Directed by Yvette Nolan
Set in eighteen hundred and something-something, somewhere upon the banks of a Reddish River in Treaty One Territory, where three very different women with a preference for 21st-century slang sit in a fort sharing their views on life, love and the hot nerd Louis Riel. In this lively historical satire of survival and cultural inheritance, playwright Frances Koncan shifts perspectives from the male gaze onto women's power in the past and present through the lens of the rapidly changing world of the Canadian fur trade.
Production support is generously provided by Karon C. Bales & Charles E. Beall.
2023: Cecilia in Women of the Fur Trade. Stratford debut. Elsewhere:Every Brilliant Thing (Burnt Thicket/Live Five, Fire Exit, Globe Theatre); Our Town (Theatre Rusticle/Buddies in Bad Times); Drowning Girls, Secret Mask, Pride and Prejudice (Globe Theatre); Much Ado About Nothing, Taming of the Shrew, Romeo and Juliet, Comedy of Errors, Macbeth (Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan); Farndale Avenue...Christmas Carol (Persephone Theatre). Other: Member of Second City Toronto's House Co. TV/Film:Workin' Moms (CBC), Benched (Short). Training: Globe Theatre's Acting Conservatory, University of Saskatchewan (BFA). Awards: SAT Award for Outstanding Performance (Narrator in Every Brilliant Thing, Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing, and Callie in Stop Kiss). Online:www.jennaleehyde.com. Et cetera: Born-and-raised on Treaty 6 territory, Jenna-Lee currently lives in Tkaronto. She's very grateful to be here.
2023: Marie-Angelique in Women of the Fur Trade. Fourth season. Stratford: Susan Blackbird in 1939. Emily Dictionary in The Rez Sisters. Elsewhere: Gwynn Starr in The Secret to Good Tea (Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre); Charlotte Corday in The Revolutionists (Persephone Theatre); Okânawâpacikêw in nîkwatin sîpiy [Frozen River] (Manitoba Theatre for Young People); Marie-Angelique in Women of the Fur Trade (RMTC); #7 in The Wolves (Live Five Saskatoon); Head Full of Lice in The Third Colour (Prairie Theatre Exchange). Other: Pimootayowin Indigenous Playwright Circle (Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre). Training: National Theatre School of Canada. Instagram: @katmaclean. Et cetera: Kinanâskomitin to my family and to both the Indigenous and queer storytellers who came before me. I stand on their shoulders.
2023: Eugenia in Women of the Fur Trade. Stratford debut. Elsewhere: Interim Artistic Director, Native Earth; Skye in The Election (Commonboots/Nightwood/Theatre Passe Muraille/Theatre Direct); Speck in Mistatim (Red Sky Performance); Win in Two Indians (Onkwehon:we Festival); Barb in Only Drunks and Children Tell the Truth (Western Canada Theatre/Thousand Islands Playhouse); Nora in The Cure for Death by Lightning (Western Canada Theatre); Izzy in Dreary and Izzy (Theatre NorthWest). Film/TV: Shoresy (Crave/Hulu), In Her City (Raven West Films Ltd). Playwriting: Niizh, Frozen River, Do you remember?Radio/Recordings: Wab Kinew's Walking in Two Worlds (Penguin Random House Canada). Training: Seneca College's Acting for Camera and Voice. Awards: 2020 Siminovitch Prize Protegee; 2021 Sharon Enkin Plays for Young People Award - Frozen River. Online: @joellepeters.jpg. Et cetera: Joelle is from Bkejwanong Territory, Walpole Island First Nation.
2023: Thomas Scott in Women of the Fur Trade. Stratford debut. Elsewhere: Red Velvet (Crow's); Perfect Wedding (TIP), Stones In His Pockets, Reasonable Doubt (Persephone Theatre); Miss Bennet (MTC); In The Wake of Wettlaufer, Cake-Walk, Wing Night at The Boot, Judith, Mr. New Years Eve (Blyth Festival); 4000 Miles (Belfry), Salt Baby (Belfry, Globe, Tour); Matchstick (Persephone/GCTC); Seminar (MTC/Mirvish). Playwriting: The Love Interest, Endurance, The Wild Dog Waits On The Concrete Path, Aiden Flynn Lost His Brother So He Makes Another, Matchstick. Training: University of Saskatchewan BFA Acting, Globe Theatre Conservatory, and currently finishing an MFA in Scriptwriting & Story Design at TMU. Awards: SATAwards for Performance (Equivocation - Persephone), Supporting Performance (Salt Baby - Live Five), and Composition & Sound Design (Treasure Island - Persephone). Best English Theatre Production - Montreal Fringe (Aiden Flynn…). Outstanding Original Work - Ottawa Fringe (Matchstick).
Playwright of Women of the Fur Trade.
Frances Koncan (she/they) is an Anishinaabe and Slovene writer originally from Couchiching First Nation and currently based in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Their interest in playwriting began just over a decade ago, when a Broadway actor performing in a show she had seen 85 times told her to reconsider going to law school because theatre might be her true passion.
After immediately giving up law school in favour of writing plays, Frances graduated from the City University of New York Brooklyn College's MFA Playwriting program a few years later and, shockingly, began writing plays.
Their first three plays all premiered at the Winnipeg Fringe Festival - Little Red in 2014, How to Talk to Human Beings in 2015, and zahgidiwin/love in 2016. zahgidiwin/love won the Harry Rintoul Award for Best New Manitoba Play even though many people walked out of it.
In 2017, Frances began work on Women of the Fur Trade as a part of a residency at the Playwrights Theatre Centre in Vancouver, British Columbia. The play won the 2018 Toronto Fringe Festival New Play Contest and a workshop production was staged at the Toronto Fringe that summer.
The play was further workshopped at Native Earth Performing Arts Centre as part of the Animikiig Creators program in Toronto, Ontario and at the Carol Shields Festival of New Works in Winnipeg, Manitoba before premiering at the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre in March 2020, running at half capacity due to the emerging COVID-19 pandemic.
With theatres shut down, Frances had largely assumed their short-lived career as a playwright was officially over and focused their energy on important things like playing video games and learning TikTok dances.
Needless to say, they are very excited to be here.
2023: Director of Women of the Fur Trade. Stratford Debut. Elsewhere: Director: The First Stone (New Harlem/Great Canadian Theatre Company); Death of a Chief (Native Earth/National Arts Centre); Salt Baby, The Unnatural and Accidental Women (Native Earth); The Ecstasy of Rita Joe (National Arts Centre/Western Canada Theatre). Co-director/Librettist: Shanawdithit (Tapestry Opera/OOTA). Co-creator: Bearing (Signal Theatre); Reasonable Doubt (Persephone Theatre). Playwright: Katharsis (Prairie Theatre Exchange); The Unplugging (Arts Club); The Birds (Gateway Theatre); Annie Mae's Movement (Native Earth). Film: A Common Experience with Shane Belcourt. Et cetera: Yvette served as Artistic Director of Native Earth Performing Arts, Canada's oldest professional Indigenous theatre, from 2003-2011. Her book, Medicine Shows, about Indigenous performance culture, was published by Playwrights Canada Press in 2015.
2023: Costume designer of Women of the Fur Trade. Stratford debut. Jeff Chief is Cree from Onion Lake First Nation on Treaty 6 territory in Saskatchewan and currently lives in Saskatoon. Jeff has been a costume stitcher, cutter, and costume designer in theatres across Canada. His recent design credits include Gaslight (Vertigo Theatre), Sir John A (Globe Theatre), The Financée (Persephone Theatre), Iago Speaks (Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan), The Rez Sisters (Royal MTC), Flush, Life After Hockey (La Troupe du Jour), Cottagers and Indians (Persephone Theatre), The Gift (GTNT), Being Here: The Refugee Project (Belfry Theatre), Ahtoyakwin 4 (The Crossing Theatre), Ministry of Grace (Belfry Theatre), Kronborg: The Hamlet Rock Musical (Confederation Centre of the Arts), Honour Beat (Theatre Calgary), Hedda Noir (Theatre NorthWest), Le Wild West Show de Gabriel Dumont (National Arts Centre), Ipperwash (Blyth Festival).
2023: Lighting designer of Women of the Fur Trade. Stratford: To Kill a Mockingbird. Elsewhere: The First Stone (New Harlem); The Waltz, among men (Factory Theatre); Runway Show 2022 (Indigenous Fashion Arts); The Doctor's Dilemma, Sherlock Holmes and the Raven's Curse, The Russian Play (Shaw Festival); RUR: A Torrent of Light, Shanawdihit (Tapestry Opera); 9 to 5: the Musical (Cameco Capitol Arts Centre); A Midsummer Night's Dream (Theatre Rusticle); The Jungle (Tarragon Theatre); Broken Tailbone (Nightswimming); Lilies (lemonTree Creations/Why Not); Under the Stairs (YPT); School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play (Obsidian/Nightwood); The Royale (Soulpepper). Awards: Finalist for the 2021 Siminovitch Prize, eight Dora Mavor Moore Awards, a SAT Award, the 2008 Pauline McGibbon Award. Et cetera: Associated Designers of Canada Board Member and Chair of the Mentorship and Professional Development committees.
2023: Composer and sound designer of Casey and Diana, Women of the Fur Trade, and sound designer of Wedding Band. Seventh season. Stratford: Composer for Serving Elizabeth; composer and sound designer of The Crucible, Treasure Island, The Changeling, Breath of Kings; sound designer of Death and the King's Horseman, Mother's Daughter, The Aeneid. Elsewhere: Music and sound for Peggy Baker Dance Projects, Soulpepper, Volcano Theatre, Theatre Centre, and others; appearances at MUTEK Japan, MOCA Toronto, Banff Centre, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Guelph Jazz Festival, Sound Symposium, Art Gallery of Ontario and other venues. Radio/Recordings: Radio works on Deutschlandradio Kultur, ORF Kunstradio, Radio National España, Banff New Media Institute, NAISA; numerous solo recordings, audio artworks, and audiovisual projects. Awards: Dora Awards for Outstanding Achievement in Design (Opera) and for Original Music and Sound Crash (Theatre Passe Muraille); We Are Proud to Present… (Theatre Centre/Why Not).
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