Lois otherheadshot by Teri SnelgroveNotes from the Director

To the young person watching this production:

I admire Meg Coles’ plays. This is the second one I have directed. The first one was called Our Eliza and it was also about a fierce young woman. Megan Coles writes strong plays – the words live when you use them – the play ignites when you act it. We want you to talk about your ideas after you see it. That’s why Meg is travelling with the play. To talk to you. A good place to start is to notice what you relate to, and what you don’t.

Nicole Rousseau (the producer and Artistic Animateur) and Meg Coles had a passion to tour this play to small places – in fact, our province is made up of small places. They wanted to show you Squawk and then talk with you and your parents (separately) about its themes and the issues it embodies – consent, privilege, access to resources, homelessness, Indigeneity – what it is to be human…

The actors – Liz, Colin and Evan, my Stage Manger, the excellent Cindy Stone, and my assistant director, Nora Barker, have worked with me – in fact, in many ways we have approached the interpretation of Squawk collectively – working together to put the play on its feet. We figured out how “Gameworld” works together.

The main character is Annie Runningbird and it’s her eighteenth birthday. One of our investigations is how to embody anger as actors. We all know what it’s like to be angry – it’s a complicated emotion. Annie is angry about a lot of stuff and rightfully so – but it’s filling up her life. It has made her do things she shouldn’t, and gotten her in trouble.

Liz plays Annie and she gave some of the kinds of anger Annie feels names like “flash” anger. We identified overwhelming anger, depressed and repressed anger, anger and addiction, inter-generational anger and so on. How do you turn your anger into good anger? Energizing anger, anger that helps you? Annie Runningbird moves through her complicated emotions, figures out what she wants to do next in her life, and on her birthday gives herself her own birthday present: she lets her anger be her power.

Annie Runningbird helps us think about our own power – we want the play to provoke you to think about your power to live a life that is true to yourselves.

Please say hi to Liz, Evan or Colin – tell them Lois told you to ask them something about their characters. Talk to them – or the playwright Meg. They are there for you – because they want to talk to you.

– Lois Brown