Local Indigenous playwrights Alexandria Bay and Keenan Marchand are presenting a Tall Tales Theatre production called The One You Feed in collaboration with the Trinity Western University SAMC theatre.
A fully Indigenous cast is featured in the tale that follows the story of two siblings who are battling cultural and physical dysphoria after their grandfather’s death.
The siblings reach for stories and wisdom form their Elders, and seek to find a place in the world, culture, and community.
According to Bay, who is of Salteau First Nation, the story is told in accordance with the ancient Indigenous tale of the Two Wolves.
“One [wolf] is good, one is evil, and there’s a constant war inside of us. The one that wins is the one you feed. It shows the battles people are silently fighting inside that no one gets to or can see.” explained Bay.
The show touches on “heart wrenching” material such as guilt and addition, eating disorders, trauma, and shame.
“It’s an ancient tale twisted with modern reality. It originates from Indigenous nature and reaches the core of humanity,” Bay added.
The One You Feed also features Bay on-stage, playing the character of one of the siblings, Andy.
“The show has come together in so many ways I could not even fathom was possible,” she added.
Brookswood’s Sequoia Marchand is from the Okanagan Nation and plays the character of the blue wolf in the show.
Marchand explained the red wolf represents everything good such as love, family, and strength, and the blue wolf represents negative things such as hatred, malice, fault, and doubt.
And Marchand said in real life, she’s much different than her dark presence on stage. She describes herself as “bubbly, nice, and sweet,” but said playing a dark role was “natural,” to her.
“I very much enjoy accessing that world and running with it.”
While Marchand enjoys being on stage, she said one of the best parts is being involved with a show where the entire cast is fully Indigenous.
“It’s really great to be a part of. There’s so much talent and love. I grew up very closely intertwined with my culture. I’m blessed to know my people, stories, and everything like that,” added Marchand.
This is Marchand’s first performance since acting in high school productions, although she’s been an artist in various forms throughout her life.
“I’ve never had a day where I’ve stopped creating,” she added.
Marchand said she believes in the legend of the Two Wolves, and added she’s lucky to have been raised by parents who instilled a “sense of responsibility for actions and choices,” and gave her a “solid foundation of guidance.”
“I fully believe that we all constantly round-the-clock have an internal struggle to reconcile with. We look in the mirror and ask ourselves ‘who am I going to let win today.”
The show is co-produced by Kate Nundal, directed by Jessica Garden, stage managed by Nyssa Morgan, and also features Sharra Ganzevald in the cast.
The One You Feed runs on April 11, 12, and 13. Viewers are warned that some of the show’s challenging content may be triggering.
For showtimes and tickets, visit www.brownpapertickets.com/event/4077582
To read more about the show and cast, visit Facebook @TallTalesThtr