Agokwe featuring Waawaate Fobister

Friday, November 2, 7:30 – 9:30 p.m.
Catalyst Theatre, Edmonton

Winner of 6 Dora awards in Toronto, 2009. Including: Best Performance, Best Direction, & Best New Play.

Created and performed by Waawaate Fobister
Director and Dramaturg Ed Roy

Original Music by Marc Nadjiwan Lighting Designer Kimberly Purtell
Set and Projection Designer Andy Moro Costume Designer Erika Iserhoff
Sound Designer Lyon Smith Stage

Agokwe (pronounced “agoo-kway; meaning “wise woman” or “Two-Spirited”) explores unrequited love between teenage boys from neighbouring reserves. Mike is a hockey player and Jake is a dancer. The boys notice each other at the Kenora Shoppers Mall and ultimately connect through a mutual love of movement while Mike is skating and Jake is dancing “like grass blowing in the wind.”

They meet briefly at a post hockey-tournament party where they bashfully confess their desire for each other. However youth, distance and isolation strive to pull the threads apart when tragedy intervenes.

Playing these and many more characters through the iconic multifarious persona of Nanabush (the trickster), playwright and performer Waawaate Fobister intertwines the boys’ attraction to each other through activities that traditionally separate gender and orientations. This tour-de-force performance is a remarkable and refreshing testament to the joys and tragedies of growing up marginalized by race and sexuality within a small community.

Artist Profile

Waawaate Fobister is a unique voice in the Canadian cultural landscape. From the Grassy Narrows First Nation, Waawaate is a multi-talented dancer, actor and playwright. Loosely based on true events, Agokwe speaks to homophobia, unrequited love, social isolation and the lost traditions of the Anishnaabe.

 Agokwe is a multi-character monologue performed and danced by Waawaate Fobister (Death of a Chief - NAC/Native Earth Performing Arts). Agokwe began as a short monologue, performed as part of Buddies' 2005/06 PrideCab, a collectively created, youth-driven cabaret created over 12 weeks and performed as part of Buddies' Cultural Pride Festivities. During the 2006/07 Season, Agokwe was further developed as part of Buddies' Young Creators Unit, during which Fobister was teamed up with award-winning director Ed Roy. 

Renowned for provocative, rhythmic and visually-rich productions, award-winning director Edward Roy has been lauded for a varied roster of works for youth and adult audiences, including The Other Side of The Closet (Dora Award), A Secret Life (Chalmers Award), and White Trash Blue Eyes (Chalmers Award w/Daniel MacIvor). Most recently Roy premiered Dead Ahead at The Lorraine Kimsa Theatre For Young People (co-production w/Topological Theatre) and The Golden Thug at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre (co-production w/Topological Theatre).