So Damn Proud

A Tale of Grit and Grace

Annex Theatre, 823 Seymour Street, Vancouver, BC, V6B 3L4

• Friday, September 10 – Friday, September 24 | 8 PM

• Sunday, September 12 & 19 | 2 PM

Presented by Holy Crow Arts and directed by our Artist in Residence, Justin Neal.

What is the play about?

"So Damn Proud" is a nonlinear drama that weaves contemporary dance with Coast Salish traditional knowledge to share an unusual and evocative tale of two siblings divided.

A tale of grit and grace, So Damn Proud takes place at pivotal life-changing moments in the lives of two Squamish Nation siblings.

Something deeply troubling causes Joanne to abruptly end her once-promising dance career.

Years later, at a surprise dinner that her brother Joe secretly arranges with Joanne’s boyfriend, we piece together what happened and what Joe did to cause the deep rift between them.

This nonlinear play navigates mystery, comedy, and harrowing drama with evocative contemporary dance and elements of Coast Salish artistic traditions to tell a unique one-of-a-kind story.

CONTENT WARNING: This play contains strong language and deals with themes of substance abuse, racism, and violence.

Justin Neal's Bio

S?wx?wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish Nation) | Screenwriter & Playwright

Brought up on Bainbridge Island, Washington, Justin left a marketing career in New York City to immigrate to his Indigenous homeland and earn a joint Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing & Theater from the University of British Columbia, choosing UBC for its proximity to where his Squamish relatives live.

Justin’s screenplay, THE SKINS GAME, currently in development with Curiosity Pictures and Really Real Films (with Jessica Harmon to direct), was selected as a participating project of the 2019 Netflix-Banff Diversity of Voices Initiative, was a top-ten finalist for the 2019 Canadian Film Fest, and a 2018 Whistler Film Festival/Praxis Screenwriting Lab project, among many other selections.

His interdisciplinary play, SO DAMN PROUD, selected for play development by Native Voices at the Autry Museum (LA) will premiere in Vancouver, BC, in February 2021 at The Cultch. Justin’s pilot, BOUNDARY BAY, has been presented in staged readings with scores of Indigenous actors across Canada through his involvement with Testify Indigenous Law and Arts Collective. LNG, a play version adapted from the Boundary Bay pilot, enjoyed a first draft workshop at University of California, San Diego, organized by professor Julie Burelle and her UCSD Indigenous Theater classes in the spring of 2017. He is currently working on a new play, THE TRAVELER, as part of the 2020 Arts Club Emerging Playwrights Unit.

An artist resident at Skwachàys Lodge in Vancouver, Justin has worked on theatre and film projects in LA, NYC, the Bay Area, Seattle, and Vancouver in a variety of capacities, since 1998. With a long history working for arts organizations and institutions, Justin was a teaching artist for Red Eagle Soaring Native Youth Theatre and the special appointee for the Bachelor of Performing Arts at Douglas College in 2019. 

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