Some subjects are so traumatic or personal that it is difficult to address them through art. But for Yvonne Wallace, a 2001 Theatre Arts – Performance graduate, writing her truth has been easier than one might expect. We spoke with her via email recently, and she told us about her new plays and shared the piece of advice that helps her to write so honestly.
I am writing a one-woman play called Transformation about a First Nations woman who, at the end of her time on Earth, refuses to speak English. She calls on her niece to learn Ucwalmicwts from the Lil’wat Nation with limited time. It is a very personal piece about my life and it will also be my first fluent Ucwalmicwts-speaking moment in my life. In retrospect, it’s a body of work that I feel my professors Diana Belshaw, Catherine Marrion and Mark Schoenberg would have wanted me to write.
I am participating in the 30th Weesageechak Festival this year with my work The Last Dance. It deals with the issue of domestic violence and its relationship to MMIW in this country. My reading will be presented on November 18, 2017.
[I remember] my second-year writing project when our writing instructor reminded our class to write the most difficult question that we want answered, and then move in both directions from there. Understand that the answer may not be what you wanted, but have the courage to seek the answer regardless. The work for me hasn’t been complicated because of this one piece of advice; it’s been incredibly honest.
To see Yvonne in The Last Dance at Aki Studio (585 Dundas Street East, Toronto, on the main floor of the Daniels Spectrum) on November 18, purchase a ticket online.
Photo credit: Red Works Photography