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Sila: The First Play in the Arctic Cycle

Sila: The First Play in the Arctic Cycle
Your Price: $17.95 CDN
Author: Chantal Bilodeau
Publisher: Talonbooks
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 128
Pub. Date: 2015
ISBN-10: 0889229562
ISBN-13: 9780889229563

About the Play:

Sila is a full-length drama by Chantal Bilodeau. Set on Baffin Island in the territory of Nunavut, the play follows a climate scientist, an Inuit activist and her daughter, two Canadian Coast Guard officers, an Inuit elder and two polar bears as they see their values challenged and their lives become intricately intertwined.

Our changing climate will have a significant impact on how we organize ourselves. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the Arctic, where warming temperatures are displacing entire ecosystems. Sila examines the competing interests shaping the future of the Canadian Arctic and local Inuit population. There is more afoot in the Arctic than one might think. On Baffin Island in the territory of Nunavut, eight characters – including a climatologist, an Inuit activist and her daughter, and two polar bears – find their values challenged as they grapple with a rapidly changing environment and world. Sila captures the fragility of life and the interconnectedness of lives, both human and animal, and reveals in gleaming tones that telling the stories of everyday challenges – especially raising children and maintaining family ties – is always more powerful than reciting facts and figures. In Inuit mythology, "sila" means air, climate, or breath. Bilodeau's play of the same name examines the competing interests shaping the future of the Canadian Arctic and local Inuit population. Equal parts Inuit myth and contemporary Arctic policy, Sila features large-as-life polar bear puppets, spoken-word poetry, and three different languages (English, French, and Inuktitut), beautifully blurring the boundaries between folklore and science.

Sila won first prize in the 2012 Earth Matters on Stage Ecodrama Festival and the 2011 Uprising National Playwriting Competition. It premiered in 2014 at Underground Railway Theater in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Sila is the first play of the planned Arctic Cycle, a series of eight plays that examine the impact of climate change on the eight countries of the Arctic circle – Canada, the United States, Greenland, Iceland, Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Russia.

Cast 3 women, 4 men

What people say:

"This production of Sila is true to its name – it will enable each audience member to take a deep breath and to think about his or her role in the earth's ecology." Open Media

"Is it possible to write a play about global warming that isn't talking heads but a dramatic story that draws us in and makes for engaging theater? The French Canadian playwright Chantal Bilodeau has proven it's more than possible with her deeply moving play Sila." Wicked Local (Arlington)

About the Playwright:

Chantal Bilodeau is a Québec playwright and translator now based in New York City. She is the recipient of a Jerome Travel and Study Grant and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship. Her plays and translations have been presented in theatres across the U.S., as well as in Canada, Mexico and Italy.

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