Author Tags: Theatre
Sharon Pollock's ground-breaking drama The Komagata Maru Incident (1976) kickstarted a growing public awareness of the racial strife that engendered a standoff between Vancouver immigration officials and would-be Sikh immigrants in Vancouver harbour in 1914.
The play premiered at the Vancouver East Cultural Centre in January of 1976. It took the form of a circle-like setting in which a narrator or ringleader named T.S. introduced the action. Allan Stratton played T.S., Richard Fowler played the main immigration official, Hopkinson, and Nicola Cavendish appeared as Sophie, a local prostitute. It was a Vancouver Playhouse production directed by Larry Lillo. In her Programme Note for the first production of The Komagata Maru Incident, Pollock wrote, "The attitudes expressed by the general populace of that time , and paraphrased throughout the play, are still around today and, until we face this fact, we can never change it."