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Women of the Fur Trade

Women of the Fur Trade
Your Price: $18.95 CDN
Author: Frances Koncan
Publisher: Playwrights Canada Press
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 96
Pub. Date: 2022
ISBN-10: 0369103505
ISBN-13: 9780369103505
Cast Size: 3 female, 2 male

About the Play:

Women of the Fur Trade is a full-length comedy by Frances Koncan. Sometime in the 1800s, three very different women (with twenty-first century affinities) sit in a fort sharing their views on life, love, and who they're crushing on. Women of the Fur Trade is a historical satire of survival that shifts perspectives from the male gaze to women's power in the past and present through the lens of the Canadian Fur Trade.

Women of the Fur Trade explores the cultural inheritance of three 19th century women as they navigate the rapidly changing world of the Canadian fur trade. Set in eighteen hundred and something something, in a fort somewhere upon the banks of a Reddish River in Treaty One Territory, near-ish what is commonly known today as Winnipeg, Manitoba, this story follows three very different women with a preference for twenty-first century slang. Cecilia is a British settler, Marie-Angelique is a Métis woman "given up" by her mother, and Eugenia is an Ojibwe woman who sells furs to the inhabitants of the fort. They sit in a small room sharing their views on life, love, and swear to each other "no man, no land, and no government shall ever come between us". A bold promise in a time when poet and folk hero Louis Riel is returning to ready a provisional government, and the ever handsome Thomas Scott is surveying the Reddish River in preparation for its annexation into the Canadian State. Marie-Angelique is determined to woo Louis – who will be arriving soon – by sending him boldly flirtatious letters. Eugenia brings news of rebellion back to the fort after trading, but isn't impressed by Louis's true mediocre nature. And pregnant Cecilia is anxiously waiting on her husband's return from an expedition, but can't resist pining over the heartthrob Thomas Scott, who is actually the one secretly responding to Marie-Angelique's letters. This will all go smoothly, right? Women of the Fur Trade is a timeless tale of rebellion and the the search for identity as cultures clash during a formative time of Canadian history.

Women of the Fur Trade was the winner of Toronto Fringe Best New Play Contest when it was presented in 2018 at Theatre Passe Muraille Mainspace. This full-length version of Women of the Fur Trade premiered in 2020 in a Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre Warehouse production.

Cast: 3 female, 2 male

What people say:

"A timely, provocative piece of theatre written from a perspective and voice we need to hear." — Winnipeg Free Press

"Not only is the play a fun and clever look at the province's history, but by weaving in modern slang and references, Koncan (who is of Anishinaabe and Slovene descent) highlights how many Indigenous issues from our past are still relevant today." — CBC News

About the Playwright:

Frances Koncan is a playwright, director and journalist of mixed Anishinaabe and Slovene descent from Couchiching First Nation in Treaty 3 territory in Ontario, and currently living and working on Treaty 1 territory in Winnipeg, Manitoba. After graduating with an MFA in Playwriting from Brooklyn College, she returned to Winnipeg. She is best known for her plays like Women of the Fur Trade and for her articles in the Winnipeg Free Press.