Les filles du quoi?, my new, original, and bilingual solo show, currently in development, is a histricomic ode to my distant relatives on both sides of the border. Based on my own experiences as a settler, immigrant, and white lady, the show explores the links between ancestors and descendants, self and community, Jack Kerouac and Celine Dion.
I am a descendant of both French and English settlers to Turtle Island. I was born and raised in northern Vermont, near the U.S./Canada border, and my ancestors have inhabited the surrounding region, between what they knew as New France and the Massachusetts Bay Colony, since the seventeenth century. In 2008, after marrying a Canadian, I immigrated north to Quebec, almost one-hundred years after my great-grandparents migrated in the opposite direction. The move strengthened and refined my identity as a Franco-American, an identity that both connects me to and excludes me from francophone and anglophone communities in Canada.
From my position as a dual citizen, I question borders of various kinds — between French and English, the past and the present, the living and the dead, here and there, us and them — and explore how we use stories to build a sense of identity and history. Occupying the ungentrified theatrical territory between stand-up, drag, Ted talks, and kitchen parties, Les filles du quoi? enacts a search for ancestors, literary and otherwise; reflects on how distant relations tell vastly different stories about shared ancestors; and explores what it means to belong in a nation, a family, and your own skin.
I have recently received a Creation Grant from the New Brunswick Arts Board to support a workshop production of the play in 2019! Further details will be posted here in the New Year. In the meantime, you can view images and other research materials I’ve gathered during the writing process; I will continue to add to that archive as the show moves from the page to the stage. Wish me luck!