Noh-influenced libretto by renowned Canadian poet Daphne Marlatt
The Noh-influenced libretto of Shadow Catch recounts the dreams – or are they dreams? – of the Runaway, a teenage boy who ends up one night in Oppenheimer Park in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. Here four troubled spirits from the park’s past appear to him: the Spirit of the Maple Tree from K’emk’emeláy̓ whose grove was decimated by loggers, a member of the brilliant Asahi baseball team whose players were sent off to Japanese internment camps, the keeper of a 1920s brothel who is haunted by the tragic death of one of "her" women, and a roughneck policeman from the 1930s who gave in to corruption. This is a story not only about characters from Vancouver’s historical and cultural past, but about the journey and transformation that must take place in order to confront one’s greatest fears and regrets.
Each of the four acts in this sparse, poetic libretto were set to music by composers Dorothy Chang, Benton Roark, Jennifer Butler, and Farshid Samandari. Replete with contextual material, this book includes brief histories of species interconnectedness in the park, the Asahi baseball team, Vancouver's early red-light district, and the Battle of Ballantyne Pier.