Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 15
- Grade: 10
Tales of an Urban Indian is a one-person play that follows the trials and tribulations of Simon Douglas, a young First Nations man who moves from his rural reservation to the big city of Vancouver. This dark comedy examines the issues of race, identity, and assimilation that drive young Indigenous men to self-destruction.
In The Trickster of Third Avenue East, Roger and Mary are spiralling out of control but are too scared to let each other go. Enter J.C., a mysterious visitor who turns their lives upside down and forces them to confront their darkest secrets. J.C. pushes Roger and Mary into the realm of the supernatural and past the brink of sanity.
About the authors
Darrell Dennis is a playwright, broadcaster, actor and comedian. His one-man show Tales of an Urban Indian was nominated for two Dora Awards and was produced for multiple tours across North America. His feature film adaptation of Tales was one of thirteen international screenplays accepted to the Sundance Screenwriters Lab. He is also known for his role in two CBC TV series; he played Frank Fencepost on The Rez, and Brian Potter on Northwood. Dennis also co-wrote and hosted the groundbreaking CBC Radio program Revision Quest, which ran for four seasons and won the prestigious New York Festival Award. As a comedian, he has performed in televised galas at the Winnipeg Comedy Festival and the Just For Laughs Festival. Dennis currently lives in Los Angeles, California.
Lee Maracle is a member of the Sto:Lo nation. She was born in Vancouver and grew up on the North Shore. She is the author of the critically acclaimed novels Ravensong and Daughters Are Forever. Her novel for young adults, Will’s Garden was well-received and is taught in schools. She has also published on book of poetry, Bent Box, and a work of creative non-fiction, I Am Woman. She is the co-editor of a number of anthologies, including the award winning anthology My Home As I Remember and Telling It: Women and Language across Culture. Her work has been published in anthologies and scholarly journals worldwide. The mother of four and grandmother of seven, Maracle is currently an instructor at the University of Toronto, the Traditional Teacher for First Nation’s House, and instructor with the Centre for Indigenous Theatre and the S.A.G.E. (Support for Aboriginal Graduate Education). She is also a writing instructor at the Banff Centre for the Arts.
In 2009, Maracle received an Honorary Doctor of Letters from St. Thomas University. Maracle recently received the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for her work promoting writing among Aboriginal Youth, and is 2014 finalist for the Ontario Premier’s Award for Excellence in the Arts.
Maracle has served as Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the University of Toronto, University of Waterloo, and the University of Western Washington.
Darrell Dennis: Two Plays: Tales of an Urban Indian & The Trickster of Third Avenue EastDennis is a young Shuswap. The semi-autobiographical play Tales of an Urban Indian investigates the factors that lead a young Aboriginal man down a path of self-destruction. With gut-wrenchingly honest humour, Dennis portrays Simon Douglas as he stumbles through childhood and adolescence, learning life lessons the hard way. The play’s message is to make the best possible choices, not to be a victim and to learn from mistakes. The Trickster of Third Avenue continues the theme of choice. Here the Trickster spirit visits Roger and Mary, a young Aboriginal couple living in the big city. They are struggling to make ends meet and make their relationship work.
Tales of an Urban Indian was nominated for a Dora Mavor Moore award.
Caution: Coarse language and mature subject matter.
Source: The Association of Book Publishers of BC. Canadian Aboriginal Books for Schools. 2008-2009.