Norval Morisseau is a first nations artist whose artwork Bruce Cockburn used for the cover of "Dancing In The Dragon's Jaws." A friend just passed along this email from well-known Vancouver actress Marilyn Norry about COPPER THUNDERBIRD, a play in development which deals with his life.
For the past 20 years or so I've been looking for plays or movies that deal
with spirituality without being sentimental, goofy, or downright
incomprehensible. It's been a perplexing search. This past week I was
privileged to work on a play at the Banff Centre for the Arts that I think
truly captures the joy and anguish it takes to be a spiritual and creative
person in this world. And it's very funny. The play is called Copper
Thunderbird and is about the Ojibway painter Norval Morisseau (a
retrospective on his work was recently featured at the National Gallery in
Ottawa and the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto). It is written by Marie
Clement and is slated for a spring production at the National Arts Centre in
Ottawa directed by Peter Hinton. I will not alas be part of that production
(I was standing in for Margot Kane who gets to go) but the rest of this fine
cast and I will be presenting a reading of the script at the Arts Club
(Granville Island) this Sunday afternoon at 4 pm. Admission is by donation.
You won't be able to see the operatic staging planned with Morisseau's
fabulous paintings brought to life (I don't get to fly either) but you will
surely be able to imagine it. Even though Vancouver figures prominently in
the story (Morisseau spent time on East Hastings selling his paintings for
booze) it will be years if ever a production is mounted here. Please come by
if you can. And pass on this notice to anyone you think may be interested.