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Playwright Keith Barker to speak at Laurier
Communications, Public Affairs & Marketing
Oct 10/13| For Immediate Release
Spy Dénommé-Welch, Aboriginal Education Consultant
Lori Chalmers Morrison, Acting Director
WATERLOO – Keith Barker, a Métis actor and playwright, will speak about Aboriginal issues and contemporary theatre for an event titled “In the Playwright’s Studio: Discussion with Keith Barker,” taking place on Laurier’s Waterloo campus Oct. 24, 2013.
Barker’s play, The Hours That Remain, is his response to the great number of Aboriginal women who have gone missing in Canada, especially around the Highway of Tears, a stretch of road in Northern British Columbia. The play’s protagonist, Denise, is haunted by the disappearance of her sister, Michelle. As Denise and her husband Daniel grapple with the loss, Denise is visited by Michelle in a series of visions that help her to find the answers she is looking for.
“I can’t even begin to imagine what the families of people gone missing must go through not knowing what has happened to their loved ones,” said Barker in a statement. “I picked the title The Hours That Remain to honour that sentiment. Often for those who are left behind life is just the hours that remain. My intention with this play is to stimulate conversation, raise awareness, and with my sincerest of hopes honour the women we have lost.”
At Laurier, Barker will discuss contemporary theatre, the process of writing and his motivations for addressing First Nations issues. The event will also feature a reading from the play and a question-and-answer period.
The event is a partnership between Laurier’s Faculty of Education and Office of Aboriginal Initiatives. On Oct. 25, Barker will speak to Faculty of Education students about teaching Aboriginal history, issues and culture through theatre.
“It is a privilege to have Mr. Barker come and speak to our faculty and teacher education candidates about his work, and it is a great opportunity as educators to learn more about First Nations, Métis and Inuit issues through the power of theatre and storytelling,” said Aboriginal Education Consultant Spy Dénommé-Welch. “It’s these kinds of interactions that bring education to life.”
Barker graduated from George Brown Theatre School and became the Artistic Associate at Native Earth Performing Arts. He was also the playwright-in-residence at Native Earth for the 2012/13 season. The Hours That Remain is his first full-length play.
The Oct. 24 event begins at 6 p.m. in The Senate and Board Chamber. It is a free event and open to the community. Participants are asked to RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.