NAWPA: The Girl Who Swam Forever Synopsis

NAWPA logo
The Girl Who Swam Forever
by Marie Clements

Forever/The Girl: A young Katzie girl, 16, that is running from a Catholic mission school. The mythical girl-sturgeon. She has a dream-like quality and moves with the ease of a fish.
Grandmother/The Old One: The Girl’s dead grandmother. An ancient sturgeon. Old, gentle and deep.
Ray/Brother Big Eyes: The Girl’s brother. Older and cooler. A great dancer. The Owl in the myth. Bird-like movements and attitude.
The Church Frogs: Voices of the church. Nightmare-ish. The church conscience of the Girl. They take the form of nuns and priests dressed in black with large frog heads.

The play is both underwater and on land. Real and myth. Movement based. Using slides, video and a soundscape to create both worlds. Real time: Early sixties. Mythical time: The beginning.

The Katzie myth–of the girl who spent her days swimming and became a fish, and of her brother who grieved until being turned into a white owl to watch over his sister–is put into motion with Clements’ story of a girl named Forever. The story unfolds mostly with a surreal, dream-like quality interjected with bits of Forever’s real situation of being caught between her developing sexuality, the church’s haunting morals, her brother’s over-protectiveness and the secret in her womb.

Synopsis written by J. Barnett 9/30/97.