2022 SU General Election Full Supplement

Photo courtesy Emily Cooper

Kevin Loring on Little Red Warrior & His Lawyer 

By Nimra Amir, February 3 2023

Kevin Loring, the playwright and director for Little Red Warrior & His Lawyer, began writing the play as a student production at Studio 58, Langara College’s Theatre School in Vancouver, B.C. Twenty-five years later, Little Red Warrior & His Lawyer will make its Theatre Calgary debut in a joint presentation with Making Treaty 7. 

Loring was initially learning to be an actor — by embodying the character in someone else’s world. However, by learning to be a playwright and by creating the world itself, he found a new interest. 

When writing the first few drafts of the play, Loring was digesting Shakespeare and Molière. But Loring was more inspired by the, as he said, “weirder” trickster stories that he already knew like that of N’shinkayep, or Coyote, a N’alakapamux trickster who is an anti-hero with the power to transform the world around them and consequently, create the world that is around us today. The story of N’shinkayep is one of deception where nothing is as it seems but it is also one of a lover and a warrior. 

The trickster story is the story of Little Red, the last remaining member of the Little Red Warrior Nation who is arrested after he attacks one of the engineers working for a development firm that is violating his traditional territory. The story takes a turn when Little Red moves in with his court-appointed lawyer — like a coyote who has entered the coop.

The play, like any play that Loring writes, is one with broad humour but also layers. In this play, the layers are the trickster story, but also the story of colonialism and what is sacrificed when one engages with the systems of colonialism which oppress them. 

“The story of colonialism is what I’m making fun of — that is real Coyote, real trickster. You take the authority and like a jester or any kind of clown, you poke fun at it and by poking fun at it, you see what the reactions are. Those reactions are the medicine like ‘Oh, it makes you doubt it, question it, or think about it.’ That is really the essence of what this play is doing,” Loring said.

Those reactions are exactly what Loring has enjoyed most about being the playwright and director of the play and those reactions are exactly what Loring hopes for the crowd.

“I hope they take away some fun. I hope they laugh in places they would consider otherwise rather inappropriate to laugh at. I hope they get caught in questioning their own reactions,” he said. “I hope they have an evening they go home talking about.”

The play continues to evolve as it has for the last 25 years but live theatre is temporary in that, as Loring said “It exists only when it is spoken, acted and walked.” 

To catch Little Red Warrior & His Lawyer while it exists at Theatre Calgary, you can get tickets starting for the official opening night on Feb. 3 until Feb. 19 on their website, which includes discounted Indigenous community tickets.

Hiring | Staff | Advertising | Contact | PDF version | Archive | Volunteer | SU

The Gauntlet