Where the Blood Mixes Front Cover

Paperback / softback
ISBN: 9780889226081
Pages: 96
Pub. Date: May 21 2009
Dimensions: 8.5" x 5.5" x 0.25"
Rights: Available: WORLD
Drama / DRA013000

  • DRAMA / Indigenous Peoples in the Americas
  • DRAMA / Canadian

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Where the Blood Mixes

By Kevin Loring

Where the Blood Mixes is meant to expose the shadows below the surface of the author’s First Nations heritage, and to celebrate its survivors. Though torn down years ago, the memories of their Residential School still live deep inside the hearts of those who spent their childhoods there. For some, like Floyd, the legacy of that trauma has been passed down through families for generations. But what is the greater story, what lies untold beneath Floyd’s alcoholism, under the pain and isolation of the play’s main character?

Loring’s title was inspired by the mistranslation of the N’lakap’mux (Thompson) place name Kumsheen. For years, it was believed to mean “the place where the rivers meet”—the confluence of the muddy Fraser and the brilliant blue Thompson Rivers. A more accurate translation is: “the place inside the heart where the blood mixes.” But Kumsheen also refers to a story: Coyote was disemboweled there, along a great cliff in an epic battle with a giant shape-shifting being that could transform the world with its powers—to this day his intestines can still be seen strewn along the granite walls. In his rage the transformer tore Coyote apart and scattered his body across the nation, his heart landing in the place where the rivers meet.

Can a person survive their past; can a people survive their history? Irreverently funny and brutally honest, Where the Blood Mixes is a story about loss and redemption. Caught in a shadowy pool of alcoholic pain and guilt, Floyd is a man who has lost everyone he holds most dear. Now after more than two decades, his daughter Christine returns home to confront her father. Set during the salmon run, Where the Blood Mixes takes us to the bottom of the river, to the heart of a People.

Winner 2009 Governor General's Literary Award for Drama

Winner 2009 Jessie Richardson Award for Outstanding Original Script

Winner 2009 Sydney Risk Prize for Outstanding Original Script by an Emerging Playwright

“What a joy to witness … a genuinely great piece of theatre about our nation’s dark secret and the terrible consequences of trying to poison the well of aboriginal spirit, being, culture and ritual.”
Vancouver Sun

“For a first-time playwright, Kevin Loring is making quite a splash.”
Georgia Straight

“Kevin Loring illuminates the complex aftermath of the residential school system and the circumstances of contemporary Aboriginal history through compelling, sympathetic and humourous characters who live as best they can, with courage and strength.”
— Canada Council

Where the Blood Mixes … was the best of a stream of plays tackling [the Residential Schools’] disastrous legacy.”
Globe & Mail

Where the Blood Mixes goes straight to the heart. But it goes there via the funny bone.”
Vancouver Courier

“The play provides both a disturbing look at the intergenerational effects of residential schools and a fascinating overview of Nlaka'pamux culture.”
—Ginny Ratsoy, The Conversation