April 18, at 1:00 PM
Come for a reading of part of Meg Coles' Camp, currently in development and chat about the development process.
Supported by Canadian Heritage and RBC. Coffee and Tea provided by Executive Coffee.
Camp is a dark comedy exploring preconceived notions concerning racism, sexual assault and violence in northern Canada. The play explores changing identity in an isolated region amidst great political turmoil and social unrest. This is in keeping with the playwright's goal to deliver serious moral ambiguities through humour. Coles feels that dark and comedic dramas provide the greatest opportunity for catharsis as they create a common context for discussion. Camp was initially inspired by a tour throughout Labrador during the fall of 2009. Specifically, it was the playwright's encounters with non-native workers in Natuashish that galvanized her desire to write about southern Canada's complicated relationship with our colder, northern counterpart.
The transient labour population of the north appears unconcerned with the region's development or the impact their livelihoods have on that region. This is not with malicious intent but rather is informed by desperation to earn a living under unstable economic circumstances. Also, northern regions are considered high risk posts for RCMP officers and the vital positions are often filled with the most inexperienced enforcement. Many of the officers I encountered were at their "first posting" meaning they agreed to the location while still in training as eager, young recruits looking to gain practical policing experience. Essentially, the most desperate regions with a history of complicated issues are policed by rookies who have not been adequately prepared for the challenges. Unintentionally, the result is unstable conditions placing everyone in possible physical and psychological danger.
It is Coles' intention to explore the ramifications of fixating on blame and ownership in Canada. The play will also strengthen and develop her craft in an organic way as the characters are primarily male. Thus far, the leading characters throughout Coles' work have been female and she aims to break away from this thereby allowing room to evolve within the medium. Coles will be investigating appropriation of voice by writing primarily in male voices as well as in an aboriginal voice. She is taking the cross-cultural aspect integral to the writing of this play very seriously and doing extensive research on the subject. Coles continues to work with Emma Tibaldo of Playwright's Workshop Montreal. Tibaldo provided dramaturgical support for both Bound (2010) and The Battery (2009).