bug

bug is a solo performance and artistic ceremony that highlights the ongoing effects of colonialism and intergenerational trauma experienced by Indigenous women, as well as a testimony to the women's resilience and strength. The Girl traces her life from surviving the foster care system to her struggles with addictions. She fights, hoping to break the cycle in order to give her daughter a different life than the one she had. The Mother sits in Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, recounting memories of the daughter that was taken from her, and the struggles of living on the streets in Northern Ontario. They are both followed by Manidoons, a physical manifestation of the trauma and addictions that crawl across generations. bug reveals the hard truths that many Indigenous women face as they carve out a space to survive in contemporary Canada, while holding on to so much hope.

bug is available on paperback, e-book as well as an audio book read by Yolanda Bonnell

Began as 3rd year Creation Project at Humber School for the Creative and Performing Arts

Staged at Weesageechak Begins to Dance Festival, Native Earth Performing Arts Nov 2015

  • Dramaturgical support by Cole Alvis

Staged at Rhubarb Festival, Buddies in Bad Times Feb 2016

  • Ongoing direction by Cole Alvis

Workshop residency and performance at Summerworks August 2016

Performed at UNOfest, "Victoria BC" May 2018

Performed at rEvolver Festival, "Vancouver BC" May 2018

Performed at Luminato Festival, Tkarón:to June 2018

  • Four Dora Mavor Moore nominations – performance in a lead role, new play, outstanding production, lighting design

Performed at High Performance Rodeo, Treaty 7 Territory (Calgary), January 2019

Performed at Kainai High School, Kainai First Nation January 2019

Performed in Superior Robinson Treaty Territory (Thunder Bay), October 2019

Produced at Theatre Passe Muraille in partnership with Native Earth Performing Arts and manidoons collective in February of 2020

  • Directed by Cole Alvis

Published by Scirocco Publishing, Oct 2020

Funding support: Ontario Arts Council, Toronto Arts Council, Canadian Council for the Arts, National Arts Centre – The Collaborations, Native Women in the Arts, Luminato Festival

“The performance itself became a series of gestures with repetition in the round – a circuitous/cypher space that encompassed painful stories and transformations held together through a generative Indigenous harm-reductive process.” - Karyn Recollet, The Globe and Mail

“I see The Girl as many Indigenous women. Women who were taken as children, and whose children are taken. Women whose sisters, mothers, aunties are disappeared or murdered. Women who are loved and celebrated by their communities, but who are treated as worthless by the greater public. Women who laugh and cry with the tenacity and richness of their ancestors.” - Christa Couture

Yolanda Bonnell ©2022