written by Collen Murphy
Directed by Micheliene Chevrier
January 28th - February 6th 2016
Centaur Theatre, Montreal, QC
Pig Girl is a play about missing and murderded indigenous women told through the relationships between the characters of Dying Woman, Sister, Police Officer, and Killer. It is a fictionalized interpretation of the Robert Pickton murders in Port Coquitlam, British Columbia.
Imago Theatre is a Montreal based company who's mandate is "to produce thought-provoking works that reflect women’s voices and stories of our times."
Read an interview with actor Renelta Arluk here.
Read Jim Burke's review in the Montreal Gazette here.
Missing moments of stillness of silence, I felt so little time to process or take in. So much of what the characters experience is continuous, continuous struggle. How can the piece keep its representation of constant struggle and place that on the audience, while still giving them opportunities to absorb. Something that touched me was the Dying Woman’s line about feeling the pressure of not being able to be honest about what you’re going through with the people of your support system for fear of disappointing them or causing them strain. I picked up a lot on the guilt, struggle and pain that the character of the Sister felt of hurting the ones you love. I was interested in the emphasis the Police Officer placed physicalness, what is tangible and real, of the material world. Evidence, where is the evidence. This was echoed well in the design; the white shirts hung up behind the performers, the sacrificial or offering or placeholder of the Dying Woman's jacket and shoe downstage. I was captivated by the physical and visual representation of being stuck, each in their own rectangle of dirt/ grave, and in their situations, with the Dying Woman’s as the the most devastating of all. There was an engaging merging and juxtaposition of timelines between the two pairs of characters (playwright) deep in layers to analyze moments where it seemed as though one from a different conversation were replying to another were captivating sound effects were distracting for me, I want to hear the sounds made for real. Feeling undecided on the hanging hook… the mommy problems of the pig farmer felt cliched… perhaps thats unjust for me to say so? I wanted to see more indigenous story telling techniques, or more talk of that faith or belief system… perhaps understandable since it came from a non-indigenous writer. It makes sense that its a non-indigenous writer writing for a non-indigenous audience, although… the feeling of unrest could have been more evoked, and haunting. the feeling of being stuck or limited was there, feeling like you couldn't go anywhere. The officer’s performance didn't feel completely believable to me.