23 min. musical drama
Written by Tara Lee Reddick & Ann Verrall
in collaboration with the youth participants
Produced and Directed by Ann Verrall
On the shores of the Bay of Fundy a Mythical Chorus emerges from the natural elements – rock, earth and air. They embody the African Nova Scotian and Mi’kmaq spirits past, present and future. They have returned to the world because their history is being forgotten. In a small rural African Nova Scotian community, Gibson Woods, Jasmine and her friends are leaving to make it as performers in the city. Jasmine’s brother tries to convince them to stay because the community is dying. They won’t be held down by the weight of family and history. Their journey takes a sudden turn when they come to a detour sign, put there by the Mythic Chorus. They soon discover they are on a First Nations reserve where their van suddenly breaks down. Stranded at a garage, each of them comes to discover a deeper wisdom about the past and their connection to the community they now find themselves in.
Gibson Woods, a musical drama, was created in part through a TV Drama Academy, a 2-week summer camp program. The youth were involved in developing the script through an improvisation process. They also wrote some of the songs they sing and rap. One of the objectives of this project was to bring together Mi’kmaq and African Nova Scotian youth from around the province to explore the historical connection between the two communities. When the Black Loyalists first came to Nova Scotia, the Mi’kmaq offered support, relationships formed and families grew. For the most part, there is very little written about this shared history.