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  • Kim Senklip Harvey

The Mayor & The Chief: A Residency

This past week has been a wild and truly joy filled ride. My best friend, Pippa Mackie and I got in the rehearsal hall and on the boards to work on a show we've been talking about for a while called, "The Mayor & The Chief: this is not reconciliation. An investigation into the friendship between a white and Indigenous woman.

We wrote and worked for 4 days and then did a small presentation on Friday to share what we had. The process combined some land based work, we went for a dip in the Salish Sea and walked the East Van Rez and jammed on questions surrounding how we came to have such a close and yet unlikely friendship.

We pumped out a first draft, and we've got lots of work to continue but I believe in the questions we're asking and queries we're investigating. Like how does radical empathy play into our friendship, how does race impact relations, who has more power, how do we navigate oppression and how is using dating apps a wildly different and yet a similar uncomfortable dick pic experience.

I am really stoked about this one, I don't normally put myself in my pieces, but I forgot how much I do really love acting. Also, I'm exhausted - acting is hard - actors you should complain more. We've described the show as part cabaret, part sketch, part play, part lecture and part party. I enjoy these structures of sharing, relaxed, we don't even build a 4th wall and in deep relations with the witnesses.

I want to take a moment to honour and thank Pippa, who is legit one of the funniest people I know. I can't imagine a writing partner and co-creator that is more generous and hard working. This week has been really nourishing and that is absolutely because of you! Thank you to The Cultch for giving us the space for the residency and to the community members who came in and watched, Kaitlyn Yott, Dani Fecko, Nicole McLuckie, Jamie Long, Marcus Youssef and Joyce Rosario who also facilitated the post-performance feedback sesh based on the training she's doing with Liz Lermon called Critical Response (it was awesome I highly recommend using her skills and this structure for new work.)

Now was sharing our work after only a week scary - absolutely - but a good scary and I think it's unethical and egoic to get hundreds of thousands of dollars and not share early on to ask the question: Do we have something here? Something worth investing in. And the feedback was - we do. I really want to honour the artists who gave feedback, it was so useful and provoking and honestly it was so nourishing to share the space, in a hall with theatre peeps I profoundly respect. This theatrical halt has made me appreciate these micro moments of gathering, so again many thanks to The Cultch and the peeps always supporting us.

We also made people laugh and that's always a win for me. But this has been a long month or couple of months. And I've got 2 more writing deadlines and a music and movement workshop for Break in a few weeks so the work goes on but for now I'm going to take a day off.

Happy Halloween, lots of love to you and yours during these wild times,


P.s Indiginews did this article on me. I'm so grateful for the time and perspective Chehala Leonard put into it. Working with Indigenous journalists is amazing. Limelet Chehala!

p.p.s Here is a gallery of all the images I used this week for some Mayor and Chief sosh meeds. hehe enjoy.

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