006 Contemporary Drama – Old
For something completely different, I Count Myself Among Them by Richard Van Camp and adapted by Reneltta Arluk. I was greatly interested to hear this Canadian indigenous drama, although I didn’t at first realize it was based on a short story. Once you hear the heavy and intense narration, though ably acted by Jeff Legacy, you realize that most of the short story has been included word-for-word in the monologue narration by the main character, who has found Native religion in prison and is trying to benefit his community (though he still deals with the drug community and serves as a heavy for intimidating rival drugs gangs). The long opening scene in a Chinese man’s rural café is intense and suspenseful; the actors chosen have excellent, distinctive voices. The ending is very phantasmagoric, and I feel like less narration, more sounds would have benefited the drama here—as well as throughout the play generally. Still, I think it’s an ambitious production, and I’d love to hear more in this vein. It also starred Chris Cound, Russell Bull, Leela Gilday, Lucy Ann Yakeleya, William Greenland, K'a Nakehk'o, Lucia Nakehk'o and Maslyn Scott. It was directed by Reneltta Arluk and produced by Travis Mercredi and Reneltta Arkluk.