Agokwe: UnpluggedWaawaate Fobister
Speaking to bullying, homophobia, unrequited love, social isolation and the lost traditions of the Anishinaabe, Agokwe explores unrequited love between teenage boys from neighbouring reserves. Mike is a hockey player and Jake is a traditional dancer. The boys notice each other at the Kenora Shoppers Mall and ultimately connect through a mutual love of movement while Mike is skating and Jake is dancing “like grass blowing in the wind.” They meet briefly at a post hockey-tournament party where they bashfully confess their desire for each other. However – youth, distance and isolation strive to pull the threads apart when tragedy intervenes. Agokwe won 6 Dora Awards in Toronto, including Outstanding New Play.
Agokwe was developed through the Buddies in Bad Times Theatre’s Young Creator’s unit and had its world premiere at Buddies in September, 2008.
“Agokwe is a magnetic plea for tolerance and action” – Georgia Straight
“Agokwe tells a powerful tale about gay love on the rez” –Vancouver Observer
“Waawaate Fobister brings down the house…” –NOW Magazine
About the artist:
Waawaate Fobister is an actor, dancer, playwright, choreographer, and a producer. Waawaate means Northern Lights, a proud Anishinaabe from Grassy Narrows First Nation and a Grass Dancer. They’re a recipient of two Dora awards for outstanding actor and playwright, Humber College outstanding actor, Mark S. Bonham Centre award from University of Toronto for his work. They also have many nominations, including Ontario Premiers’ Award, K.M Hunter Award and Sterling Award – Edmonton. Waawaate trained and studied at Humber College, Banff Centre for the Arts, School of Toronto Dance Theatre, Centre for Indigenous Theatre and Kahawi Dance Theatre. They have worked for many major theatre companies across Canada. Their work has taken them to many places as an artist, Japan, UK, and many coasts across Turtle Island. Waawaate’s work and writings has been published, they were also a playwright-in-residency at Native Earth Performing Arts – Toronto and Magnus Theatre – Thunder Bay.
Original Agokwe Team
Written and Performed by Waawaate Fobister
Directed by Ed Roy
Original Music by Marc Merilainen
Lighting Designer Kimberly Purtell
Set and Projection Designer Andy Moro
Costume Designer Erika Iserhoff
Sound Designer Lyon Smith
Stage Manager Tracy Lynn Cann
Photo by Marc J Chalifoux