Challenging Northern play debuts Thursday in #YZF #NWT
explores homelessness & mental health issues #NNSL [full text]
Northern News Services
Published Tuesday, March 9, 2010
SOMBA K'E/YELLOWKNIFE - First-time playwright Diana Mathisen will premier her original one-act play, Brother's Keeper, at the Northern Arts and Cultural Centre Thursday. The play runs on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights at 8 p.m. Tickets are available through the theatre box office.
The young Sylvia, played by Jessica Rose Florio, is worried about her future as she pulls over to rest in Enterprise. Actor Marianne Maltby portrays Sylvia in middle age in the play. - Daron Letts/NNSL photo
Mathisen's script explores the fine line between sleeping under a roof and living on the street. A Yellowknife resident for more than 30 years, Mathisen wrote the play after reflecting on continual encounters with homeless people she met as they sought shelter in doorways, alleyways, bank lobbies and under stairways near her downtown residence.
"Given some circumstances, anyone can fall through," Mathisen said. "I don't think people really realize that."
Set in Yellowknife, the play centres on Sylvia, a middle-aged woman with mental health issues who works hard to balance the workaday struggles of maintaining a family and a home. Sylvia's conscience is touched when she meets a woman from her past living on the street.