Written and performed by Waawaate Fobister
Director and Dramaturge Ed Roy
Original Music by Marc Meriläinen
Lighting Designer Kimberly Purtell
Set and Projection Designer Andy Moro
Costume Designer Erika Iserhoff
Sound Designer Lyon Smith
Stage Manager Tracy Lynne Cann
Winner of 6 Dora Mavor Moore Awards including Outstanding New Play, Production of a Play,
Direction and Performance.
Agokwe is a tragic story of unrequited love between two teenage boys from neighbouring reserves. Brave and revealing, this spectacular one-man show speaks to homophobia, social isolation and the lost traditions of the Anishnaabe. Hot on the heels of a National tour, Agokwe returns home for this limited engagement.
Buddies in Bad Times Theatre,
May 5 - May 15,
Shows Tues - Sat 8pm, Sun 2:30pm
MGT REVIEWS AGOKWE:
First produced at Buddies in the 2008-2009 season, Waawaate Fobister brings his one-man show Agokwe to Buddies in Bad Times for audiences to once again enjoy its comedy and drama, and combined themes of gay isolation and erotic fulfillment. He begins the play as the “Trickster” figure of Native fable who oversees the fate of a group of characters, centering on the night of a hockey game between the teams of native communities. Dancer Jake has a crush on hockey player Mike, and is surprised when the affection is returned; things are shaken up, however, when Jake’s jealous cousin Goose, who had her sights set on Mike herself, catches them cozying up to each other and decides to carelessly expose them to everyone, with tragic results. Fobister narrates the history of the two-spirited figure in a variety of cultures in order to show that, among the many traditions and sacred rituals that have tragically eroded from native life, the place for a gay member of the tribe no longer exists on reservations where Christianization and the grim realities of economics have created a hostile atmosphere for people who are different. While the show doesn’t nearly touch as deep a cultural chord as it seems to think it does (the audience’s desperation to appear enlightened really helps fill in those gaps), the show is worth seeing because Fobister, while not a profound performer, is an engagingly honest one. All the characters he portrays come to vivid life once he gets into the story, and what could be a simple boy-meets-boy tragedy is actually affecting, engaging and sweet, while his characterizations of cousin Goose and her friend Chayenne provide plenty of laughs.