Wawatay

Written by:

Penny Gummerson

Cast Size:
9

Roles For:

  • Men: 3
  • Women: 3

Genre:

Drama

Themes:

Family
Indigenous

Length:

120 min.

Year Written:

2002

Synopsis:

“In Wawatay, Frank LaFontaine and his children, BJ, Junior, and Mary, seem to have their dysfunctional lives under control until estranged younger sister Jaz shows up from Vancouver. The black sheep of the family, Jaz disrupts the family balance by challenging it. She has embraced her Native heritage and as her mother lies in a coma and the Northern Lights dance, she encourages her unwilling family to face the truth of their ancestry.” (From the Playwrights Canada Press)

Characters:

JAZ: Youngest daughter. Age 30. Free-spirited artist. Long, dark hair. The only one to embrace her Native roots. The black sheep of the family. Hasn’t been home in ten years.

LOIS: The dying mother. 60. Petite. Gentle-looking. The glue that has held this family together for 40-odd years.

FRANK: The father. Half-Cree Indian, but passes for “white.” Age 65. Retired. Patriarch. Loves his wife. Has denied his Native roots his entire adult life.

MARY: Eldest daughter. Age 42. Super-responsible. Level-headed. A staunch Catholic. Desperately wants children, but can’t get pregnant.

BJ: Eldest son. Age 40. Loves hunting and trapping. Handsome. A great storyteller. Peacemaker. Recovering alcoholic.

JUNIOR: Younger son. Age 38. An executive. Loves money. Despite a good education, a racist. Angry. A drinker. His father’s favourite.

First Produced:

Firehall Arts Centre, Vancouver, BC, 2002

Resources:

Wawatay is published by Playwrights Canada Press. Out of Print. Check your local script library for a copy.

To view more plays like this, click here.

Notes:

Jessie Richardson Theatre Award

The role of Jaz’s mother is wordless.