Tales of an Urban Indian, written and performed by CBC star Darrell Dennis, is a semi-autobiographical story of Simon Douglas, a contemporary First Nations man born in the ‘70’s and raised on a reserve in British Columbia and Vancouver.
A tour-de-force for Dennis, Tales of an Urban Indian examines issues of race, identity and assimilation while offering themes of survival, forgiveness, and ultimately hope from a humourous point of view.
I wanted to tell a story in which an Indigenous character is not defeated by his victimization, but rather, comes to the realization that all human beings possess the power of choice when reacting to their life experience”, stated Dennis. “It was also important, in dealing with the difficult subject matter that we do in this play, to approach it with humour, since humour is perhaps the most important and prevalent survival mechanism in Indigenous society.
In this dark comedy Dennis inhabits the role of Simon as he conjures up an array of characters that come in and out of his life as seen through his eyes. Simon’s friends on the reserve, his mother and grandmother, his girlfriends and every other character are all portrayed through Simon’s mimicry. At the outset Simon explains that he is just like most people, a regular guy with a very common story to tell. As his story unfolds, layers of his character are revealed as are the lessons he has learned in life that have molded him into the person he is now, telling the story.
Tales of an Urban Indian was nominated for two Dora Awards – Best Original Play and Best Performance by an Actor- and produced for multiple tours across North America including the legendary Pub¬lic Theater in New York City and the Autry Theatre in Los Angeles. Dennis’s feature film adaptation of Tales of an Urban Indian was one of 13 international screenplays accepted into the prestigious Sundance Screenwriters Lab!
Written & performed by Darrell Dennis and drected by Herbie Barnes, Tales of an Urban Indian plays for one night only, on 09 February 2019 at 7:30 at the Anvil Centre, 777 Columbia St. New Westminster