Peg is struggling for survival at her boarding school. Three über-cool “it” girls take aim at Peg and make her life utterly miserable. When her beloved Grandmother dies she just wants to disappear. Then an unexpected gift arrives; inside it, Peg finds three cast-iron Canadian soldiers. In despair, she throws them against the floor. How can they help her? They are so small, and the girls’ shadow is so big. But, miraculously, the toys come to life as Indigenous snipers from World War I, just in time to wage an epic battle against the girls. A powerful play that will appeal to audiences both young and old, Iron Peggy uses a creative and ever-surprising blend of voices and sceneries to tell this moving story. With 2018 marking the 100th-year anniversary of WWI, Iron Peggy is an excellent introduction to its history and a touching testimony that not only celebrates the First Nation participation in the war effort but also a young girl’s personal victory.
Iron Peggy, by award-winning, international Métis performer and playwright Marie Clements, was commissioned by the Vancouver International Children’s Festival and premiered at Vancouver’s Waterfront Theatre in 2019. (Adapted from Vancouver International Children’s Festival online presentation.)
Marie Clements is an award-winning Métis performer, playwright, and director whose work has been presented on stages across Canada, the United States and Europe. She is the founder of Urban Ink productions, a Vancouver-based First Nations production company that creates, develops and produces Indigenous and multicultural works of theatre, dance, music, film, and video. Clements was invited to the prestigious Festival TransAmériques in 2001 for Urban Tattoo and in 2002 for Burning Vision. In 2002, she worked in the writing department of the television series Da Vinci’s Inquest. A fellowship award from the BC Film Commission enabled her to develop the film adaptation of her stage play, The Unnatural and Accidental Women. She is also a regular contributor on CBC Radio.
Clements writes, or, perhaps more accurately, composes, with an urbane, incisive and sophisticated intellect; her refined artistry is deeply rooted in the particulars of her place, time, and history. The world premiere of Copper Thunderbird is the first time Canada’s National Arts Centre has produced the work of a First Nations playwright on its main stage.