The Birds at the Port of Vancouver (BDA_CA01)

The production is set on Vancouver’s waterfront in a disused ship-works. The theme of utopia and dystopia is highlighted, mirroring the history of colonization on Canada’s west coast. This site holds great dramatic potential as well as significance in the interpretation. Originally, the flatlands where Vancouver is situated were fertile wetlands housing a diverse bird population. The first habitation was by the Coastal Salish Nation, for whom the birds were significant spirit guides. The balance of respect for the natural world toppled as European settlements and trade grew. The traditional native longhouses gave way to ship-works where vessels of conquest and commerce were built. Now the ship-works are giving way to the most recent wave of colonization; as the industrial based economy is being displaced by one of import-based global trade, there is a shift of demographic that accompanies it. The port functions similarly to the “wall” in the play; maintaining control of the territory it borders. 
Karyn McCallum, Canada
Nelson Gray
, Canada