and starring Craig Lauzon of the Royal Canadian Air Farce.
Tales of an Urban Indian is a dark comedy about Simon Douglas, a contemporary First Nations man facing life on reserve and on the streets of Vancouver, and the people who shape his journey.
The play explores themes of survival and forgiveness, and examines issues of race and identity. This striking and poignant tale is presented in the intimate setting of a moving city bus by the very talented Craig Lauzon, who is himself of Indigenous descent.
Arkady Spivak, the Artistic Producer of Talk Is Free Theatre, heard of the incredible script from Mario Crudo, former Artistic Director of Magnus Theatre in Thunder Bay. “At that time the play had only been presented in a conventional theatre setting. It was only when we lost our venue, due to construction, that the idea of staging it on a bus moving through the community was born. The rest, as they say, is history,” says Arkady.
“Beyond the topical nature of this wonderful show, it was definitely this creative dilemma and intriguing solution that drew us to this production,” says Natalie Lue, CEO of the Living Arts Centre. Director Herbie Barnes agrees, saying “we found a number of different little gifts that the bus gave us…there is an incredible level of intimacy that you can’t get in a theatre because you’re sitting beside someone on a moving bus…You can’t escape hearing the story, you have to be part of that story.”
Buses will depart from the Living Arts Centre and return 70 minutes later. While fully scripted, every performance will be played in a different environment. It gets dark at different times and traffic volumes are different so no two experiences will be entirely the same! For example, during a previous performance of Tales of an Urban Indian the bus got stuck in the mud after a bad rainstorm. The actor incorporated it into the storyline and audience members, immersed in the tale unfolding, came together and helped to free the bus! “We don’t think bus problems will be the case for our run though, “ says Natalie, “thanks to the enthusiastic cooperation of the City of Mississauga’s Transit team, Tales of an Urban Indian will be performed on a comfortable MiWay transit bus.” Arkady says, “Although the central character is going through one extreme situation after another, we have all been in that place from which we didn’t think we would recover…This is a play about a journey and encounters…that stranger sitting next to us on the bus that might have a story to share.” He adds, “We are delighted to come to Mississauga. Mississauga’s population is one of the most diverse on every level, and we feel that this project completely reflects it…and the LAC is a dreamy organization to collaborate with! In fact, thanks to this partnership, our production will be on the road for a national tour through 2019.”
The Living Arts Centre’s presentation of Tales of an Urban Indian is now on sale! Tickets are $60 [plus Service Charge]
Performances run from May 22 – June 3, 2018 at 2:00PM & 7:30PM.
There are only 35 seats on the bus so book now online at www.livingartscentre.ca or call the Box Office 905-306-6000.