October 12–21, 2023
A Staging Equality Theatre for Young Audiences production
Directed by Yasmine Kandil
Double-bill performance is one hour plus a brief intermission.
The Staging Equality team who brought you Journey to Mapu (2021), Kamloopa: An Indigenous Matriarch Story (2021), im:print (2022) and It’s Just Black Hair (2023) is back with more performances for, with, and about Indigenous, Black, and people of colour. Our next project premieres two original Theatre for Young Audiences performances inspired by children’s storybooks.
The Woman Who Outshone the Sun
By Rosalma Zubizarreta, Harriet Rohmer, David Schecter
Based on a poem by Alejandro Cruz Martinez
Story illustrated by Fernando Olivera
Permission arranged with Children’s Book Press, an imprint of LEE & LOW BOOKS Inc., New York, NY 10016. All rights reserved.
By Nicola Campbell
Story illustrated by Kim LaFave
Reproduced with permission from Groundwood Books Limited, Toronto.
Resources and available supports:
National Indian Residential School 24-hour Crisis Line: 1-866-925-4419
Indian Residential School Survivors Society | 24-hour crisis line: 1-800-721-0066
The Woman Who Outshone the Sun (the Legend of Lucia Zenteno)
An enchanting Latin American folk tale. In the remote mountains of central Mexico, Lucia Zenteno’s arrival stirs both fear and wonder among the villagers. Some believe her long black hair eclipses the sun, while others see it as a radiant beacon. Banished from the village in their fear, they witness an astonishing phenomenon: their cherished river refuses to part from Lucia, revealing a profound bond. The legend of Lucia Zenteno unfolds as the entire village embarks on a quest to seek her forgiveness.
Through vivid imagery and lyrical language, it explores themes of judgement, discrimination and the true meaning of forgiveness, woven against the backdrop of nature, land and the precarity of these natural gifts. The Woman Who Outshone the Sun is a timeless tale that resonates with readers of all ages.
A heartfelt children’s story that traces the journey of a young Indigenous girl as she prepares to leave her family and attend residential school. Shi-shi-etko devotes her final days to her homeland, immersing herself in the beauty and wisdom of the natural world and exploring the Indigenous ways of knowing and being.
The story artfully depicts Shi-shi-etko’s profound connection with her culture, surroundings and family. This touching tale navigates themes of love, resilience and the importance of preserving heritage in the face of adversity.
Authors, The Woman Who Outshone the Sun
Alejandro Cruz Martinez, a talented young Zapotec poet, dedicated years to preserving the oral traditions of his people, among them the captivating tale of Lucia Zenteno immortalized in The Woman Who Outshone the Sun. Tragically, in 1987, Alejandro lost his life while actively organizing the Zapotec community’s efforts to reclaim their water rights that had been unjustly taken away.
Harriet Rohmer is an award-winning voice in environmental books for young people and a longtime pioneer in children’s multicultural publishing. Founder of Children’s Book Press in San Francisco, Harriet reached out to many communities that had been under-represented in children’s literature. Her multicultural and bilingual picture books have won over 100 major awards, including the American Book Award, The Coretta Scott King Award, and the Ezra Jack Keats Award.
Rosalma Zubizarreta, a bilingual teacher and translator residing in San Francisco, California, has lent her expertise in Spanish translation to numerous titles published by Children’s Book Press. Among these titles are the acclaimed works Family Pictures, Uncle Nacho’s Hat, and The Woman Who Outshone the Sun.
Nicola Campbell is Nłeʔkepmx, Syilx (Interior Salish) and Métis from the Nicola Valley, British Columbia. Through her captivating books like Shi-shi-etko, Shin-chi’s Canoe, Grandpa’s Girls and A Day with Yayah, she weaves together the wisdom of cultures and the teachings of the land, focusing on important values like respect, resilience, healing, and mutual giving.
Nicola writes adult and children’s free-verse poetry, fiction and non-fiction. She crafts stories that resonate deeply with readers, reflecting her commitment to celebrating Indigenous heritage and fostering cross-cultural understanding.
Campbell has been a finalist for numerous children’s literary awards, and her book Shin-chi’s Canoe won the 2009 TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award and the 2008 Governor General’s Award for Illustration.
Her newest publication, Spílexm: A Weaving of Recovery, Resilience and Resurgence (2021), is a memoir that shares stories of overcoming adversity and promoting strength, healing and resurgence for future generations.
Narrators, Paulina Grainger & Krystal Cook
The Woman Who Outshone the Sun narrator and cultural consultant:
Paulina Grainger is an arts administrator, actor-producer and a storyteller who creates innovative projects that use film, photography, movement, storytelling, theatre and mask work to bring the immigrant and refugee experience to life. Currently, with the Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria, she is committed to telling the stories of newcomers while continuing to challenge and deepen the community’s learning and understanding of diversity and multiculturalism in Canada.
Shi-shi-etko narrator and cultural consultant:Krystal Cook is a Kwakwaka’wakw Vancouver Island-based theatre artist, poet, facilitator of Healing through the Arts, theatre facilitator & Mother from the ‘Namgis First Nation. She graduated from the Eno’wkin International School of Writing (UVIC) and CIT’s Native Theatre School Program. She has been a creative team member for ICA’s im:print, SD61 Sacred Circle Theatre Project, RRU Walk with Me Theatre Project and ‘From the Heart.’ She has performed her one-woman show ‘Emergence’ at Impact 11, Uno Fest, FemFest, Meli Fest, The Performer in a Multi-Cultural Society Symposium, Pearson College & the North American Indigenous Games. She is a committee member/performer for the ‘Staging Equality’ Theatre Project (UVIC). She resides with her family with huge heartfelt gratitude in the homelands of the Lekwungen peoples.
Optional 20-minute talkback with director Yasmine Kandil and cast members follows the Friday performances.
Single Tickets for this show are available on October 3.
Charge by phone: 250-721-8000
or in person at the Phoenix Box Office
(Ticket purchases are not possible online)
Box Office Hours: Click HERE.
- Friday Evenings:
All Seats $32
- Thursday Evenings & Saturday Matinees:
All Seats $28
- Ages 12 & under all performances:
All Seats $5
- Student Rush Tickets:
30 minutes before every show: $12
Performed in the Chief Dan George Theatre
Lina de Guevara
The Woman Who Outshone the Sun
Rayn Cook Thomas
Stevie Welsh (asst.)
Sarai Gomez as
Paulina Grainger as
Krystal Cook as
Janina Ferrer as
Narrator understudy (WWOTS)
Tesekla Cook-Wille as
Post show lecture with director Yasmine Kandil and cast follows each Friday performance.
This performance may trigger strong emotions for some audience members. Resources and available supports have been listed on this webpage. If you have questions please enquire with the box office for further details: 250-721-8000
SETYA production photos by Megan Farrell