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Indian Arm

Indian Arm

By Hiro Kanagawa
Subjects: Rural Settings, Asian Canadian Playwrights, Adaptations, Western Playwrights, British Columbia, Award Winners
Duration: 120 minutes
Imprint: Playwrights Canada Press
Paperback : 9781770915725, 112 pages, December 2016
Ebook (EPUB) : 9781770915749, 112 pages, December 2016
Ebook (PDF) : 9781770915732, 112 pages, December 2016


  • Winner, Governor General's Literary Award for Drama 2017
  • Winner, Jessie Richardson Theatre Award for Outstanding Original Script 2015


Rita and Alfred Allmers live in an isolated family cabin on native leasehold land overlooking Indian Arm, a still untamed glacial fjord just north of Vancouver, BC. With Alfred—a formerly promising novelist—now struggling with his latest work, Rita has been tasked with caring for their adopted son Wolfie, a sensitive First Nations teen who has been designated as “special needs” for much of his life. Rita’s resentments and frustrations are further embittered by her younger half-sister, Asta, a constant reminder of the innocence, idealism, and sexual allure Rita once had and yearns for again. The fragile impasse of their lives is torn asunder by the appearance of Janice, the surviving member of the Indigenous family who leased the land to Rita and Asta’s reclusive and mysterious father over fifty years ago. With the lease now expired, they are all engulfed by the secrets and contradictions of their lives and of the land itself—in both the past and the present—and their stories are drawn inexorably toward an unspeakable tragedy.

In this modern adaptation of Henrik Ibsen’s Little Eyolf, award-winning author Hiro Kanagawa explores the uneasy intersection of privilege and birthright.


Indian Arm will sneak up on you and rip open your heart.”

- David C. Jones, Vancouver Presents

“A major accomplishment.”

- Colin Thomas, The Georgia Straight