Pig Girl | Jan 28 - Feb 6 | Centaur Theatre

By Colleen Murphy

Governor General’s Award Winner, Colleen Murphy, brings us


Colleen Murphy once again deals with a difficult subject with bravery, humour and compassion.

Serious, riveting and deeply involving. – Reviews Gate

A potent, provocative play. – The Public Reviews

In Pig Girl, we witness Killer who has taken prisoner Dying Woman. It is a tragedy, since we know she will die at his hands. But she is not a victim: she fights back, her act of defiance reminds us of her humanity, of her identity. Her voice is that of many, of those that cannot or will not be heard. Alongside is the story of Sister who desperately, yet relentlessly confronts a justice system that is painfully slow at dealing with the disappearance of marginalized women.


Reneltta Arluk as Dying Girl Marcelo Arroyo as Police Officer Graham Cuthbertson as Killer Julie Tamiko Manning as Sister

Creative Team

Directed by Micheline Chevrier Set and Costumes by Diana Uribe Lighting by Andrea Lundy Sound by Jesse Ash

The play gives a fictional victim’s story back to her as she fights to refuse the inevitable. It will not help her, but her heroic defiance gives voice to thousands of women whose lives or spirits have been lost to violence.

– Finborough Theatre

Micheline Chevrier’s direction is a stylish and considered solution to the problem of depicting violence – especially such recent real-life violence – on the stage without exploiting it

– Jim Burke, Montreal Gazettenal


JANUARY 28, 2016 COLLEEN MURPHY Colleen-Murphy-BW-cropped2  is a playwright, filmmaker and librettist. She won the 2014 Carol Bolt Award for her play Pig Girl and was also shortlisted for the 2014 Siminovitch Prize in Theatre. Her play The December Man (L’homme de décembre) won the 2007 Governor General’s Literary Award for Drama, the CAA/Carol Bolt Award and the Enbridge Playwrights Award. Other plays include Armstrong’s War, The Goodnight Bird, Beating Heart Cadaver (nominated for a 1999 Governor General’s Literary Award for Drama), The Piper and All Other Destinations are Cancelled. She won two awards in the CBC Literary Competition for the radio dramas Fire-Engine Red and Pumpkin Eaters. She is also an award-winning filmmaker and her distinct films have played in festivals around the world. She is currently the 2015-17 Lee Playwright in Residence at the University of Alberta, and has been Guest Playwright at Edmonton’s Citadel Theatre since 2010. In 2012 she was Playwright-inResidence at Factory Theatre in Toronto, and also the Canadian Playwright-in-Residence at Finborough Theatre in London U.K. She has been Writer in Residence at the University of Guelph, Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, McMaster University in Hamilton and the University of Regina.

KEITH BARKER barker_keith_1 is a Métis playwright & actor from Northwestern Ontario. He works at the Canada Council of the Arts for the Aboriginal Arts, and was the former Artistic Associate at Native Earth Performing Arts. He is a former member of the Toronto Arts Council Committee, and a board member for the Indigenous Performing Arts Alliance. He was the administrator of the Young Voices Program for young Aboriginal writers.

DARRAH TEITEL  is a graduate of The University of Toronto and The National Theatre School of Canada’s. She is the playwright in residence at The Great Canadian Theatre Company. Her most recent credits include Corpus (Teesri Duniya 2014, Counterpoint 2014) The Apology (Alberta Theatre Projects 2013, Next Stage Festival 2011) Marla’s Party (SummerWorks 2008) the CBC radio drama Palliative (2007) She Said Destroy (NTS, 2007). Her journalism, fiction and poetry have been published in journals and periodicals throughout Canada. Darrah is the winner of several awards, and has received nominations for Dora, Betty Mitchell, Rideau and META Prizes for Outstanding New Plays. Darrah lives Ottawa where she has worked for The NDP critics for The Status of Women and Indigenous Affairs and is writing a play about P.E. Trudeau’s 1969 Omnibus Bill.

DR CATHERINE RICHARDSON is a Metis family and community therapist specializing in practice and research involving recovery from violence.  She is currently involved in advancing response-based practice, a dignity-based approach to violence prevention and recovery with individuals and groups.  She has worked with Indigenous communities, with victims of spousal assault and with families in child protection settings.  She is a co-founder of the Centre for Response-Based Practice and is an Associate Professor in the School of Social Work at the Université de Montréal. Response-based practice is centered on dignity and honouring resistance in conversations with people who have been harmed.  Cathy is interested in the quality of the social response received when violence is disclosed and how this relates to social forces such as colonialism or neo-liberalism.  Cathy was in charge of the development of the “Islands of Safety” model used in child welfare settings with Indigenous families.  She is also on the Advisory Council for the Indigenous Child Well-being Research Network out of the University of Victoria.  She lives in Montreal with her partner Isaac and her youngest son Rupert.


image004 HEATHER WHITE is a Mohawk-Stoney actress, educator, and aspiring playwright. She’s a graduate of Concordia University’s Theatre Performance program, Toronto’s Center for Indigenous Theatre, and McGill University’s Faculty of Education. In addition to teaching at Kahnawake Survival School she also stars as Caitlin in APTN’s Mohawk Girls.

JANUARY 30 NAKUSET, the Executive Director of the Native Women’s Shelter of Montréal, is Cree from Lac la Ronge, Saskatchewan. She has three beautiful boys, Kistin, Mahkisis and Mahihkan. She was adopted by a Jewish family in Montréal and draws on her adoptee experience for insight on her work advocating for the Aboriginal children in care. She is the co-president of the Montréal Urban Aboriginal Community Strategy Network.  Her most recent accomplishment include  creating, producing and hosting the television series “Indigenous Power”, as well as being voted “Woman of the Year” by the Montreal Council of Women.  Nakuset  is dedicated to improving the lives of urban aboriginals.

CAMILLE USHER CUsher is an emerging Indigenous scholar from Vancouver, BC. She is currently pursuing an MA in Art History at Concordia University with research focusing on community engaged arts projects that deal with a range of socially-based issues, primarily the alarming rates of suicide among Inuit youth. As the graduate coordinator of the Indigenous Arts Research Group at Concordia University, Usher is intimately involved in the organization of events such as speaker series, and workshops that serve students as well as the broader Indigenous community of Montreal.

AMAL KENSHIL  has been a member of Missing Justice for over a year.  She is currently student at Concordia University working towards a BA with a Specialization in Urban Planning where concepts of participatory planning, architecture and the right to the city have shaped her community work.  She has also been working on projects confronting anti-Blackness, anti-immigration, environmental racism and housing rights.  Her work as a board member of QPIRG Concordia (Quebec Public Interest Research Group) has been an opportunity to support community and social justice work done by organizations around Montreal.  Her work and degree go hand in hand in cultivating knowledge based on community empowerment and the concepts of having a right to the city.


ERIN SHIELDS Erin-Shields  is a Montreal based playwright and actor. She won the 2011 Governor General’s Award for her play If We Were Birds, which premiered at Tarragon Theatre where she is currently a playwright-in-residence. If We Were Birds has been widely produced and translated into French, German, Italian and Albanian. Erin is co-Artistic Director (with Andrea Donaldson) of an independent theatre company based in Toronto called Groundwater Productions, which just premiered her latest play Beautiful Man at The SummerWorks Festival. Erin’s version of Ibsen’s The Lady from the Sea was part of The Shaw Festival’s 2015 season. Her play for young audiences, Mistatim, is currently touring North America with Red Sky Performance and will play to Toronto audiences at Young Peoples’ Theatre in February, 2016. Other plays include Soliciting Temptation (Tarragon), Montparnasse (Theatre Passe Muraille), The Unfortunate Misadventures of Masha Galinski (Canadian Tour) and The Epic of Gilgamesh (Summerworks).

CONSTABLE CARLO DE ANGELIS: Carlo DE ANGELIS Since June 25th, 2015, Carlo De Angelis is the liaison officer for the indigenous community at the Montreal Metropolitan Police Department. He has created a net of connections and partnerships with the local organizations and the indigenous community, in order to assure that indigenous Montrealers benefit from the social services they might require.


LEONIE COUTURE Léonie - photo officielle_0 is the founder of La Rue des Femmes, a non-for-profit organization that provides services to women in a state of homelessness in Montreal. La Rue des Femmes empowers these women to rebuild their lives by offering shelter, food, clothing, counseling, relational therapy, art and social support. Each year, it helps more than 500 women. Since the early 1980s, Léonie has dedicated her life to women’s rights advocacy. She worked at the Mouvement contre le viol et l’inceste —Movement against rape and incest in English (1981-87), in the field of illiteracy elimination (1987-91), and at the Women’s Health Centre (1991-93). In 1994, on the base of relational health and her feminist view of a woman’s right to “dignity, justice, security and equality,” she founded La Rue des femmes, a relational-health community centre. In 2010, she was a laureate of the Idola Saint-Jean prize, awarded by the Fédération des femmes du Québec to an individual or group of people for their contribution to the betterment of women’s lives and the advancement of feminism in Quebec. In June 2012, she received the title of Chevalière de l’Ordre national du Québec, notably for her pioneer work with women in a state of homelessness and her efforts to bring social and political attention to this issue. Léonie recognizes that women’s experiences of homelessness are different than those of men – more hidden and at risk of violence – and require specific attention and interventions. Counseling, relational therapy, art and personal care are an intrinsic part of her holistic approach to homelessness as well as to women’s rights and needs.

EMMANUELLE WALTER emmanuelle is a Montreal based independent journalist, author, researcher and editor. She wrote “Sœurs volées, enquête sur un féminicide au Canada” now available in its English version as: “Stolen Sisters : The Story of Two Missing Girls, Their Families, and How Canada Has Failed Indigenous Women”. She is currently working for the National Film Board on various documentary projects.

NAKUSET (Encore) Nakuset Nakuset, the Executive Director of the Native Women’s Shelter of Montréal, is Cree from Lac la Ronge, Saskatchewan. She has three beautiful boys, Kistin, Mahkisis and Mahihkan. She was adopted by a Jewish family in Montréal and draws on her adoptee experience for insight on her work advocating for the Aboriginal children in care. She is the co-president of the Montréal Urban Aboriginal Community Strategy Network.  Her most recent accomplishment include  creating, producing and hosting the television series “Indigenous Power”, as well as being voted “Woman of the Year” by the Montreal Council of Women.  Nakuset  is dedicated to improving the lives of urban aboriginals.

TIMOTHY ARMSTRONG (Encore) photo is from the Brokenhead Ojibway Nation in Manitoba who has called Montreal his home since 1990. He is a radio announcer at K103.7 FM in Kahnawake. He is a political activist who uses music to convey his message and has written songs for Idle No More and MMIW. He is honored to have one of his songs selected on the TRC CD which brings attention to the legacy of Residential Schools. He has offered to play a traditional Honor Song following the performance.


TRICIA SKAWENNATI FRAGNITO Skawennati Portrait by Roger Lemoyne 2015 makes art that addresses history, the future, and change. Her pioneering new media projects include the online gallery/chat-space and mixed-reality event, CyberPowWow (1997-2004); a paper doll/time-travel journal, Imagining Indians in the 25th Century (2001); and TimeTraveller™(2008-2013), a multi-platform project featuring nine machinima episodes. These have been widely presented across North America in major exhibitions such as “Now? Now!” at the Biennale of the Americas; and “Looking Forward (L’Avenir)” at the Montreal Biennale. She has been honored to win imagineNative’s 2009 Best New Media Award as well as a 2011 Eiteljorg Contemporary Art Fellowship. Her work in is included in both public and private collections. Born in Kahnawake Mohawk Territory, Skawennati holds a BFA from Concordia University in Montreal, where she is based. She is Co-Director, with Jason E. Lewis, of Aboriginal Territories in Cyberspace (AbTeC), a research network of artists, academics and technologists investigating, creating and critiquing Indigenous virtual environments. She also co-directs their workshops in Aboriginal Storytelling and Digital Media, Skins. This year, AbTeC launched IIF, the Initiative for Indigenous Futures; Skawennati is its Partnership Coordinator.

ELIZABETH FAST file is Métis from St. François-Xavier, Manitoba, holds a PhD in Social Work from McGill University and is an Assistant Professor at Concordia University. She teaches in the Department of Applied Human Sciences and First Peoples’ Studies. Elizabeth is a Board Member of the Native Women’s Shelter of Montreal and a community-based researcher with two decades of experience working in social service organizations and community settings. Her research focuses on Indigenous youth, with a particular focus on understanding of the cultural needs of Indigenous youth raised outside of their biological families or disconnected from their cultural roots.  She uses Indigenous methodologies, arts-based interventions and decolonizing principles to engage youth in research and in exploring their cultural roots.

ORENDA BOUCHER COUROTTE Orenda K. Boucher-Courotte is a Kanienkehaka scholar from the community of Kahnawake. She holds an MA in Religious Studies from Concordia and is a PhD Candidate at University of Ottawa. She’s currently the Coordinator of the First Peoples’ Center at Dawson, as well as a lecturer at Kiuna Institute, and McGill University where she was recently awarded The Charles Bronfman and Rita Mayo Award for Excellence in Teaching.


VICKY BOLDO, kisēwātisiwīn thōtin:iskwew, Born in British Columbia, Vicky is a transracial adoptee from the ‘60’s Scoop Era – although she was placed for adoption at birth she is a strong ally to the survivors of this time. Vicky is of Cree/Métis heritage. She is passionate about effecting change in policy, education and attitudes in social work, health care and education for First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. She is highly involved within the urban Aboriginal community in and around Montreal as a board member for the Native Women’s Shelter, member of the Urban Aboriginal Community Strategy Network, sits on the Aboriginal Advisory Committee to the SPVM and guests lectures frequently at the local universities. Her joy in living is matched by her desire to give back to the community and to bring cultural awareness and sensitivity to the unaware. Closing with a traditional warrior song.

This production was supported by special grants from