by Frances Koncan
Directed by Yvette Nolan
Just a warning. This episode contains strong language and content, because history does sometimes.
WHO KNEW THE RED RIVER RESISTANCE WAS SO FUNNY?
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.
Setting: Eighteen hundred and something-something. Banks of Reddish River in Treaty One Territory, Manitoba.
House Program: Women of the Fur Trade
Runtime: One hour and 47 minutes*. Please note there will not be an intermission in this performance.
*Please note that all run times are approximate.
Listen to Director's Notes, a
STRATFEST@HOME original podcast, with Director Yvette Nolan for a
pre-show introduction and a
Pre-show Episode Transcript
Post-show Episode Transcript
Production support is generously provided by Karon C. Bales & Charles E. Beall.
Photo credits: Joelle Peters. Photo by Ted Belton.
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.
(he/him) Métis Nation of Ontario
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: Set designer of Women of the Fur Trade. Third season. Stratford: Assistant designer of All's Well That Ends Well and Rez Sisters (2020) and Co-designer of I Am William (2021) with Michelle Bohn. Elsewhere: Costume design (selected) - Maggie (Theatre Aquarius), Little Red Warrior and His Lawyer (National Arts Centre, Theatre Calgary, Belfry) Rubaboo (The Grand Theatre), Kamloopa (Soulpepper, WCT), Where the Blood Mixes (Soulpepper). Training: York University, BFA '17, Theatrical Production and Design. Awards: Recipient of the 2023 Pauline McGibbon Award. 2023 Virginia and Myrtle Cooper Award nominee. 2022 Dora Award nominee. Online: sammccuedesign.com, @sammccuedesign on Instagram. Et cetera: Samantha is Anishinaabekwe and Ned'u'ten. She is pleased to be returning to Stratford, and would like to thank her family, friends and partner for their support. Chi-miigwetch!
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); 2023 Louis Applebaum Composers Award Laureate.
2023: Supervising fight director for the 2023 season. 12th season. Stratford: Supervising Fight Director 2022, Associate: 2013-2020 seasons, Assistant: 2004, 2009 seasons. Elsewhere: Fight director - Bengal Tiger... (Crow's Theatre); Black Drum (Soulpepper); Peter and the Starcatcher, Sweet Charity, Cyrano (Shaw); Don Giovanni, War and Peace (COC). Film/TV Stunts (selected): The Boys (four seasons), See, FUBAR, Jack Reacher, What We Do In The Shadows, The Lost Symbol, Hardy Boys, The Man from Toronto, It Chapter Two, X-Men: Dark Phoenix, Schitt's Creek, Murdoch Mysteries, Ginny & Georgia, Jupiter's Legacy, Supergirl, Impulse, I Was Lorena Bobbitt, Save Me, Frankie Drake, Titans, Umbrella Academy, The Expanse, Designated Survivor, Suicide Squad, Dark Matter, Killjoys, 12 Monkeys, Bitten, The Strain, Pompeii, Orphan Black, Total Recall. Training: Supreme Fight Master Elite Level 3. BFA, Ryerson University. Awards: SAG nomination, Best Stunt Ensemble, 2021, 2023 Paddy Crean. Online: @GeoffScovell.
2023: Assistant set designer of Casey and Diana and Women of the Fur Trade. Stratford debut. Katriona Dunn is a theatre designer, technician, and creator. She recently graduated with distinction from the University of Calgary's drama program. During her time at the university, she worked as an assistant designer on We The Same and Formations, as costume designer on Horse Girls, and as designer for Wagonstage and co-designer for Pro Series II: Just Breathe, Okâwîmâwaskiy. After graduation, she was assistant costume designer at Vertigo Theatre with Murder on the Orient Express, and at MacEwan University with Company. In 2022, she was recognized with the Macdonell award in Performing Arts and the Marilyn Perkins award in Performing Arts. @kdunn.designs.
2023: Assistant lighting designer of Casey and Diana, Women of the Fur Trade and Love's Labour's Lost. Stratford debut. Elsewhere:Six People Die in This Show (dead end); Devised Theatre Festival, Love in the Time of Werewolves (York University); Good Morning, Birdgeoise (PlayGround Festival 2022). Training: York University Theatre Design (June 2023).
2023: Assistant fight director. Stratford debut. Christina graduated from the National Theatre School of Canada as an actor and has been so happy to find themself doing lots of different creative work, including fight directing and stunts! Big thanks to Geoff and the team for this wonderful learning opportunity.
2023: Stage manager of Women of the Fur Trade and assistant stage manager of Monty Python's Spamalot. Seventh season. Stratford:Death and the King's Horseman, Hamlet, R+J, Henry VIII, Birds of a Kind, Bakkhai. Elsewhere:The Marriage of Figaro, The Magic Flute (Canadian Opera Company); Maanomaa, My Brother (Blue Bird Theatre Collective); Every Silver Lining (Next Stage Festival); Maggie & Pierre (Grand Theatre); Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls (Roseneath Theatre); The Drowsy Chaperone, Footloose, The Addams Family, Spring Awakening, Spelling Bee, Nine (Randolph College); Godspell (Theatre Sheridan); Anne of Green Gables, Evita, Shrek the Musical (LOT); The Canadian (Thousand Islands Playhouse); Hamlet (Tarragon Theatre); City of Angels (Theatre By the Bay); The Story (Theatre Columbus); The Test (The Company Theatre). Training: Sheridan College (Technical Production). Et cetera: Originally from Lima, Peru. Loves food, music, dancing. Always looking for a good book recommendation.
2023: Assistant stage manager of Women of the Fur Trade. Second season. Stratford: apprentice stage manager of The Crucible (2019). Elsewhere (selected):Veirge (Factory Theatre); Flight (The Glenn Gould School); Entrances & Exits: Home for the Holidays (The Howland Company); The Rocky Horror Show (Neptune Theatre); Gould's Wall, Hook Up, Oksana G. (Tapestry Opera); RIOT (Renaissance Canadian Theatre Company); Juno's Reward, Cabaret, Prom Queen (The Grand Theatre); A Christmas Carol (Soulpepper); 39 Steps (Capitol Theatre); The Hound of the Baskervilles, Kingfisher Days, Stage Kiss (Festival Antigonish) Training: Anna is a graduate of TMU's Theatre Production Program and is a member of IATSE 873.
2023: Apprentice stage manager of Women of the Fur Trade. Third season. Stratford: Apprentice stage manager, Death and the King's Horseman. Production assistant, Tom Patterson Theatre. Elsewhere: Assistant stage manager, Maybe Not Tomorrow (National Theatre School of Canada); Cabaret (National Theatre School of Canada). Assistant production manager, carried away on the crest of a wave (University of Waterloo). Stage manager, The Seagull (University of Waterloo). Administrative assistant, SMArts: Stage Managing the Arts in Canada. Administrative assistant, Green Light Arts. Training: National Theatre School of Canada; University of Waterloo.
2023: Production stage manager of the Studio Theatre and stage manager of Casey and Diana. 27th season. Stratford: 26 seasons including All's Well That Ends Well, Little Shop of Horrors, The Rocky Horror Show, The Tempest starring Christopher Plummer, The Duchess of Malfi, The Swanne Trilogy amongst others. Elsewhere: Most recently Fall On Your Knees (Canadian Stage, Neptune, NAC, Grand); Heisenberg, Liv Stein (Canadian Stage); Constellations (Centaur/Canadian Stage); Body Politic (Buddies); The Death of the King (Modern Times); The Winter's Tale (Groundling); Bombay Black (Factory); Manon, Sandra and the Virgin Mary (Pleiades); Saint Carmen of The Main (NAC/Canadian Stage); Romeo and Juliet (NAC); Mother Courage and Her Children (NAC/MTC); Real Live Girl (MTC); Fully Committed, Silence, Einstein's Gift (Grand); Wit (Centaur); Hamlet (Neptune).
2023: Studio Theatre production assistant. Stratford debut. Elsewhere: As director, Genieology (Alumnae Theatre New Ideas Festival); Death by Horoscope (SATCo). As apprentice stage manager, Post Democracy (Tarragon Theatre). As stage manager, Othello (Phoenix Theatre, Victoria, BC). As assistant stage manager, Happy Days, Master Builder, Barefoot in the Park and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (Blue Bridge Repertoire Theatre); The Drowsy Chaperone (Phoenix Theatre). Training: University of Victoria's Phoenix Theatre (2020 grad). Et cetera: Emma Jo is thrilled to be joining the Stratford production team, she dedicates this season in memory of Alvina Conlin.
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