The Only Good Indian is part lecture, part meditation, and part threat. Or maybe a sacrifice. Each incarnation of The Only Good Indian recruits a new artist to step into the radical headspace of a suicide bomber. In turn, each performer straps themselves into a suicide vest — and struggles to rationalize to the audience such an “irrational” decision. It dissects where our similarities begin and where they end, forcing both the performer and the audience to ask themselves: what would I die for? Blending political theory with dark satire, authors Donna-Michelle St. Bernard, Tom Arthur Davis, Adele Noronha, Jivesh Parasram, and Justine Shore take you on a wild ride through their genealogical relationships to colonization, occupation, otherness, and indigeneity.
About the Authors
Jivesh Parasram is a multidisciplinary artist and facilitator of Indo-Caribbean descent. He grew up in K’jipuktuk in Mi’Ma’ki (specifically Dartmouth, NS) and currently lives and works primarily on the unceded Coast Salish Territories (Vancouver) where he works as the Artistic Director for Rumble Theatre. Jiv spent over a decade in T’karonto/Toronto working mostly in the independent theatre scene; there he co-founded the awardwinning political theatre collective Pandemic Theatre. He also worked as the Associate Artistic Producer at Theatre Passe Muraille. His performance work has toured across Canada, to the UK and Europe; and his research has taken him back to the Caribbean to Cairi (Trinidad & Tobago) Taino Carib & Arawak territory. He has been honoured with numerous awards and nominations including the Toronto Arts Foundation Emerging Artist Award, Dora Mavor Moore Awards, Jessie Richardson Awards, The Harolds, and the Herald Angel at the Edinburgh Festival. His work is also published by Playwrights Canada Press, and he has been a contributor to CBC, the Canadian Theatre Review, and Spiderweb Show.
Tom Arthur Davis is a T’karonto-based arts worker originally from the unceded territory of the Algonquin nation (Ottawa) with colonial lineage from the ancestral homelands of the Beothuk and the Mi’qmak peoples (Newfoundland). In 2009 he co-founded Pandemic Theatre, where he has created much of his work in close collaboration with Jivesh Parasram. Since 2018, Tom has acted as a producer for Why Not Theatre where he leads the company’s Provoke Activities (initiatives that help remove barriers for artists). Tom’s work with Pandemic and Why Not has toured across Turtle Island and overseas, including collaborations with Barbican Centre, Battersea Arts Centre, Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, Canadian Stage, The Cultch, High Performance Rodeo, Latitude Festival, National Arts Centre, PuSh Festival, Sydney Festival, The Theatre Centre, and Theatre Passe Muraille. His works for the stage include: Mahmoud (co-writer), Take d Milk, Nah? (co-creator/dramaturge), and The Only Good Indian (co-creator/co-writer).
Donna-Michelle St. Bernard, aka Belladonna the Blest, is an emcee, playwright, and agitator. Works for the stage include Reaching for Starlight, Cake, Sound of the Beast, A Man A Fish, They Say He Fell, Salome’s Clothes, Gas Girls, Give It Up, The Smell of Horses, and The First Stone. She is co-editor with Yvette Nolan of the Playwrights Canada Press anthologies Refractions: Solo and Refractions: Scenes, editor of Indian Act: Residential School Plays. DM is the creator of the 54ology and artistic director of New Harlem Productions.
Justine Shore is an actor and arts administrator raised in Sooke, BC, the lands of the T’Sou-ke Nation, to a Filipino mother and Irish-Canadian father. She currently resides on the traditional and unceded territory of the Lekwungen People, now known as the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations (Victoria, BC). She received her BFA in Directing at the University of Victoria in 2004, and in 2010 joined Blue Bridge Repertory Theatre as Administrator. In 2014 she joined Intrepid Theatre as Operation and Venue Rentals Manager. In 2020, she was promoted to the role of Managing Director. She has been an active member of Atomic Vaudeville since 2006 as past Administrative Assistant and current cabaret series actor. Her time with Pandemic Theatre was an honour and a privilege and she hopes that she will be forever entwined with their name as they destroy the system, one magical work of art at a time.
Adele Noronha is a theatre artist whose heart will forever sit on the west coasts of two countries at opposite ends of the world. She holds a decade-long practice as a performer, thinker, and a dabbler in creation, curation, production, and dramaturgy. The Only Good Indian is Adele’s first publication. She is grateful to the Pandemic Theatre team—Tom, Jiv, DM, and Sabah—for lending her their courage, talents, commitment, friendship, and this ferocious container to experiment within.