Written by Melanie Jones
Performed by Tanya Marquardt, Melanie Jones, Doug Chapman, Karen Grenke, and Jessica Ranville
Friday-Saturday, April 17-18 @ 8:00 pm
Sunday, April 19 @ 6:00 pm
Tickets: $16 General, $10 Low-Income [Buy Tickets]
CANADIANS ARE MEAN is an ensemble performance installation, written and produced by Melanie Jones and created collaboratively with an ensemble of Albertan (Calgary, Peace River), Manitoban, Torontonian, Vancouverite, French-Canadian and First Nations (Métis, Sioux/Cree, Ojibway) performers. Set in a dystopian near-future in the wilderness of the largely undefended Canada-U.S. border, the work casts the audience as American refugees, and the performers as Canadian customs officers and staff of the nonprofit organization Canadians Without Borders. Exploring immigration, stereotype, the problematic relationship between two colonial siblings – and drawing loosely from the 1971 film “Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” – the audience journey walks a fine line between amusement park ride and bizarre administrative entrapment.
Audience are processed, questioned and indoctrinated with Canadian culture, traveling through an absurd bureaucratic obstacle course. Immigration requirements are written and rewritten. Canadian cultural traditions are altered, fabricated and packaged as truth. Simmering Canadian rage comes to a boil and the refugees are forced to answer for generations of minimizing, neglect and moose jokes.
Developed with support from Alberta Foundation for the Arts.