bug

By Yolanda Bonnell

bug
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bug is a solo performance and artistic ceremony that highlights the ongoing effects of colonialism and intergenerational trauma experienced by Indigenous women, as well as a testimony to the women's resilience and strength. The Girl traces her life from surviving the foster ... Read more


Overview

bug is a solo performance and artistic ceremony that highlights the ongoing effects of colonialism and intergenerational trauma experienced by Indigenous women, as well as a testimony to the women's resilience and strength. The Girl traces her life from surviving the foster care system to her struggles with addictions. She fights, hoping to break the cycle in order to give her daughter a different life than the one she had. The Mother sits in Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, recounting memories of the daughter that was taken from her, and the struggles of living on the streets in Northern Ontario. They are both followed by Manidoons, a physical manifestation of the trauma and addictions that crawl across generations. bug reveals the hard truths that many Indigenous women face as they carve out a space to survive in contemporary Canada, while holding on to so much hope.

Yolanda Bonnell

Yolanda Bonnell (She/Her) is a Queer 2-Spirit Ojibwe/South Asian performer, playwright and poet from Fort William First Nation in Thunder Bay, Ontario (Superior Robinson Treaty Territory). She is now based in Tkarón:to. Yolanda's Dora-nominated solo show bug had its world premiere at the Luminato Festival in 2018, followed by a national tour and a remount at Theatre Passe Muraille in February 2020. She was also a part of Factory Theatre's The Foundry, a creation program for new career writers, where her play, Scanner continues to be developed towards production. Yolanda was also invited to be part of the Banff Playwrights Lab with her piece, White Girls in Moccasins, which is now in development at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre. She and co-writer Natasha Greenblatt, were named "Stage Artists to Watch" by NOW Magazine for their show The Election, which premiered in October of 2019.

Excerpt

Drum beat

Ancestors move through time and presence themselves

Conjuring our story

The ancestors dance -- a tree grows and dies and grows and dies and continues to cycle

An elder speaks:

What you don't understand is

Where it came from

You don't understand why

The root

That grew into a tree of poison and self-loathing

What you don't understand is

How difficult it is to navigate the branches

When everyone wants to cut down the tree

The tree is sick

What you don't understand

Is that the tree is sick

The poison cycled so much

It became embedded

Into our bark

Sickness was planted in us

And we

We are trying to get well

Everything is heavier

Harder

What you don't understand

Is that trauma

Set us up to fail

Like the policies

That failed

What you don't understand is

How resilient we are

What you don't understand is

How important it is that we live

Keep living

Despite the poison of trauma that runs in our veins

The tree may be sick

But our ancestors are lush green leaves

That continue to give us life

THE GIRL is born in this cycle and speaks from within it

She is here because of the strength of her ancestors

 

Breath.

Reviews

bug pulls back the curtain on the falsehood of reconciliation using storytelling and movement, bringing everything we've seen in the news and the history books into the heart and gut. (Mooney on Theatre)

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