Caitlin McFarlane & Gerry Mackay. Photo by Tim Matheson

Indian Arm

By Hiro Kanagawa

In this modern adaptation of Henrik Ibsen’s Little Eyolf, award-winning author Hiro Kanagawa explores the uneasy intersection of privilege and birthright.

Rita and Alfred Allmers live in an isolated family cabin on native leasehold land overlooking Indian Arm, a still untamed glacial fjord just north of Vancouver, BC. With Alfred—a formerly promising novelist—now struggling with his latest work, Rita has been tasked with caring for their adopted son Wolfie, a sensitive First Nations teen who has been designated as “special needs” for much of his life.

Rita’s resentments and frustrations are further embittered by her younger half-sister, Asta, a constant reminder of the innocence, idealism, and sexual allure Rita once had and yearns for again. The fragile impasse of their lives is torn asunder by the appearance of Janice, the surviving member of the Indigenous family who leased the land to Rita and Asta’s reclusive and mysterious father over fifty years ago. With the lease now expired, they are all engulfed by the secrets and contradictions of their lives and of the land itself—in both the past and the present—and their stories are drawn inexorably toward an unspeakable tragedy.

“A major accomplishment.”

The Georgia StraightColin Thomas

"Indian Arm will sneak up on you and rip open your heart."

Vancouver PresentsDavid C. Jones

"Indian Arm is a timely and evocative manifestation of the characters’ struggle with their relationship to the land. Hiro Kanagawa masterfully navigates the tension between Indigenous and settler identities as they work to figure out how we can live together. Mythic. Heart-breaking. Poetic."

Governor-General Literary Awards Peer Assessment Committee

“…an intense emotional puzzle that stays with you long after the lights go down.”

Vancouver SunErika Thorkelson

“What a joy and a privilege it is to be witness to the premiere of a haunting, beautifully written and performed Canadian play… It’s very worth seeing.”

Review From The House Gillian Lockitch

Production Details

2 Male (including 1 indigenous youth)

3 Female (including 1 indigenous elder)

Running time: 120 minutes including 1 intermission

By Hiro Kanagawa

Purchase Play Script

Production History

Rumble Theatre premiere at Studio 16, Vancouver, Apr. 8 – 18, 2015
Published by Playwrights Canada Press, 2016
Winner of the 2015 Jessie Richardson Award for Outstanding Original Script
Winner of the 2017 Governor-General’s Literary Award for Drama

Gloria May Eshkibok & Jennifer Copping. Photo: Tim Matheson

“Drowning Man” image by Wendi Wirawan/Design by Kristen Johnson

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