As part of the federal government’s assimilationist termination and relocation policies of the 1950s, three Native sisters and their mother are moved from Oklahoma to Los Angeles. As these four women try to re-establish connections to a new land, each finds herself lost. The narrative interweaves with another historical injustice—the forced sterilization of thousands of Native women in the 1970s. Inspired by true events, the play is a poetic excavation of the lost stories of displaced Aboriginal people. Cast of four women and three men.
About the author
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 Aboriginal and multi-cultural works of theatre, dance, music, film and video.
Clements was invited to the prestigious Festival de Theatre des Ameriques 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.
Awards and Recognition
Canada-Japan Literary Award (2004) Burning Vision
Governor General’s Literary Award for Drama, Finalist (2003) Burning Vision
Jessie Richardson Award for Outstanding Original Play, Nominee (2002) Burning Vision
Elinore & Lou Siminovitch Prize for Outstanding Contribution to Canadian Theatre, Nominee (2002)
Jessie Richardson Awards, P.T.C. Award for Outstanding Original Play in Development (1998) The Unnatural and Accidental Women
Sundance Screenwriting Competition, Finalist (1998) Now Look What You Made Me Do
Praxis Screenwriting Competition, Short-listed (1997) Now Look What You Made Me Do
Jessie Richardson Awards, Sydney Risk Award for Original Script by an Emerging Playwright (1993) Age of Iron