Erica in Technoland
Hope McIntyre with WBYO's Girls' World
Program: Collaborations, Youth WITH ART
Location: The University of Winnipeg's Asper Centre for Theatre and Film
Erica in Technoland is a play written by Hope McIntyre with direction from participants of the Girls’ World after-school club at West Broadway Youth Outreach. The play uses the style of magical realism to deal with themes of bullying and discrimination – issues which the girls in the program specifically wished to tackle and bring to the public. It follows the lives of a group of friends who learn to understand the very real impacts of rumours, meanness, and peer pressure. The world created by Hope and Girls’ World directly reflects the passions and difficulties of the young artists themselves. The title is a clever nod to the influence of Alice in Wonderland on their creative process.
A project of the Youth WITH ART program that matches community groups with artists, the creation of Erica in Technoland took place over many brainstorming and writing sessions in which Hope took the themes, concepts, and scenes outlined by the Girls’ World participants and translated them to a full play. The girls then developed their characters, rehearsed, drew and created sets, and invented costumes. The play gives a better understanding of the dreams and struggles of the kids who come to West Broadway Youth Outreach, and extends hope for a world in which people can have fun together by being totally accepting of each other.
“In starting this process there was concern that the girls would be hesitant to jump in and take part. From day one we discovered the real challenge was that they all had so many ideas that we had to facilitate the time so that they could all express themselves and participate fully,” Said Hope McIntyre. “They are an amazing, talented and creative group of girls. It has been wonderful to watch them come out of their shells and to see their excitement as their ideas are realized before their eyes.”
The fully-staged play was performed by Girls' World participants at the U of W's Asper Centre for Theatre and Film on June 13, 2014.
Hope has a BFA (University of Saskatchewan) and an MFA in directing (University of Victoria). She also completed an apprenticeship in England. Hope is the founding Artistic Director of Sarasvàti Productions. She is an award-winning playwright. Jail Baby (co-written with Cairn Moore) premiered in May 2013 and has been published by Scirocco Drama. EDEN premiered in May 2012 and Empty premiered at FemFest 2012. Her most recent work focuses on community-based creation including touring productions of Shattered (2016) and Giving Voice (2014). In 2006 Hope was awarded the YWCA Women of Distinction Award. She currently teaches at the University of Winnipeg and has previously taught at Mount Allison University, Brandon University and University of Manitoba. She is a former President of the Playwrights Guild of Canada.