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L.A. Beat

Pridefest welcomes “Where The Two Spirit Lives” to Club Didi

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Pridefest and Theatre Outré are collaborating on a cornerstone performance  by Southern Albertan actor Marshall Vielle about the challenges growing up as a two spirited individual in Southern Alberta.

Marshall Vielle performs Where the Two Spirit lives at Club Didi, June 14-18. Photo by Richard Amery
“Where the Two Spirit Lives” runs  June 14-18 at Club Didi at 8 p.m. each night throughout Pridefest.

“It’s important to tell stories like this,” said Theatre Outré artistic director Jay Whitehead, noting it is an ideal show for Pridefest, as it explores important issues of gender identity and indigenous people]s issues through storytelling and drag, so they were excited  to collaborate with Vielle on the show, as Club Didi was where he first started performing in drag shows.

 “It is all the more important today when gay rights are being taken back. It’s very funny and entertaining, but it is also serious. Marshall explores three different characters,” Whitehead said.

Vielle noted the show evolved out of his final  project for his BFA, at the University of Lethbridge. He is excited to finally bring it to stage for it’s debut at Club Didi after two years of hard work.

“I didn’t really get into drag until I was in my third or fourth year of university. But I was really determined,” Vielle said.
“It’s a very personal story about growing up  as a two  spirited person in Southern Alberta and all of the challenges I faced,” said Vielle, noting he grew up on the Blood Reserve. Vielle started off  by making a playlist of  all of the songs  that influenced him as a drag performer and built the show around that.

“I really connected to  the lyrics and music of those songs,” Vielle said.
“It is a semi-autobiographical show. I really wanted to explore the issues of  growing up as a kid as a queer, two spirited person,” Vielle continued.

Marshall Vielle performs Where the Two Spirit lives at Club Didi, June 14-18. Photo by Richard Amery
“I wanted to express myself by dressing up as a woman through drag performance. I was able to unload a lot of personal baggage,” Vielle continued, noting the movie Mrs. Doubtfire opened his eyes to the possibilities of creating art and expression through drag performances.

“ I really connected to that character. I was also influenced a lot by Moulin,” Vielle continued, adding the show is accessible to everybody.

“It’s a coming of age story,” Vielle said, adding he is glad the show will make it’s debut in Club Didi, where he first  got his start as a drag performer.

“I’m hoping people will be more understanding of two spirit people and be more willing to connect with them,” Vielle said adding there is still a lot of misunderstanding about two spirited individuals, which he hopes the show will help explain.

“I’d like to take this show all over the world. I’d love to go to Asia with it,” Vielle continued adding he has no other performances scheduled to date.
 Tickets cost $20 for the performance, which begins at 8 p.m. each night.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
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