Talker's Town & The Girl Who Swam Forever
|Author||Clements & Gray|
What happens when two differently gendered playwrights from distinct cultures investigate racism, misogyny, and miscegenation in a small 1960s mill town?Talker's Townby Nelson Gray andThe Girl Who Swam Foreverby Marie Clements are two one-act plays that portray identical characters and action, but from entirely different perspectives in terms of gender and culture. The action in both involves an indigenous girl who escapes from a residential school and hides out by the river. InTalker’s Town, the story is conveyed by a young non-native boy whose friend has had a relationship with the girl and whose attempts to hush up the affair lead to disastrous consequences. InThe Girl Who Swam Forever, the action unfolds from the perspective of the indigenous girl, who – to claim her past and secure her future – must undergo a shape-shifting transformation to meet her grandmother's ancestral spiritin the form of a hundred-year-old sturgeon. Employing a single setting and working from the same set of characters, the playwrights have created two radically different fictional worlds, one native and one non-native. Published together, the plays form a fascinating dyptich, revealing rifts between indigenous and colonial/settler histories and providing a vehicle for cultural exchange.