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BOUNDARY BAY [PILOT] | LNG [PLAY]

Boundary Bay

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ONE-HOUR SERIES FOR TELEVISION

LOGLINE

1858: An indigenous tribe battles violent settlers at the U.S.-Canadian border. Meanwhile, in 2018, the tribe's descendants attempt to defend the same land from a nefarious corporation.

SYNOPSIS

The Stomish Nation, a fictional Coast Salish tribe, has long been skilled at trading with partners in Asia and Indigenous communities throughout the Americas. BOUNDARY BAY travels back to the period where these days were coming to a close, ushering in the first of many major conflicts the Stomish had with Western European settlers. The series deftly weaves together that difficult past with the Nation’s present day situation—one fraught with land battles and haunted by killings that have reverberated for generations.

Boundary Bay focuses on three families: one led by Chief Sam; another led by his non-Indigenous childhood basketball pal, Cameron, who represents the plant, and a pivotal one led by the Chief’s best friend and cousin, the widower Ronnie and his family. (These families are also portrayed by the same actors as their descendants in the earlier periods.) 

Love, loss, resilience, and family keep the Nation strong but are also ingredients that cause intense infighting between Chief and Council and an upstart activist group, ‘The Ravens’ led by the Chief’s other cousin, Ariel. Within the context of this intra-tribal struggle over a natural gas facility, with the Chief and his activist family members are at odds, we find them suddenly caught up in a whirlwind of brutal killings—both ongoing and historical—and are in immediate danger. 

The occupation and construction project unearth two simultaneous discoveries of remains from a little known 1858 conflict and a brutal murder in 2002. The discoveries mixed with the tumult of Stomish-led protests set off the unraveling of high-profile mysteries that profoundly complicate the lives of our lead characters. 

This unique series delves into the personal relationships surrounding the political issues on all sides. It explores centuries-old acts of racism and brutality, which has led to a brutal cycle of violence towards Indigenous men and women. And the political challenges the Stomish face in the larger community is immense—they’re up against both heinous criminals, corrupt government officials whose pockets have been lined by the oil industry, an impatient mainstream culture that demands these projects move forward represented by the onset of “man camps.”

This drama weaves a tale that is comedic, complex, and highly adventurous, creating a rare series like none other, a one-of-a-kind exploration of how the past continues to reverberate today.


Boundary Bay & LNG

Two genres, one story

Boundary Bay is an hourlong dramatic series written for television.

LNG is a full-length play written for the stage.

The two works came out of a collaboration with Indigenous Laws scholar Sarah Morales (JD, PhD) as part of Testify: Indigenous, a project of the Canadian based Indigenous Laws + the Arts Collective.

Both scripts have been developed further through a series of artistic residencies, workshops, and staged reading presentations.

context

The complicated stories of a fictitious Coast Salish Indigenous nation whose encounters with settlers have long tested their resilience & resolve as they struggle with a constantly evolving adversary.

These bodies of work challenge the notion of an arbitrary border forced upon people who lived freely up and down the coast for over ten thousand years before colonization.


RECENT ACCOMPLISHMENTS

  • Coverfly Score: 408

  • 2018 Screencraft Film Fund Quarterfinalist

  • 2018 CineStory Quarterfinalist

  • 2017 Oaxaca Film Festival Official Selection, Global Script Competition

review EXCERPT FROM THE BLACK LIST
PUBLISHED, MARCH 5, 2018 >

BOUNDARY BAY is quite impressive in its plotting. The script spans three time periods — 1858, 2002, 2018 — and seamlessly weaves them together to propulsive effect. The writer smartly utilizes the show's core cast across the multiple timelines, which is a really cool and stylistic gimmick that also feels economical from a production standpoint. Telqtela / Marissa is a particularly strong, double role for any actor who's lucky enough to play the two women; both of whom are loaded with fortitude and savage grace.

That said, all of the show's cast works well in this piece; thoughtfully conjured, delightfully varied, and all involved in dynamic subplots that keep the pilot chugging forward with steam. Alan's antagonist arc is especially compelling and rife with uneasy tension and mystery. Thematically, this show feels all too relevant in its examination of race relations, ownership, and activism, which indicates that audiences would have an easy time identifying with this series. Finally, the show's U.S.-Canadian border setting feels relatively unique and filled with the potential to be gorgeously gloomy and cinematic as it plays on TV screens.

[PUBLIC EVALUATION SCORE: Overall 7/10 / Premise 7/10 / Plot 8/10 / Character 7/10 / Dialogue 7/10 / Setting 8/10]


TESTIFY INDIGENOUS
readings ACROSS CANADA 2016-2018

Through Testify, drafts of Boundary Bay have been presented in stage readings by nearly seventy actors, community members, and/or students. The majority of participants are members of Indigenous nations across Canada.

VANCOUVER, BC
Loungeworks, October 15, 2016 —
The first Testify script reading was part of a weekend long presentation, that included visual and performative work by the Testify Collective. The reading featured seasoned and emerging Vancouver actors and artists.

NANAIMO, BC
Vancouver Island University, November 26, 2016 —
The second draft was presented with a mix of Vancouver actors who joined us at VIU alongside a mix of actors and community members from the Nanaimo area.

TORONTO & WINDSOR, ON
University of Windsor / York University / Law Society of Upper Canada, Toronto. October 12-17, 2017 —
A stage reading to a packed audience at the Law Society of Upper Canada and two University venues. Featuring the students from the Centre for Indigenous Theatre, along with students and professional Toronto-based actors at York and Windsor Universities.

MONTREAL, QC
McGill University, March 1, 2018 —
A stage reading of the revised script by a collection of professional Montreal actors, artists, and McGill University students.

CHIPPEWA OF THE THAMES, ON
Chippewa of the Thames First Nation, May 12, 2018 —
A stage reading of the revised script by a community members of the Chippewa of the Thames First Nation (the first group to nail the humour in the script!)

VICTORIA, BC
Legacy Gallery, University of Victoria, October 26, 2018 —
A stage reading of the revised script by a mix of community members and students working in Indigenous laws policy as well as UVic student actors.


script development

DEVELOPMENT Campaign page bitly.com/BoundaryBayLNG

It is impossible to count the hours that have gone into envisioning, mulling, writing, revising, submitting, etc., etc., for this project. It has meant leaving day jobs in order to find the necessary space to do the work.

Without the help from INCREDIBLY GENEROUS donors, my attendance of numerous artistic residencies and writing labs would not have been possible. They include: 

Rianne Svelnis, Alison Page, Anonymous Angels (12), Maria Ferreira, Rebecca Johnson, Lynne Kirby, Ryan Reith, Mark Rupp, Rod Barr, Claire Askew, Bryce Barros, Ronna Beal, Halie & Ardith Bruce-Walkem, Dan & Bev Crawford, Gwaai Edenshaw, Tim Stoenner, Laura Allen, Thomas Almojuela, Jerome Blake, Sadonna Cody, James Cowperthwait, Ramon Esquivel, Ahmed Kassim, Emma Logan, Marcos Meconi, Desiree Prewitt, Corbett Trubey, Diane Blunt, Kristen Connolly, Michael Crane, Amy Decker, Zoe Furlong, Will George, Robin Lee Greiner, Suzanne Griffin, Ian Kuhnert, Daniel Larner, Chantel Lucier, Tyler Robinson, Michelle Sinclair, Rachel Swaner, Nicola Freegard, Carolyn Nakagawa, Elizabeth Stuelke, Jennie Pack, Nicole Kempskie, Jude Lutz, Lisa Meserole, Mugs Cahill.


ARTIST residencies

Bilpin International Ground for Creative initiatives (BigCi)

Bilpin, Australia, November-December 2017

A residency focused on reimagining Boundary Bay. The first version of the script was very narrow—too talky, not enough action. The pilot’s scope was expanded. Further episode planning, big picture changes, and a realization of the ambitious series were solidified here. A presentation of my process was presented at BigCi's Open Day on December 17, 2017. More info is here (also a new work was created here call The Traveler with more information available for that work on the writing tab, soon.)

Rae and Yuri are wonderful hosts. Rae is so supportive in helping you make your vision a reality, and to optimize the time you are there with ideas and guidance if you need it. Yuri taps your explorative spirit in his constant treks out to the bush. Their activist work to protect the Blue Mountains from fossil burning industries (god it’s everywhere) is phenomenal.

Sointula Art Shed

Sointula, B.C., Canada, January 2018

Sointula offered the ability to quietly focus on the massive rewrite (much more than I had planned beforehand) on the screenplay, and allowed me to submit to a draft, and begin a third phase of rewriting.

Kerri, Tyler and Teddy are the sweetest hosts. Such a perfect place to write, and Sointula’s utopia vibe truly lives on.


lookout arts quarry

Bellingham, WA, October 2017

The Quarriors run a muddy oasis with tiny houses, converted buses, lots of chickens, a rock quarry, fabulous performance areas, a wood-fire toasty yurt, a cultural mecca that is the communal kitchen, and so much more.

We had a fabulous reading after did some mulling and editing. The reading helped me see some of the spiritual and space/time aspects of this story I hadn’t tapped into yet. I only wish I had more time and hang out. (Was commuting to and fro Vancouver during my month there.) Definitely a place to visit during their events throughout the year.


upcoming residencieS & presentations

  • Artist residency, RUD; Bengtsfors, Sweden TBD

  • Staged reading presentations for Vancouver and Los Angeles TBD

 

LNG was adapted for stage from the pilot. The play script enjoyed a first draft workshop at University of California, San Diego, organized by professor Julie Burelle and her indigenous theatre classes in the spring of 2017.

Funding information is available on the Fractured Atlas page at bit.ly/boundarybaylng

[this page is a work in progress. keep checking back.]