Chelsea Rose in “Th’owxiya: The Hungry Feast Dish,” an Axis Theatre production. (submitted photo)

Kids help forest animals in ‘Hungry Feast Dish’ fable coming to Surrey

Joseph A. Dandurand’s script features mouse, raven and sasquatch

Aimed at theatre-goers of all ages, a “deliciously dark Kwantlen First Nations fable” is headed for a stage in Surrey this Saturday afternoon (Feb. 15).

Th’owxiya: The Hungry Feast Dish features a cast of Indigenous storytellers in a 50-minute show at Surrey Arts Centre’s Studio Theatre, starting at 3 p.m.

Axis Theatre’s interactive production tells a mythical tale of forest animals – a mouse, a raven, a sasquatch – in a story about “taking care of the earth, honour and friendship,” according to a post at surrey.ca.

A detailed description of the play is posted to axistheatre.com/thowxiya, along with a study guide for school teachers.

Joseph A. Dandurand wrote the story while interning at the Canadian Museum of History in Quebec, where he wrote scripts for the in-house theatre troupe. In the museum’s Grand Hall sat an eight-foot-long carved feast dish that Dandurand saw daily as he wrote his scripts – and inspired him to write Th’owixiya: The Hungry Feast Dish.

“Kids love the play and even at times join in and help the characters,” Dandurand says in a pre-show release. “I believe families like the play as it has a good message, and I think that those who come to the Surrey Arts Centre show will be left with a good feeling, the children will enjoy themselves and all will feel that they have shared in a good story.”

(Story continues below video)

Axis Theatre – Th'owxiya: The Hungry Feast Dish long promo – Talking Stick Festival 2018 from Axis Theatre Company on Vimeo.

The play features actor Chelsea Rose, who said it “feels amazing” for her to bring the Kwantlen First Nations story to Surrey Arts Centre, where she performed shows growing up.

“Being able to perform an Indigenous production there warms my heart,” Rose says. “Th’owxiya is different from any show I’ve done before. It’s my first show for young audiences, and first show done in mask. Hearing the children calling out and getting excited about the story is thrilling, and quite comical. As Indigenous actors, we often are cast in productions that speak of our recent, and terrible history. It’s so satisfying to be able to share the laughter, and joy we have, while also teaching a lesson.”

FROM THE ARCHIVES: See Chelsea Rose in a Surrey production of “The Phantom of the Panto” in 2012.

On stages of another kind, Rose is the lead vocalist in a “symphonic metal” band called Ophelia Falling, based in Vancouver.

In addition to Rose, Th’owixiya: The Hungry Feast Dish features actors Taran Kootenhayoo, Lindsay Warnock, Raes Calvert, Merewyn Comeau and Margo Kane.

A Surrey Civic Theatres presentation, the production is brought here by Axis Theatre, which has created 57 original works and earned 24 Jessie Richardson Awards since the theatre company was formed in 1973.

Tickets are $15, or $45 for a pack of four, via tickets.surrey.ca, or call the box office at 604-501-5566.



tom.zillich@surreynowleader.com

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