Western Edge Theatre’s popular Plays and Pie series of staged readings continues on Sat., Feb 24th with Café Daughter by Kenneth T. Williams, a powerful one-person, multi-character play about a young Chinese-Cree woman in 1950s Saskatchewan.
Based on the life of neuroscientist and Senator Lillian Eva Quan Dyck, Café Daughter is the story of Yvette, a bright girl in Alistair, Sask. who has been put in the slow learners class because of her skin colour. The daughter of a Chinese father and Cree mother, she cheerfully helps out in her parents’ café, but her mother Katherine, who was made to attend residential school, is conflicted about her identity and has sworn Yvette to a secret – to never tell anyone she’s part Cree.
But over time, Yvette learns there is a world beyond the one she knows — and becomes determined to get there.
Café Daughter features Nanaimo actor Gina Dâmaso and is directed by writer and VIU instructor Michael Calvert. Dâmaso trained in the Vancouver Island University Theatre Department and is also an award-winning musical performer. Calvert’s play Gladys & Lionel: A Mother and Son Murder was first presented in Western Edge’s 2012 New Waves Festival, and later produced by the Satyr Players at VIU. He teaches First Peoples Literature and Composition at the university.
Calvert says he struggled for many years to find his own Métis identity and felt an instant connection to Café Daughter. “The journey it takes us on burrows into that search for identity.”
The Plays and Pie staged reading of Café Daughter starts at 7:30 pm on Sat., Feb. 24 at Kismet Theatre Academy, 55 Victoria Rd., Nanaimo (see map here). Tickets cost $10 and may be purchased online (click here), by phone at 250-816-6459, and at the door as available. Western Edge Theatre 2017-18 subscribers and flex-pass holders are admitted free, and yes, pie (and other desserts) will be served.
The 2017-18 Western Edge Theatre season is generously supported by Romper Room Indoor Rock Climbing Centre, the Howard-Johnson Harbourside Hotel, InPrint, and the Nanaimo News-Bulletin. It is also made possible by financial support from the City of Nanaimo and the Province of British Columbia.