Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Article on "Beneath the Surface"

Published on March 2, 2011 in the TRU Omega

“Beneath the Surface,” a theatrical drama addressing suicide in First Nations communities, will be coming to TRU’s clock tower stage on March 4th and 5th, 2011.

Our Imagi’Nation, the production company for “Beneath the Surface” is a non-profit agency that was founded by Jenifer Brousseau and Laura Coriale. The company works with Aboriginal people, bringing hope, change and revolution through the arts. Their goal is to reach Aboriginal children and youth through dance, drama and other forms of art.

The concept for the play was created from the true and compelling story of a 14 year old Aboriginal girl, Chasity Smith who chose to take her own life because of shame, resulting from abuse that she suffered. Her story brings reality to the importance of suicide prevention.

Brousseau, the director of “Beneath the Surface,” learned about Chasity’s tragedy which then gave her inspiration for the production. When asked about her thought process in producing the play, Brousseau responded “The process of writing it was a VERY emotional one. There wasn't a rehearsal that went by without tears. It is a real subject about a real person we all knew, and it was felt, and continues to be felt every time the play is done.”

“Beneath the Surface” was inspired by a real person whose story will impact those who are affected by suicide. According to Coriale, “Chasity’s story was close, raw and real.”

When asked what she hopes the audience will take away from this production, Brousseau said, “I hope that the audience walks away with a sense of their own personal value, that they begin talking, and opportunities to heal begin to take place within communities.”

Awareness needs to be brought to the public regarding suicide in order for it to be more openly discussed and therefore possibly prevented. “Beneath the Surface” not only examines the serious issue of suicide, but the underlying factors that contribute such as violence, bullying, abuse, alcoholism, choices in friendships and the effects of residential schools on the present and future generations.

Through their workshops and their company, Brousseau and Coriale attempt to prevent suicide by helping kids achieve their goals and dreams. For the last four years, Brousseau and Coriale have been spreading their message of hope and healing by teaching dance and drama workshops in reserves and inner city areas.

So far, “Beneath the Surface” has been showcased in major venues in Vancouver, as well as a fully-funded tour through Northern BC.

The play will be hitting TRU clock tower Friday March 4th at 5:30 pm and Saturday March 5th at 10:30 am. Tickets are available through White Buffalo Aboriginal Health Society and Resource Center. This is a free event sponsored by White Buffalo and it is also part of a week they are hosting on prevention.

Hope to see you all at this emotional drama. You might want to bring some Kleenex.

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