“Salmon Girl is a sweet closure to a solid season”

The Quotable Sayak

The Quotable Sayak

The Quotable Sayak is a critic, contributor and coordinator of social media at Sesaya. Naturally arts-inclined, he is a drama major in a secondary arts program and music student at Sesaya.

Donna Soares, Tasha Faye Evans and Taran Kootenayo in Salmon Girl; photo by Chris Randle

Salmon Girl is the final Young People’s Theatre production of the 2017/18 season, and it is a sweet closure to a solid season.

Salmon Girl shares a First Nations perspective on the importance of salmon. It tells the story of a young girl named Margie (Donna Soares) who loves to fish and is good at it. While fishing one day, she slips on rocks and falls into the river. In the water, she discovers that she has fins, a tail and can even breathe underwater . . . but she can’t swim and doesn’t know how to get back home. Over the next 50 minutes, she meets a friendly salmon named Staqwi (Taran Kootenhayoo) and two minks (Tasha Faye-Evans and Jeannette Kotowich) who try to help her. While figuring out how to return home, Margie learns about how to treat everyone and her environment with respect, where food comes from and that everything is connected. She learns this from her new friends and her Indigenous ancestor Grandmother River (voiced by Gloria May Eshkibok). Margie’s underwater experience shifts her perspective on fish, marine life, family, and her history, and she begins to look at herself and everything around her in a different way.

This show offers a refreshing combination of theatre, dance, puppetry and shadow puppetry. It is also STUNNING to look at because of the beautiful choreography by Michelle Olson and set design by Shizuka Kai. It’s difficult to imagine how a few pieces of fabric can transform into an underwater world so simply and beautifully. This show also portrays its message in a way that both children and adults can enjoy. For instance, the show is sprinkled with pop culture references that most everyone will recognize and find funny. At the end, children will likely walk out of the show thinking about the effects of their actions and how to treat things around them with a little more thought and respect.

Salmon Girl is a fun, thought-provoking, tight and visually appealing show that is DEFINITELY worth your time. After all…it is only 55 minutes. I’m sure you can squeeze it in!

News You Can Use

What: Salmon Girl created by Michelle Olson and Quelemia Sparrow; Written and Directed by Quelemia Sparrow; Choreographed by Michelle Olson; Produced by Raven Spirit Dance
FeaturingGloria May Eshkibok (Grandmother River), Tasha Faye Evans (Mink/Water Spirit), Taran Kootenhayoo (Staqwi), Jeannette Kotowich (Moxy/Water Spirit), Donna Soares (Margie)

Who: Audiences 5 years of age and older

When: On stage till May 12, 2018; run time: approximately 55 minutes (no intermission)

Where: Young People’s Theatre, Mainstage, 165 Front Street, Toronto ON

Info and Tickets: youngpeoplestheatre.ca or 416.862.2222

Explore and Learn: Salmon Girl Study Guide 

© 2018 Sayak S-G, Sesaya

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