The play “Cottagers and Indians” is based on a conflict that happened a few years ago, but Co-Directors Noreen Tinney and Kelly Beaulieu say the story still resonates.
The story was written by Drew Hayden Taylor about the conflict between cottagers on Pigeon Lake and an Indigenous man from Curve Lake who was replanting wild rice. While the rice helps clean the lakes, the cottagers said it looked like weeds were growing and, among other things, it made it harder for them to get their boats out. “It was called the wild rice war,” Tinney says.
“It’s a humorous look at cottagers and how we feel like we own this area not really knowing the indigenous original inhabitants of the land,” Beaulieu says, who has owned a cottage in the area for the past 10 years.
Tinney says they are looking for volunteers to help out with the play. “We’re looking for anyone in the community that is willing to help,” she says. The aim is to have high school students get involved to teach them about indigenous history.
She adds that the hope is that this becomes an annual event to go along with the theatre group they will be presenting from August 19th until the 23rd at the Playhouse. Beaulieu, who is also the Toronto Regional Director of the National Theatre Group, says they will come together to discuss the issues that are raised during the play. This group will run from August 19th to the 23rd from 10 AM until 3 PM at the Playhouse.
“Cottagers and Indians” will be shown on August 24th at the Village Playhouse at 2 PM and a matinee showing at 7 PM.