Saturday October 15th, 2022 7:00pm-10:00pm
Della Herman Theatre - Smithers, BC
Directed by Marianne Brorup Weston
Designed by The Narrative Design Collective
Bunk #7 is the true story of six boys and a riot at Edmonton Indian Residential School in St. Albert, Alberta in 1960-61. When their favourite English Supervisor is suddenly fired, a perfect storm ignites, causing the boys to rise up and revolt against conditions and incidents at the institution. Its central image is cultural resilience - the capability of a cultural system to absorb adversity, deal with change and continue to develop.
Tickets $20 available at Mountain Eagle Books
This project is over 20 years in the making. It starts with Larry Guno, whom I met in 2000 when I recklessly decided to form a First Nations Theatre Company, Skeena River Players. Me, a completely-ignorant-of-Indigenous-ways settler! Larry did not seem to mind one bit, and we soon became friends.
Larry was an accomplished storyteller. One day he told me about a riot at Edmonton Residential School. How powerfully that story landed on me: I immediately told Larry it would make a great play. “Funny you should say that…” was his wry response.
The rest is history. After discovering the amazing Yvette Nolan to dramaturg Larry, Toronto’s Native Earth Performing Arts slated his play for a national premiere in 2006. In June 2005, Larry visited me, glossy flyer in hand, grinning with hope and joy. I promised him that no matter what, I would bring Bunk #7 to his people, the Nisga’a Nation.
Two weeks later, Larry died. Many hearts were broken.
It has taken me 15 years to find the courage to fulfill my promise to Larry. We made many attempts over the years. One day in October 2019, I knew with certainty the time had come - just do it.
Suddenly COVID hit us, halfway through rehearsals, and we paused for another 18 months. Finally, in November 2021, we presented the “work-in-progress” presentations of Bunk #7 in Terrace, BC.
When the reviews were in, it was clear Bunk # 7 needed to go on the road and share Larry’s heart-warming story of Indigenous resilience to a wider audience.
There are no words to describe the incredible support we received to mount this process-driven project. Creator offered plenty of gifts along the way: the Guno Family who kindly entrusted me with their beloved Larry’s story. Yvette, a quiet and wise pillar of strength in the background. The actors and crew who came forward to join the ensemble and their extended families who are supporting them; funders who believed in the project; the local businesses and organizations who stepped up to the plate. The crows and ravens who dropped feathers for me all these years, reminding me Larry was waiting for this day.
The time is now.
We hope you will view our work in a good way.
This is for Larry and his beloved sister Sadie, who passed on January 23rd, 2022.
Marianne Brørup Weston, Director
Audience advisory: sensitive material and coarse language. IRS support on site.