Winner of the Fringe Play Prize | Debuted at the Vancouver Fringe Fest 2017
A performance work exploring diasporan home & identity in the face of maternal & cultural loss.
SUMMARY: When their mother and grandmother suddenly die, three estranged siblings are forced to come together and pack up their childhood home. As the siblings sort through the artifacts of their family’s herstories, they are forced to confront the legacies of displacement, cultural erasure, and fragmentation that have haunted them for generations. In turn, they must rediscover one another and their desires for belonging, understanding and love.
Setting Bones is a new production from Kalik Arts, an interdisciplinary arts company committed to telling stories that centre the struggles and successes of women, queers, trans and gender nonconforming folks and people of colour – exploring the intersections of identity, history, and cultural memory.
Created by: Anoushka Ratnarajah, Kamee Abrahamian, lee williams boudakian
Dramaturgy and Collaborative Direction By: mia susan amir
Co-Production: Theo Jakob
Setting Bones was developed with the assistance of PTC (Playwrights Theatre Centre) as part of the Fringe New Play Prize.
This production takes place on the unceded traditional and ancestral homelands of the xwməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.
REVIEWS OF SETTING BONES
This strange, clever show completely subverted all of my expectations: tackling subjects such as queer identity, diaspora and cultural erasure, sibling rivalry and family estrangement, loss and healing, and, in a wonderful, unexpected twist (at least a twist in the sense that I did not expect this based on the blurb), the complexities, responsibilties, and sometimes ridiculousness of storytelling itself. I don’t want give too much away, because this is the sort of show that pulls the rug out from under its audience a few times, that builds its humour slowly—that introduces elements that might seem out of place or odd at first, but pay off later in unexpected ways. The performances are strong (lee williams boudakian in particular is great), but this is a play that stands out for the quality and originality of the script (penned by Anoushka Ratnarajah, Kamee Abrahamian, and boudakian, and the winner of PTC’s Fringe New Play Prize). I think it might take a while for some people to get into the rhythm—like any piece of art that defies formula and genre—but by the halfway point I was completely mesmerized. Based on the enthusiastic applause from the audience on opening night, I wasn’t the only one. Smart, nuanced, and self aware: go check it out.
Setting Bones is funny at times, heavy at others, but both relatable and deeply personal. Above all, it is a heartfelt and deeply thought provoking piece.
TWO CENTS TWO PENCE:
Visually this piece is exquisite; with intricate movement both conceptual and pedestrian.