This May, Whitehorse’s Guild Hall will be presenting Dreary and Izzy, a play by Tara Beagan
Dreary and Izzy is a 2007 play written by Tara Beagan, a playwright of Ntlaka’pamux and Irish-Canadian heritage. The narrative takes place in Lethbridge, Alberta, in 1975. It centres on a pair of sisters, Deirdre and Isabelle Monoghan, who have lost their parents in a car accident. Dierdre is preparing to enter university and set out on a journey to find her own future, but must decide how much she is willing to sacrifice to take care of her older sister, an adopted young Blackfoot woman who was born with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD). A vacuum cleaner salesman named Freddie Seven Horses shows up in the girls’ lives as a beacon of hope, offering them a way to cope with their reality and push through to a better life.
Whitehorse’s Guild Hall, in partnership with Gwaandak Theatre, will be presenting Dreary and Izzy live from May 13 to May 29, with a preview on May 12. All showings will start at 8 p.m., and tickets can be bought online at yukontickets.com for $26, but attendees of the Wednesday showings can choose what they wish to pay.
In the role of director is Katey Wattam. The play’s four-piece cast consists of Brenda Barnes, Katelyn Clark, Isabelle James-Walker and Colin Wolf. A large artistic and production team includes Mary Sloan as stage manager, Adrian Woodhouse as assistant stage manager, Blake Shaá’koon Lepine as set designer, Kasey Rae Anderson as lighting designer, Gloria Mok as costume designer, Annie Hakim as props designer, Martin Nishikawa as technical director and sound designer, Al Loewen as head carpenter, Lea-Ann McNally as set consultant, Katherine Kellner as lighting consultant, Philip Geller as acting/directing support and Odile Nelson as production manager. The Guild staff also contributing include artistic director Brian Fidler, general manager Brandon Wicke and The Guild Board, serving as executive producers. The Gwaandak Theatre’s staff working on the production include artistic director Colin Wolf, production coordinator Sara German, managing director Martin Nishikawa and artistic producer Meredith Pritchard.
Dreary and Izzy is a widely acclaimed play which has garnered praise from publications including Toronto’s NOW Magazine and the Toronto Star. Tara Beagan has written a total of 28 plays, seven of which are published. Her work has also been nominated for Dora Awards, one of which she won. Beagan was also a finalist in the Alberta Playwrights’ Network competition in 2018. In 2020, her play Honour Beat won the Gwen Pharis Ringwood Award for Drama. She has done residencies all over the country, including such cities as Toronto, Ottawa, Winnipeg and even at the Yukon’s own Berton House in Dawson City.
The Guild Hall has been producing theatre in Whitehorse for 40 years. The theatre features two dance studios/rehearsal halls, an alternative performance space with a bar and small stage, and an outdoor performance space with physically distanced seating for 30 people to cooperate with COVID-19 restrictions and guidelines.
Dreary and Izzy is recommended for audiences aged 16 and over, as the play’s content includes the Sixties Scoop, racism, ableism, bodily autonomy and sexually explicit subject matter. For more information, visit guildhall.ca, and to get tickets, visit yukontickets.com.