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The Fish Eyes Trilogy spins the same story three ways

Set in the hormone-filled halls of a B.C. high school, The Fish Eyes Trilogy introduces us to Naznin, Candice and Meena. The play, which was written over a decade ago, in many ways foreshadows #MeToo era and more mainstream conversations about consent and cultural appropriation.

Anita Majumdar's award-winning play has been adapted as a podcast for PlayME

The Fish Eyes Trilogy is a series of three interwoven one-act plays by Anita Majumdar. (Ben Shannon/CBC)

Who did you hate in high school? (C'mon. Be honest.)

What if you had the chance to spend a day inside their heads? If you saw the world from their perspective, would it change your own?

The Fish Eyes Trilogy, by Anita Majumdar, presents that possibility. The story is a series of three interconnected one-act plays — Boys With Cars, Let Me Borrow That Top and Fish Eyes — each told from the perspective of a different high school girl in Port Moody B.C. 

  • In the first play, Boys With Cars, we meet Naznin, an Indo-Canadian teen falling in love with a boy named Lucky. But one day, while Lucky is away, Naznin is sexually assaulted by his friend Buddy. When the rumours start flying, Naznin is blamed and brutally bullied by Buddy's white girlfriend Candice and other "school cools".
  • In the second play, Let Me Borrow That Top, we meet Candice as she records a makeup tutorial to post online while awaiting the results of a pregnancy test. While chatting about her love of Indian dancing and her big dreams, she matter-of-factly shares some of her own painful secrets. 
  • And finally, in Fish Eyes, we meet Meena, a disciplined student of classical Indian dance whose focus begins to wander as her crush on Buddy grows. Her plain-talking auntie has a lot of advice for the newly-rebellious teen. 

All three plays are full of both humour and heartache, as each girl struggles with different but ultimately related secrets and desires. How can all three teenagers, so differently positioned in the high school hierarchy, feel like outsiders? And what does cool status, consent and cultural appropriation got to do with it? 

Listen to The Fish Eyes Trilogy below, in three parts: 

Memorable quotes: 

  • "I love dancing...except the part where people look at me." - Naznin
  • "But change can't happen if you don't love yourself. Like if you don't love yourself, you need to SHUT UP because you'll never fight for yourself if you don't think you deserve it." - Candice
  • "I finally see that for all this time Buddy existed for me, but I never existed for Buddy. Not ever." - Meena 

About the playwright: 

Anita Majumdar is a Dora Award-winning playwright and Canada's Governor General's Protégé. 
The Fish Eyes Trilogy earned her two Doras for Outstanding New Play and Outstanding Performance in the Theatre in the Young Audiences Division. Like her characters, Majumdar hails from Port Moody, B.C. 
She wrote and performed both the stage and audio version of The Fish Eyes Trilogy on her own. 

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