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 www.nativeearth.ca or call 416.531.1402.