Written and Performed
by Cliff Cardinal
A Native Earth Production
Directed by Karin Randoja
February 16 – 26, 2017
Venue: The Rachel Browne Theatre – 211 Bannatyne Ave. (at Main St.)
Explicit Content. Coarse Language. Mature Audiences Only.
“Soon the trickster preyed on him in his dreams.”
“There is one thing we know attracts Trickster: fear.” Theatre Projects Manitoba proudly presents Huff, written and performed by award winning playwright and performer Cliff Cardinal. This darkly comic, fantastical and wrenching one-man tour de force explores the lives of Indigenous youth battling addiction and systemic injustices while in search of a better life.
This production from Native Earth Performing Arts (Toronto) has toured to critical acclaim across Canada, and most recently played at the Sydney Festival in Australia. Audiences describe the show as “a searing piece, beautifully performed”, “an amazing, masterful work” and “the most moving piece of theatre I have ever seen”.
Huff marks Theatre Projects’ third partnership with Native Earth, having presented their touring plays, Almighty Voice and His Wife and The Triple Truth (Turtle Gals Ensemble) during past seasons. This relationship has grown out of our desire to share stories which reflect our community and culture and through a long association with Native Earth’s past Artistic Director, Yvette Nolan. Nolan was with TPM in our early days; her play Job’s Wife played during our 91/92 Studio Series. We connected with current Artistic Director, Ryan Cunningham through our 2007 homegrown ensemble production, Stretching Hide. In 2005, Cardinal made his Theatre Projects Manitoba debut in Coo Coosh, by Doug Nepinak. We are thrilled to build on this relationship with Huff.
Huff, first developed at Native Earth’s Weesageechak Begins to Dance festival, is the story of Wind and his brothers, caught in a torrent of solvent abuse while coping with the death of their mother. Wind’s gas-induced dream world bleeds into his haunting reality as he’s preyed on by Trickster through the hallways at school, the abandoned motel he loves more than home, and through his own fragile psyche.
Huff is the winner of the 2016 Dora Award for Outstanding New Play and 2012 Buddies in Bad Times Vanguard Award for Risk & Innovation. Cardinal is the recipient of the 2016 Dora Award for Outstanding Performance the winner of the 2015 RBC Tarragon Emerging Playwright Prize.
“Huff took my breath away.”– J. Kelly Nestruck, Globe and Mail
Cliff Cardinal (Playwright, Performer), who made his acting debut in Freeman’s Wake (Native Earth) by Yvette Nolan in 2005, portrays over a dozen characters in Huff. Recent credits include The Saskatchewan Rebellion (Video Cabaret), Three Little Birds (Workshop West Theatre) and Tales Of An Urban Indian (Green Thumb Theatre) for which he was nominated for a Jessie Richardson Memorial Theatre Award. Cliff’s debut as a playwright, Stitch premiered at SummerWorks Performance Festival in 2011, winning the Spotlight Award for Performance and Theatre Passe Muraille Emerging Artist Award for a notable artistic impression. Cardinal graduated from The National Theatre School of Canada’s Playwriting Program in 2015. and recently closed Native Earth Performing Arts 2014-15 Season.
Karin Randoja (Director) has a theatrical career that spans over twenty years and around the world. A founding member of Primus Theatre, Karin has performed and/or directed at Cleveland Public Theatre, La Mama Etc.,The Caravan Farm Theatre, and The National Arts Centre. Karin is a two-time Dora Award nominated actor and currently teaches and directs at Humber College.
Native Earth Performing Arts is Canada’s oldest professional Indigenous theatre company. Currently in their 34th year, Native Earth Performing Arts is dedicated to creating, developing and producing professional artistic expressions of the Indigenous experience in Canada. Through stage productions (theatre, dance and multi-disciplinary art), new script development, apprenticeships and internships, Native Earth seeks to fulfill a community of artistic visions.
Written & Performed by Cliff Cardinal
Directed by Karin Randoja
Set & Costume Design by Jackie Chau
Lighting Design by Michelle Ramsay
Sound Design by Alex Williams
Stage Managed by Jennifer Stobart
Technician Ian Kelly