The following piece was submitted by Maggie Winston, the creator of Beaver Dream/ La Fièvre du Castor by Lost and Found Puppet Co. The piece is part of QDF’s series of artist-submitted works detailing experiences creating at the 26th edition of the St-Ambroise Montreal FRINGE Festival. Photo (L to R): Maggie Winston, Rae-Anna Maitland. Credit: Joanna Pitsounis.

Every summer of my life has been spent with my family at a place called “Crow’s Lake”. It’s a Canadian paradise, hidden in the Laurentian Mountains, QC. It features 3 non-electrified log cabins (shared only within the family), a lake all to ourselves (except for the beavers, of course), and all the peace and quiet a person needs.  I have lived and travelled all over the world. As a result, I think of myself as having many homes. Yet, every summer, I return to Crow’s Lake.

During the last 3 summers, while floating on the lake, a dream of a show was taking shape. To make this show, I needed to be close to the one place that was always home. This January, my plan to relocate from Vancouver to Montreal, start a new life, learn french, develop whole new relationships, join the vibrant puppet community, and make a Fringe show, was in action!

Through the creation process, I realized my deeper reason for moving here. All humans desire to reconnect with nature, to live a life in which there is little technology. A simple life, in which we remember that we are animals sharing this world with other animals.

This separation from nature creates a type of anxiety. It arises in the subconscious of many of my family members (including myself) in the form of a shared nightmare, in which the entire lake has been bulldozed and developed into a town inhabited by strangers. “Beaver Dream/ La Fièvre du Castor” depicts the story of Crow’s Lake from the perspective of the beavers who have shared the same lake. It imagines a fantastical world in which the beavers experience the same fears as the humans, while in a battle of construction and destruction of the beaver dam.

It’s been 6 years since I last created a show for Fringe. I remember now how much hard work it requires. It is anything but simple! I am humbled by all the artists who are working so hard. Maybe we are all just like our compulsive beaver friends. When the craziness of the Fringe is over, our director (Anne Lalancette), our second actor (Rae-Anna Maitland) and I will be spending some needed down time. You know where we will be.

Beaver Dream/ La Fièvre du Castor plays from June 10th-18th at Montreal Improv (3697 St-Laurent). For showtimes and tickets, check out the FRINGE website!

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