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The Berlin Blues

The Berlin Blues
Your Price: $17.95 CDN
Author: Drew Hayden Taylor
Publisher: Talonbooks
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 96
Pub. Date: 2008
ISBN-10: 0889225818
ISBN-13: 9780889225817
Cast Size: 3 women, 3 men

About the Play:

The Berlin Blues is a full-length comedy by Drew Hayden Taylor. A consortium of German developers descends on an Ontario reserve with a seemingly irresistible offer to improve the local economy: the building the world's largest "Native Theme Park," designed to attract European tourists, causing hilarious personal and political divisions within the local community.

The Berlin Blues is the story of how a First Nations' community reacts when a consortium of German developers, who have a curious and insatiable interest in Aboriginal culture, want to build a "Native Theme Park" – where the main draw is a production of Dances With Wolves, the musical. Two German developers arrive unannounced on the sleepy, fictional Otter Lake reserve. They have with them international investors, $164 million dollars, and blueprints for a theme park called "Ojibway World" complete with bumper canoes, an international longhouse of pancakes, and a giant laser dream catcher. What ensues is a hilarious, laugh-a-minute riot, as some members of the community try to shut down the development, while others leap in with both feet. The play is a cautionary tale about commercial exploitation of indigenous cultures and about communities who are struggling with other issues such as water diversion, wind turbines, and cell towers.

The Berlin Blues premiered in 2007 at Native Voices in Los Angeles. Since then the play has been successfully staged at several professional theatres in Canada and the US. Though it stands on it's own, The Berlin Blues is the concluding play (following The Bootlegger Blues, The Baby Blues, and The Buz' Gem Blues) in what Drew Hayden Taylor calls his Blues Quartet.

Cast: 3 women, 3 men

What people say:

"This play displays a healthy sense of humor... If one needs an innocuous night of theatre, this can be taken as a series of funny events. Those hoping for something deeper can find allegories and metaphors pointing through history." — LA Splash

"There was an elder from the Blood Reserve who once told me that in his opinion, for Native people, humour is the WD-40 of healing. So I try and use that in all my work. I try to be a healer." — Drew Hayden Taylor

"Drew Hayden Taylor has a deft touch for mixing comedy and commentary in an entertaining and all-Canadian form of social satire." — Vancouver Sun

About the Playwright:

Drew Hayden Taylor one of Canada's best known and most prolific Indigenous writers. An Ojibway born on Curve Lake First Nation near Peterborough, Ontario, he has worn many hats in his literary career, from performing stand-up comedy at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., to being Artistic Director of Canada's premiere Aboriginal theatre company, Native Earth Performing Arts. He has been an award-winning playwright (with productions of his work in Canada, the US, and Europe), a journalist/columnist (appearing regularly in several Canadian newspapers and magazines), short-story writer, novelist, television scriptwriter, and documentary filmmaker.

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