Annie Bird has a difficult decision to make: go through the chemo and radiation therapy again or just let the cancer takes it course. Her chances aren’t good. She’s determined not to die until she becomes a kohkum. Problem is, her only child, Kerry, has stubbornly refused to become a mother. Troy is homeless, 17 and a father. He breaks into Annie’s house with his baby in his arms looking for some money so he can get diapers. Annie catches him in the act, but once she sees the baby, her maternal instincts take over and she offers them a place to stay. Kerry stubbornly resists. She’s a by-the-book guidance counsellor and insists that family services can take care of Troy and his baby. Annie refuses to consider it, since she had a few run ins with family services when she was a young mother. Troy is an expert joint roller, and Annie hires him to roll her medicinal marijuana. What follows is a drama about cancer wrapped in a comedy about family with a healthy dose of Bob Marley.
Three Little Birds was first produced in 2008 in Edmonton by Workshop West Playwrights Theatre. Vinetta Strombergs directed, with Tantoo Cardinal as Annie, Michaela Washburn as Kerry and Clifford Cardinal as Troy. The Saskatchewan Native Theatre Company remounted the play in 2011 in Saskatoon. That production was directed by Lorne Cardinal, with Tantoo returning as Annie, Ntara Curry as Kerry and Aaron Shingoose as Troy.
Paul Blinov of Vue Weekly wrote that “comes across as a well-told, feel-good story about how family can sprout up in the least likely of ways, in the most unexpected of times.”
The Edmonton Journal’s Liz Nicholls wrote that Three Little Birds is “enjoyably unclassifiable: the comic has a bleak sense of humour and the tragedy has a certain lightness.”
The play is not published. Please contact me or my agent if you want a copy.