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Where the Blood Mixes

Where the Blood Mixes
Your Price: $17.95 CDN
Author: Kevin Loring
Publisher: Talonbooks (cover image may change)
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 96
Pub. Date: 2009
ISBN-10: 0889226083
ISBN-13: 9780889226081
Cast Size: 2 female, 4 male

About the Play:

Winner of the 2009 Governor General's Literary Award for Drama (Canadian equivalent of the Pulitzer Prize)

Where the Blood Mixes is a full-length drama by Kevin Loring. An award-winning story about loss and redemption. The child of Residential School survivors, Christine is removed from her home at a young age. When she returns, she must rediscover the family and community she left behind. While Where the Blood Mixes is serious, it balances the pain with a keen sense of humour.

Where the Blood Mixes explores the intergenerational effects of the Residential School system. It explores the legacy left behind after Aboriginal children were taken from their families, abused and assaulted in Residential Schools. Though torn down years ago, the memories of their Residential School still live deep inside the hearts of those who spent their childhoods there. For some, like Floyd, the legacy of that trauma has been passed down through families for generations. But what is the greater story, what lies untold beneath Floyd's alcoholism, under the pain and isolation of the play's main character?

Kevin Loring's title was inspired by the mistranslation of the Nlaka'pamux place name "Kumsheen." For years, it was believed to mean "the place where the rivers meet" – the confluence of the muddy Fraser and the brilliant blue Thompson Rivers. A more accurate translation is: "the place inside the heart where the blood mixes." But Kumsheen also refers to a story: Coyote was disemboweled there, along a great cliff in an epic battle with a giant shape – shifting being that could transform the world with its powers – to this day his intestines can still be seen strewn along the granite walls. In his rage the transformer tore Coyote apart and scattered his body across the nation, his heart landing in the place where the rivers meet.

Can a person survive their past; can a people survive their history? Irreverently funny and brutally honest, Where the Blood Mixes is a story about loss and redemption. Caught in a shadowy pool of alcoholic pain and guilt, Floyd is a man who has lost everyone he holds most dear. Now after more than two decades, his daughter Christine returns home to confront her father. Set during the salmon run, Where the Blood Mixes takes us to the bottom of the river, to the heart of a People.

Where the Blood Mixes premiered in 2008 at Factory Theatre in Toronto during the Luminato Festival before coming to Vancouver for a run at the Magnetic North Theatre Festival. The play toured nationally in Canada and won the 2009 Governor General's Award for drama.

Cast: 2 female, 4 male

What people say:

"Where the Blood Mixes goes straight to the heart. But it goes there via the funny bone." — Vancouver Courier

"For a first-time playwright, Kevin Loring is making quite a splash." — Georgia Straight

"Where the Blood Mixeswas the best of a stream of plays tackling [the Residential Schools'] disastrous legacy." — Globe and Mail

"What a joy to witness … a genuinely great piece of theatre about our nation's dark secret and the terrible consequences of trying to poison the well of aboriginal spirit, being, culture and ritual." — Vancouver Sun

"Kevin Loring illuminates the complex aftermath of the residential school system and the circumstances of contemporary Aboriginal history through compelling, sympathetic and humorous characters who live as best they can, with courage and strength." — Canada Council for the Arts

"There's no denying the wit and emotional impact of Where the Blood Mixes. Again and again, Loring creates profoundly moving moments, and then wraps them in reassuringly earthy humour." — Georgia Straight

About the Playwright:

Kevin Loring is an accomplished Canadian playwright, actor and director. As an actor, he has performed on stages across the Canada, on radio, in animation, and on the large and small screens. He was the winner of the Governor General’s Award for English Language Drama for his outstanding first play, Where the Blood Mixes in 2009, as well as the Jessie Richardson Award for Outstanding Original Script, and the Sydney J. Risk Prize for Outstanding Original Script by an Emerging Playwright. A Nlaka'pamux from the Lytton First Nation (previously known as the Thompson) in British Columbia, he is a graduate of Studio 58 and the Ensemble Training Program through Full Circle First Nations Performance. In 2017 he was appointed as the first Artistic Director of Indigenous Theatre at the National Arts Centre of Canada (NAC).

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