Spotlight on playwright Dawn Dumont for FANCY DANCER

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Dawn Dumont (Cree, Metis) hails from Alberta, Canada. She's written for television, radio, and the stage. Three of her plays: The Red Moon (Love Medicine) (2007), Visiting Elliot (2006), and The Trickster vs. Jesus Christ (2005) were produced by CBC Radio. In 2008, she was the head comedy writer for Celebrate: A National Aboriginal Day Special, that was broadcast on CBC Radio and her play, The Common Experience, is scheduled for a 2009 broadcast.

Fancy Dancer deals with the overlooked murders of thousands of Aboriginal women in Canada. The plays asks why society hasn't taken a stronger stance against these murders? How have the media and the police failed to respond? What effect of this lack of concern over their well-being does this have on Aboriginal women and their communities? Fancy Dancer was workshopped during Native Voices 2007 Playwrights Retreat and was featured at the 2007 Indigenous World Theatre Reading Series and the 2008 Two Worlds Native American Theater and Film Festival.

Native Voices: What do you hope your play will elicit in an audience member?
Dawn Dumont: Hope.

NV: Since you began developing this play for our 2009 Playwrights Retreat, what has been revealed to you that you didn't know when you first submitted the play to Native Voices?
DD: That I haven't allowed my most important character to speak.

NV: What drew you to the profession of playwriting?
DD: Dialogue. Actors. Wine-soaked conversations with other playwrights.

NV: Which plays or playwrights have you been influenced by?
DD: I'll give the Gov Palin answer: All of them.

NV: If you could go back in time, which era would you visit?
DD: When the dinosaurs walked the earth.

NV: What is your greatest indulgence?
Too many to list: massages? lattes? younger men?

NV: Fill in the blank: It's not theatre if it's not _______.
DD: It's not theatre if it's not transcendent (and one act too long...).

NV: As you may know, our 2009-2010 Season marks Native Voices' Tenth Anniversary at the Autry. Where do you think Native theatre will be in the next ten years?
DD: Tricky. The definition of what is Native Theatre will continue to shift towards the mainstream as Aboriginal writers continue to challenge the stereotypical ideas of what being Native is. That being said, I think theatre will become even more fun.

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