Most people aren't aware of any prominent Aboriginal opera singers of the 1880s or the Aboriginal stars of Western shows, and that's where the Turtle Gals come in.
As contemporary Native artists, the women's entertainment troupe will perform a play that promises to fill in the blanks of history, “The Only Good Indian …” which examines the lives of Aboriginal performers through the ages, from vaudeville to modern times, through a tapestry of song and story, and beginning at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 24, in the library's Geneva Room.
In addition, a theater workshop, “Introduction to Turtle Gals Collective Methodology,” will be offered from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 23, in The Fisher Center, 212 Demarest Hall. This will be first United States appearance for the Turtle Gals Performance Ensemble, a well-known Toronto-based theater group. Their campus visit is part of the fall Fisher Center lecture series, addressing “Gender and Memory.”
As is traditional, a roundtable discussion is scheduled from 9 to 10 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 25 in 212 Demarest, The Fisher Center. These three events are free and open to the public.
“The Only Good Indian …” is written and performed by Turtle Gals Jani Lauzon (founding member, co-managing director, stage and screen actor, singer-songwriter and award-winning puppeteer), Michelle St. John (co-founder and co-managing artistic director, film, stage and television actor and singer), Falen Johnson (associate artist, playwright, stage and screen actor), Cheri Maracle (associate artist, stage, film and television actor, singer, and songwriter) and written in part by Monique Mojica (former Turtle Gal and founding artist). Reaction to this work, which will have its official premiere in December 2007, has celebrated it as “hilariously entertaining,” “unique” and a “brilliantly executed ride!”
Turtle Gals previous work includes “The Scrubbing Project,” a work engaging the healing powers of humor to reveal the self-erasing impulse to scrub oneself of one's color: of one's own skin. Additional productions underway include “The Triple Truth” and “Colonization Road: The Land Speaks.”
Founded in 1999, Turtle Gals draw on traditional forms of storytelling, oratory, song and dance, integrating them with current technology and popular culture.
For details, visit http://www.turtlegals.com/.
For details on other Fisher Center programs this fall, visit http://www.hws.edu/academics/community/fishercenter.