Q+A // with Deneh’Cho Thompson
In this short Artslandia interview, Deneh’Cho Thompson will answer questions about his new play, The Girl Who was Raised by Wolverine, which was the winner of the 2016 Vancouver Fringe Festival New Play Prize.
Without giving away too much, can you tell us a bit about the story of The Girl Who was Raised by Wolverine?
DT: In a not so distant future, a long dormant and deadly mutation of the smallpox virus has re-emerged. As resources become scarce, the upperclass forces the poor into population control camps. As the rich and powerful desperately search for a cure to Variola-X, the poor brace themselves for the culling— one third of the worlds population will be exterminated. What’s more, Stephanie, a young mixed-race girl, is immune to the virus. Now a lab rat, Stephanie grapples with the realities of the impending culling and an impossible choice she must now face.
The theme of “a dystopian future” (e.g. overpopulation, depleted resources) is highly-relevant and topical today. Can you tell us a bit about this theme (and others) within the play, and your artistic vision for this play?
DT: I’m interested by the ways we treat humans as resources. In my day-to-day life, I overlook how my consumption of resources affects other humans. Globally, traditional territories are being destroyed, cultures lost, indentured service is still common, and corporate systems continue to stratify the rich and the poor. We all participate in the systems that create this misery, and I want to ask why. What is the compromise, when do we make a choice (either selfish of selfless), and what are the consequences of that choice?