On December 16th, the TFS Drama Club was proud to feature three productions of the play Sisters by Wendy Lill. The production was directed by TFS Principal Mr. Gaudet and the score, partly inspired by the Honour Song of the Mi’kmaq, was composed by Level V student Jason C., who subsequently directed a band of four extraordinary musicians: Ms. Oliver and Level Vs Beatrice C., Nathalie J., and Aidan T.. The cast was composed of five talented actors: Emilie A., Laura H., Reece L., Cassandra P. and Maggie W.. Oh, and I was in it too. The cast received indispensable support from teachers Mr. Doughty and Mme. Cholette, and Level V student Shaw Zhang. To all the people involved with Sisters and to all student and staff audience members, I would like to express my unending gratitude for supporting my dream of helping perpetuate the performing arts at TFS.
But why, exactly, do us theatre peeps do what we do? Why spend three months of our time relentlessly rehearsing for something that’ll have a final product of only two hours? Why put ourselves in a position where hundreds of pairs of eyes are glued to us as we expose our deepest vulnerabilities? The answer lies in an actor’s almost irrational adoration for art and what it stands for; in other words, in an actor’s ability to communicate a powerful message to the audience.
Sisters is a damning play that explores the sickening events of our country’s recent history – events that, to many Canadians, remain unknown. Indigenous peoples are Canadians whose cries for help are drowned out every passing day. The consequences of residential school continue to affect Indigenous Canadians today. In preparation for Sisters, I began to learn more about the horrific reality of residential schools, which heightened my desire to share Wendy Lill’s complex and thoughtful play with the TFS community. This is why plays like Sisters are important: they accurately capture moments of raw humanity and affect the audience on an emotional level, which is something that many other mediums are unable to pull off. Through the engaging platform of theatre, artists are able to raise awareness for issues that matter to them in hopes of contributing to a solution. This is something that makes art beautiful. Art shapes who we are in a subtle and significant way, often going under-appreciated.
We are in a unique position, as fortunate individuals and ‘citizens who reflect’, that compels us to make drastic changes for the better. I encourage you, dear reader, to never fret self-expression, whether it is through the arts or not. It only takes one person to start a movement, so don’t be afraid to try.