Press Releases


Beagan begins

Tonight marks Native Earth’s anxiously awaited announcement of the artist who is to succeed Yvette Nolan at the helm of Canada’s oldest Aboriginal performing arts organization.  Incoming Artistic Director Tara Beagan assumes the mantle of leadership on February 1, 2011.

“The board of directors is proud to welcome Tara Beagan to the role of Artistic Director at Native Earth Performing Arts.  As one of Canadian theatre’s greatest young talents, Ms. Beagan is perfectly positioned to lead this vital company into a bold new future.  It is with the great pride that we are able to pass the leadership from Canada’s most dynamic performing arts voice, Yvette Nolan, to the multi-talented Ms. Beagan and I am confidant she will lead this company in new and exciting directions” says Board President Jesse Wente.

Outgoing Artistic Director Yvette Nolan has high praise for her successor. “Tara’s star has been ascending for several years, she is constantly practicing to become a better artist,” Nolan says. “Her passion has paid off with Dora awards, play commissions, and her recent appointment as a Playwright in Residence at the National Arts Centre. That she would agree to lead Native Earth at this time is a sign of her generosity and commitment to theatre in this country”.

Nolan remains on the scene as director of Marie Clements’ Tombs of the Vanishing Indian, which opens at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre March 9, as well as a dramaturge, mentor and facilitator for artists in the company and its broader community.

Beagan’s relationship with Native Earth has been significant, including the premiere of her play Dreary & Izzy in 2005, as Assistant Director on the 2008 production of A Very Polite Genocide, a season as playwright in residence in 2009/2010, and her role as Training Coordinator for NEPA’s inaugural training program in 2010.

Beagan has been a beacon for contemporary Aboriginal artists, working deep and broad across all kinds of boundaries.  Her own independent company, halfbreed productions, developed Quilchena, Foundlings and Here Boy.  Tara is an ideal captain to continue charting the organization’s recent collaborative course.  Her experiences in such diverse collectives as Theatrefront’s The Mill, UnSpun Theatre’s Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump and Crate Productions’ the Fort at York will serve her well.  Lately she has been breaking open the classical canon to make space for marginalized stories, bringing a First Nations perspective to adaptations of Miss Julie: She’mah and free as injuns, her revisioning of Eugene O’Neill’s Desire Under the Elms, which has been in development at Native Earth and is slated for production next season.

This change in leadership comes on the brink of taking on a new venue in the Regent Park Arts & Cultural Centre, at the end of the company’s 28th season, and at the beginning of a long and promising road forward.

For more information visit the website at or call 416.531.1402.

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Tombs of the Vanishing Indian: Still Here.


Still Here, Native Earth Performing Arts’ season catchphrase rings more true than ever with upcoming world premiere of Marie Clements’ Tombs of the Vanishing Indian, co-produced with the award-winning red diva projects.  Prompted by a visit to a museum where statistics show that 90% of guests visit to see a people that “no longer existed”, Tombs of the Vanishing Indian is Marie Clements’ groundbreaking response, proof positive that Aboriginal people are indeed, still here.

Clements fluently tells the immense story of contact through a deeply personal account of the lives of three sisters.  While each sister essentially raises herself despite the effects of separation, adoption, and dislocation, Clements exposes a history of relocation, removal and vanishing, while artfully weaving in the hopes of new beginnings.

Originally commissioned by and developed with Native Voices at the Autry, Clements’ rich text delves into the poetic, characters seamlessly moving between English and Gabrielino, between the 19th and 20th centuries, all sharing in one story, in one reality.

Tombs of the Vanishing Indian gathers a community of Aboriginal artists from Canada and the United States, including two-time Gemini Award winner Michelle St. John, composer Jennifer Kreisberg (Ulali), Gabrielino/ Tongva consultant Virginia Carmelo and Native Earth’s own outgoing artistic director Yvette Nolan as director.  “I believe Marie Clements is the most important Aboriginal playwright working today, and I am thrilled to be able to collaborate with her once again,” Nolan says.  “I began my time here at Native Earth directing her epic play The Unnatural and Accidental Women, and it’s gratifying to be able to close my tenure with the premiere of Tombs of the Vanishing Indian.”


Native Earth Performing Arts and red diva projects present

Tombs of the Vanishing Indian

By Marie Clements
Directed by Yvette Nolan
With Keith Barker, Falen Johnson, Nicole Joy-Fraser, Martin Julien, PJ Prudat, Michelle St. John and David Storch
March 9-27, 2011

Buddies in Bad Times Theatre
12 Alexander St.
Toronto, Ontario

Tickets: $25, PWYC Fridays & Sundays
To purchase: 416.975.8555 or


Weesageechak 23 Press Release

Native Earth Seeks New Artistic Director
Native Earth Poised to Open a New Chapter

Season Launch – Native Earth – Still Here

Giiwedin – Breaking Ground With First Nations Opera
Giiwedin – Breaking Ground With First Nations Opera (French language version)
Salt Baby – Native Earth Salts the Wound
Season Launch – Native Earth Hits the Open Road

Almighty Voice & His Wife – Wanted: Dirty Savage
Weesageechak Begins to Dance XXI – Who Says Coyotes Can’t Fly?
A Very Polite Genocide – Nothing Polite About Native Earth’s Next Show

Annie Mae’s Movement Tour – Native Earth Gets Down (Under)
Project 25 – IntoNation – Aboriginal Musicians Beat on Your Ear Drum
Project 25 – What, Me Stoic? – More Than A Mini Ha Ha
Death of a Chief – Death of a Chief Turns Julius Caeser on His Ear
Weesageechak Begins to Dance XX – Weesageechak Dances for the 20th Time
Project 25 – Rhynmekeepers – Rhymekeepers Keeps Values in Rotation
Season Launch – Native Earth Gets Grounded