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Year of the Typewriter

Year of the Typewriter image by Ruth Little
Kendra Fanconi working on Year of the Typewriter photo by Ruth Little

Year of the Typewriter
our second year of theatrical research

Year of the Typewriter responds to a challenge by ecology writer Paul Kingsnorth to cast landscape as the lead character in stories. The response of Playwright Kendra Fanconi to this challenge was to rig up an old typewriter as a backpack and go out into wild places with the idea of translating what landscape has to say. A first workshop at the Banff Centre for the Arts in October 2016 explored this concept and opened up other avenues of exploration: interspecies arts collaborations with native species and ideas for translating the voice of place.  It ties in with a longstanding interest in West-Coast voice and vision, but with a more specific and rigorous focus. It turns from the technological and to a simpler, more direct, ‘by-hand’ aesthetic.

Following the Banff research intensive, in a very different kind of landscape, The Only Animal brought the project  back to B.C. to the threatened forest on Mount Elphinstone starting autumn equinox 2017.  In true mountain fashion, it was a year of ups and downs, and we met a range of narratives up there. From drought to deluge, pine beetle scrawling to elk trails, and from the bounty of the Chanterelle Forest to its utter destruction from clear cutting. from familiar rains to new snow. And a sheaf of typewritten sheets, some stained with cedar, many smudged with rain. 

This year we take the project to six threatened wilderness across Canada in the final research phase of the piece we are calling 'Force of Nature'. 

Check this space.

 

Here we are. The first day of Year of the Typewriter.

Here is Agnes. She is a 1921 Remington Rand. She is named after Agnes Campbell Macphail the first woman to sit in Canadian Parliament. She was a radical Progressive and a supporter of women in politics, "Most women think politics aren't lady-like. Well, I'm no lady. I'm a human being." Our Agnes is also a radical, a progressive and the medium for the voice of the wilderness to emerge. But this piece is not about Agnes.

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The Only Animal creates cultivates and inspires theatre work that arises from a deep engagement with place.