Category Archives: 2014/2015 Season

Inside The Unplugging: Umed Amin

With previews of The Unplugging by Yvette Nolan (March 14 – April 5, 2015) underway, Native Earth and Factory are excited to introduce a newcomer to the Toronto theatre scene: Umed Amin.

Recent graduate from the University of Windsor Acting Program, Amin is thrilled to be making his professional debut in a Toronto premiere on the Factory mainstage.

Umed Amin as Seamus; Photo by Akipari

Amin’s role in Nolan’s post-apocalyptic story is that of the threat to the two exiled women’s new life – a role he was happy to take on.

“I’m incredibly excited about almost every aspect, but I’m most excited to explore the questions that the play asks.

“We’ve become a culture that has adopted technology into our lives without a second thought; this play asks questions that an audience member has to ask himself or herself so that they can examine their dependency and whether it’s healthy or not.”

With so many power outages in Toronto’s recent history,  imagining a world where the power never does come back on may not be so difficult.  And what would life be like to be on the outs of The Unpluggings post-apocalyptic world?

“…what gives them the strength they need to keep surviving even when there’s no hope.”

“I think everyone is going to walk out of the theatre asking themselves what gives them the strength they need to keep surviving even when there’s no hope. Being able to try and wrestle those questions with others is why I’m in this business,” says Amin. “God knows it doesn’t always pay that well!

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Umed observing rehearsal.

The common struggles of working artists are not enough to deter Amin from his dream career.

“Honestly, my aspirations lie in film and television but my roots will always remain in the theatre. I plan on trying to build a name for myself in the film and television community while hopefully being able to meet new artists and work on new productions in the theatre.

“It is my hope that I can build a career where I can do film to feed my stomach and theatre to feed my soul: But nothing else. My ultimate goal is to just be a working actor.”

Catch Umed Amin as Seamus with Diana Belshaw and Allegra Fulton in The Unplugging by Yvette Nolan, directed by Nina Lee Aquino.
On stage now until Sunday April 5th.


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Getting Unplugged with Umed

What advice would you give to someone
who wants to do what you do?
My father thought I was majoring in History for the first two years of University (I was taking Acting), life is going to take you on a crazy rollercoaster ride, so if you truly want this, hunt for it. Just make sure that you’re aware of every facet of the job. And if you are aware of the hardships of merging art and business and what it means to be an artist and you’re STILL willing to chase the dream and try to work as an actor? Then focus on your goal, do what you have to do:
History will absolve you of your actions.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Become friends with the make up person. They’re usually in contact with almost everyone that has any power over your future and they can be really smart allies and very, very dangerous enemies.
I learned that in Michael Caine’s book on film acting.

Who is one of your heroes?
Superman has always been my favorite comic book hero. I think a lot of people overlook a couple very important things about Superman. People seem to say, and with some truth, that Superman seems to just punch his way out of every scenario. This is true, but this falls on the shoulders of the writing staff, in my opinion, for either allotting or being forced to adhere to a linear plot. However, the thing that I love about Superman is that even though he has the power to enslave or annihilate the human race, he chooses to put humans on a pedestal instead and tries to offer them hope and protection. Something that Superman does in many graphic novels on his free time is fly around saving people who decide to end their life by jumping off of buildings. He offers them a second chance and hope of redemption.
I think that’s pretty swell.

The one word your best friend would use to describe you?
Unique. I’ve never met anyone with the same first name as me.
I’m sure it’ll happen, but it’s forced me to be pretty unique.

Favorite childhood toy?
My brother told me at 8 years old that if I threw out all of my toys
and grew up, he would let me hang out with his friends: This never happened. Before that incident and well after, I had a plethora of wresting action figures that I owned and loved. I wanted to be a professional wrestler from the ages of 5-15. I quickly realized that the shortest wrestler in the league was an inch shorter than me with over 30 pounds on me. He could also do back flips.
I decided on a career change.

Who would you most like to have dinner with?
Dead or Alive?
Dead: Niccolo Machiavelli
Alive: Stephen Hawking

Follow Umed on Twitter


 

Select Theatre Credits: Charles in A Party To Murder (University Players), Tuzenbach in Three Sisters (University Players)

Inside The Unplugging: Diana Belshaw

We’ve partnered up with Factory to bring audiences the Toronto debut of The Unplugging by Yvette Nolan (March 14 – April 5, 2015), and over the next few weeks, we’re introducing readers to key players in this production and partnership.

The Unplugging Cast
L-R: Diana Belshaw, Allegra Fulton, Umed Amin in rehearsal with Stage Manager AJ Laflamme.

Today we take a look at the first of our three cast members: theatre veteran Diana Belshaw.  Award-winning community leader,1  editor2, and founder of the Theatre Ontario Showcase,3 Belshaw is currently Head of Acting at Humber College.

It’s no small matter that Belshaw has taken on the role of Elena in this production of Yvette Nolan’s The Unplugging; it’s been fifteen years since Belshaw has graced the stage.

So what was it about this production that made her return from such a long hiatus?

“…this is a truly beautiful play which speaks to things we all understand and sorrow for.”

“How often do you get to work with a team of powerful women on a play by a woman who understands the complexity of being ‘other’?

“I rarely read or see plays which understand grace and forgiveness so deeply and personally; this is a truly beautiful play which speaks to things we all understand and sorrow for.” says Belshaw. “And it’s funny!”

Belshaw and Fulton on break from rehearsal.

Nolan’s story of two aging Indigenous women making a new life for themselves is particularly relevant for Belshaw who recently discovered her own Indigenous heritage.

“To lose family, community, and culture resonates for me; my own Indigenous heritage (Maori) lay unacknowledged in my family until recently. Perhaps this is my chance to share Elena’s journey and learn from her courage and grace.”

Following The Unplugging, Belshaw will return to Humber. “[Teaching is] my great passion – working with and guiding young artists find their voices to create work which reflects THEIR world,” says Belshaw. “Training actors is the most fulfilling job in the world.”


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Getting Unplugged with Diana

What advice would you give to someone
who wants to do what you do?
Find out what you are most passionate about in the world around you – art isn’t about yourself. And then find teachers, mentors and above all your tribe of artists who will challenge you and drive you to doing what you want to do.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Do what you’re most afraid of doing and
stay away from cheap choices.

Who/what inspires you?
People who actually give themselves
to make the world a better place.

What was your first job in theatre?
Well, when I was five I played Toto in The Wizard of Oz at school but my first actual earning money job was a six month tour of Northern BC with Holiday Playhouse Theatre, doing plays in elementary, middle and high schools, the hardest work I’ve ever done –
it sent me off to theatre school to learn how to act better!

What is your profession’s greatest challenge today?
The gap between the institutional structures and artists – where are the young voices and most especially the voices of artists of colour and other marginalized communities in our mainstream theatres? And how can all our incredible young artists actually make a living and gain the respect of a culture which only seems
to celebrate superficial success.

What ability would you like to steal from another artist?
Confidence.

What are you reading right now?
It changes constantly – I read endlessly – from embarrassing junk
to mysteries to literature to works of non-fiction.
I just finished Mãn by Kim Thuy and
Being Mortal by Atul Gawande.

Where is your favorite place to be?
Home.

What is one of your pet peeves?
Bad spelling.
Being called ‘Miss’ by students.

Who is one of your heroes?
Shirley Douglas for not just working to save the world but every single person she meets.  She certainly saved my sanity
at a tough time in my life!

The one word your best friend would use to describe you?
I hope ‘loyal’ but I suspect ‘pig-headed’.



1
 2011 Maggie Bassett Award, 2004 Harold Award

2 Editor, Canadian Theatre Review 160: Acting Training in English-Speaking Canada

3 Humber College


Select Credits: That Summer (Blyth Festival); King Lear (two productions for Necessary Angel); Albertine in Five Times (Tarragon), ‘D’ Street and Broadway (Factory), De Beaux Gestes et Beautiful Deeds (Théâtre du P’tit Bonheur).

Inside The Unplugging: Nina Lee Aquino

The first production in our 2014-2015 Season, sees Native Earth partnering up with Factory to bring audiences the Toronto debut of The Unplugging by Yvette Nolan (March 14 – April 5, 2015). Over the next few weeks, we will introduce readers to key players in this production and partnership.

Today we focus on the woman making her Factory mainspace directorial debut: director Nina Lee Aquino.  Award-winning director,1 playwright,2 and anthology editor,3  Aquino is also Factory’s current Artistic Director.

Nina Lee Aquino (center) consults with Graphic Designer Suzy Malik (left) and Photographer Bronwen Sharp (right) on shots during The Unplugging photo shoot.

Aquino’s enthusiasm to direct The Unplugging – a play about two aging Indigenous women, exiled from their community and starting over – stems from her admiration for playwright Yvette Nolan. “It’s an award-winning play by one of Canada’s most brilliant Aboriginal playwrights (since Tomson Highway).

“Yvette was my first ever “boss” – I worked under her while she was the Artistic Director of Native Earth Performing Arts and I was the Marketing and Development Coordinator (for three years). She gave me my first real paying theatre job.” In this way, a partnership between Factory and Native Earth is a return to Aquino’s theatre roots.

And her ties to Native Earth don’t end there. “Isaac Thomas, who is now Native Earth’s Managing Director, was my first Stage Manager on Banana Boys, which premiered at the Factory Studio Theatre.”

“…this production is a whole lot of full circles and homecomings for me as an artist.”

Thomas and Aquino are not the only artists from that notable production working together again; Set Designer Camellia Koo, Lighting Designer Michelle Ramsay and Sound Designer Romeo Candido were all there, too.

L-R: Stage Manager AJ Laflamme, Movement Director Clare Preuss, Director Nina Lee Aquino, Actor Diana Belshaw

“The creative team of The Unplugging was also my very first creative team as a director and fu-GEN’s debut into the theatre community,” says Aquino. “This is the first time we are together again as a team in years — fitting as it’s my directorial debut at Factory. So all in all, this production is a whole lot of full circles and homecomings for me as an artist.”

When preparing for projects Aquino finds great influence in movies. “Movies are my biggest source of artistic inspiration,” says Aquino. “I watch a lot of them before and during my rehearsals.” Which certainly explains her favourite place to be: Cineplex VIP Cinemas.

Up next for Aquino is the Banff Playwrights Colony in April, where she will work with Jeff Ho on his newest play trace.


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Getting Unplugged with Nina

What advice would you give to someone
who wants to do what you do?
Luck favours the prepared.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Embrace the impermanence of it all.

Who inspires you?
David Yee, Cameliia Koo and Ric Knowles
are often my sources of inspiration.

What was your first job in theatre?
Actor in musical theatre.

What is your profession’s greatest challenge today?
How to convince people that theatre is an important part of everybody’s lives.

What ability would you like to steal from another artist?
The ability to figure out harmonies (music) on the spot.

What are you reading right now?
No time to read.

What’s your favorite line from a movie?
From one of my favourite movies, Pride and Prejudice.
Don’t ask me why but it just is.

Mr. Darcy:
How are you this evening, my dear?
Elizabeth Bennet:
Very well… although I wish you would not call me “my dear.”
Mr. Darcy:
[chuckles] Why?
Elizabeth Bennet:
Because it’s what my father always calls my mother
when he’s cross about something.
Mr. Darcy:
What endearments am I allowed?
Elizabeth Bennet:
Well let me think…”Lizzy” for every day, “My Pearl” for Sundays, and…”Goddess Divine”… but only on *very* special occasions.
Mr. Darcy:
And… what should I call you when I am cross? Mrs. Darcy…?
Elizabeth Bennet: No! No. You may only call me “Mrs. Darcy”… when you are completely, and perfectly,
and incandescently happy.
Mr. Darcy:
[he snickers]
Then how are you this evening… Mrs. Darcy?
[kisses her on the forehead]
Mrs. Darcy…
[kisses her on the right cheek]
Mrs. Darcy…
[kisses her on the nose]
Mrs. Darcy…
[kisses her on the left cheek]
Mrs. Darcy…
[finally kisses her on the mouth]

What is one of your pet peeves?
Body odor.

Who is one of your heroes?
Ninoy Aquino. Because knowing his life,
finally made my life make sense.

The one word your best friend would use to describe you?
According to Camellia Koo, my bff — “mighty”

What’s your favourite dessert?
Strawberry cupcakes.

If you were a breakfast cereal which would you be?
Count Chocula (google it).

Favorite childhood toy?
Fashion plates (google it).

Who would you most like to have dinner with?
Benedict Cumberbatch.
If not him, then a combo of Jann Arden and Sam Smith.

How would you title your memoir?
RBF. The Life and Times of Nina Lee Aquino.

Follow Nina on Twitter at @nininsky



1
 Awards for directing: the Ken McDougall Award 2004, the Canada Council John Hirsch Prize 2008, two Dora Mavor Moore Awards for Outstanding Direction (Sultans of the Street, Young People’s Theatre; paper SERIES, Cahoots Theatre Company); and 4 consecutive Dora Mavor Moore Award nominations.

2 Plays include Miss Orient(ed) (World Premiere, Carlos Bulosan Theatre 2003), and Every Letter Counts (World Premiere, Factory Theatre 2013).

3 Editor of Canada’s first Asian-Canadian 2-volume drama anthology love + relasianships (Playwrights Canada Press) and the co-editor of the award-winning New Essays on Canadian Theatre Volume One: Asian Canadian Theatre (Playwrights Canada Press).

Inside The Unplugging: Yvette Nolan

The first production in our 2014-2015 Season, sees Native Earth partnering up with Factory to bring audiences The Unplugging by Yvette Nolan. Over the next few weeks, we will introduce readers to key players in this production and partnership.

Today we begin with the person without whom there wouldn’t be a play: Algonquin playwright Yvette Nolan. Not only is Nolan an award-winning1 playwright, director, dramaturg3, and recognized community leader2, but she also led Native Earth Performing Arts as Artistic Director for eight years from 2003-2011.

Photographer Bronwen Sharp and Assistant with Yvette Nolan at The Unplugging photo shoot.
Photographer Bronwen Sharp and her assistant with Yvette Nolan at The Unplugging photo shoot.

Nolan was inspired to write The Unplugging after the passing of her mother. Feeling that she hadn’t learned enough from her mother, and inspired by an Athabascan legend, Nolan took only three months to pen the play about two aging Indigenous women4.

Making its Toronto debut at Factory’s mainspace March 14 – April 5, 2015, The Unplugging follows the women, exiled from their village and wandering a desolate landscape after all power has simply disappeared.  It’s not long in this new life before the women encounter a young man and need to make some crucial decisions.

“The play is funny and hopeful, even if a little apocalyptic.”

“I think the play addresses so many questions that the world is grappling with: women in the world, aging, our seemingly insatiable appetites, our dependence on technology, Indigenous knowledge,” says Nolan. “The play is funny and hopeful, even if a little apocalyptic.”

The partnership between Native Earth and Factory is just one of many reasons to be excited about this particular production. Led by Director and Factory Artistic Director Nina Lee Aquino, the production features a cast and design team Nolan stands behind.

The Unplugging 1st Reading
Sound Designer Romeo Candido at the first read-through.

“I have known Diana Belshaw since I lived in Winnipeg and she stayed with me, I have been awed by Allegra Fulton since Frida K., and it’s exciting to mix in a young up-and-comer like Umed [Amin]. Plus, Nina’s go-to team – Michelle Ramsay, Camie Koo, Romeo Candido, Clare Preuss – breathtaking.”

Nolan is Past President of the Indigenous Performing Arts Alliance, currently serves on the board of the Saskatchewan Arts Alliance and Word On The Street Saskatoon Chapter, and her book Medicine Shows, about Native theatre in Canada, will be published in the spring. Next for Nolan is the Banff Playwrights Colony to work with Michael Greyeyes on his theatre-dance piece Nôhkom, then Saskatoon for Short Cuts, a festival of 10-mintues plays. Following which she’ll direct Falen Johnson’s Two Indians. Finally she is co-curating The Study on Manitoulin Island with Sarah Garton Stanley for the National Arts Centre.


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Getting Unplugged with Yvette

What advice would you give to someone
who wants to do what you do?

I guess the bigger question is what do I do? I cobble together a life in the theatre. For me, my success has largely been dependent on doing things for the right reasons, which for me is not money. Whenever I do things for the wrong reasons, the universe smacks me upside the head so fast. So, the advice: figure out your reasons, your values, and make decisions accordingly.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
“theatre is hard, Yvette, be generous” – dd kugler
Also, Warren Zevon told David Letterman, not me, “enjoy every sandwich” but I was listening and I took it personally.

What inspires you?
People working to make change inspires me, whether it is huge like Arab Spring or Idle No More, or small and personal like a woman leaving an abusive relationship, a whistleblower
like the student at Dalhousie, or Lucy DeCouture.

What was your first job in theatre?
Eeeeeh, first? I have done everything.
Hung lights during university to support myself. Lay dance floor. Built props. Stage managed. Built sound tapes, on reel-to-reel, no less. Don’t remember what came first.

What is your profession’s greatest challenge today?
Not buying into the commonly held belief that we have to dumb down, reduce to 140 characters, use more technology to engage audiences. There is room for everything, from the high-tech to simple storytelling, from multi-disc to mime. To engage audiences,
we need to engage audiences.

What ability would you like to steal from another artist?
Oh my, I would love to sing like Michelle St John.

Where is your favorite place to be?
The Yukon. My heart home.

What is one of your pet peeves?
Reviewers who refuse to review what they see,
and instead review what they think they should be seeing.

Who is one of your heroes?
My mom, the late Helen Thundercloud, who survived tuberculosis (twice), residential school (two), divorce, a fire, to become a young elder who moved so many of us to try to know.

The one word your best friend would use to describe you?
She says, “Irreducible”. Then she admits she is cheating.

What’s your favourite dessert?
Cheese. A hard one, a soft one and a blue one.

If you were a breakfast cereal which would you be?
I am SO steel-cut oats.

Who would you most like to have dinner with?
I regularly have dinner with the people I most like to have dinner with. I have no desire to break bread with
Jesus or Shakespeare or Elizabeth I.

How would you title your memoir?
Because my first professional gig onstage was playing the dead body in Joe Orton’s Loot, I thought I would title it Playing Dead, but after 30 years in the biz, I think perhaps I will call it If You Want Me I’ll Be In The Bar (a nod to Joni Mitchell’s A Case of You).


1 Jessie Awards 2013
2 Mallory Gilbert Leadership Award 2014, George Luscombe Award 2011Maggie Bassett Award 2007

Interviews with Yvette
4 Straight.com, 2012
Arts Club, 2012
Open Book Toronto, 2013

3
Plays by Yvette Nolan include BLADE, Job’s Wife, Annie Mae’s Movement, Scattering Jake, Ham and the Ram, The Unplugging, The Birds (a modern adaptation of Aristophanes’ comedy), the text for from thine eyes (Signal Theatre), Prophecy (Canada 300/Watermark) and Alaska, which was part of the hugely successful inaugural Short Cuts, produced by her company Hardly Art with On The Boards in Saskatoon.

Directing credits include Salt Baby by Falen Johnson (Globe Theatre), Justice by Leonard Linklater, Café Daughter by Kenneth T. Williams (Gwaandak Theatre), Tombs of the Vanishing Indian and The Unnatural and Accidental Women by Marie Clements, Salt Baby, A Very Polite Genocide by Melanie J Murray, Death of a Chief, Darrell Dennis’ Tales of An Urban Indian, Annie Mae’s Movement (Native Earth Performing Arts), The Ecstasy of Rita Joe (Western Canada Theatre/National Arts Centre), Yoga Cannibal (Jungalee Gal Productions), The Only Good Indian… and The Triple Truth (Turtle Gals).

Recent dramaturgy includes Heather Morrison’s Thicker Than Water (Sum Theatre), Tara Beagan and Michael Greyeyes’ A Soldier’s Tale (Signal Theatre), Adam Pottle’s Ultrasound (Saskatchewan Playwrights Centre), PJ Prudat’s Reunir (Saskatchewan Native Theatre Company).

The Unplugging

by Yvette Nolan

A Factory & Native Earth Performing Arts Partnership

March 14 – April 5, 2015
Factory Mainstage

Buy Tickets

Directed by Nina Lee Aquino
Sound Design by Romeo Candido
Lighting Design by Michelle Ramsay
Set Design by Camellia Koo
Costume Design by Joanna Yu
Dramaturgy by Ric Knowles
Stage Manager AJ Laflamme

Featuring
Umed AminDiana Belshaw and Allegra Fulton

In a post-apocalyptic world, two aging Indigenous women are cast out of their village and forced to wander the desolate landscape with their only tools of survival: a shared traditional knowledge and deep friendship. When a young man appears and threatens their new way of life, the two women must choose between isolation and community.

Learn About the Artists

Cautionary Tip: “The only way I could see us going forward is to start over again.” – Yvette Nolan

Winner of Outstanding Original Script at the Jessie’s 2013

TICKETS

Tickets $23-$45, available online here.
Purchases made online or by telephone are by credit card only.
At the door payments accepted by cash, debit, VISA and Mastercard.

Free Events to Enhance Your Experience

Factory Theatre Box Office Telephone: 416-504-9971
Email: boxoffice[at]factorytheatre.ca

PREVIEWS & REVIEWS

“The ideas of community over the individual, equality between men and women, valuing those who were here first and what they know about this land: these things may save us in the end.” NOW Magazine

“Simple and honest, The Unplugging gives hope… that society does indeed possess the ability to pull away from the brink.”
– Mark Robins, Gay Vancouver


Yvette Nolan

Yvette Nolan is an Algonquin playwright, dramaturge and director who was born in Prince Albert Saskatchewan and raised in Winnipeg. Her plays include BLADE, Job’s Wife, Video, Annie Mae’s Movement, Scattering Jake, Donne In and What Befalls the Earth. She is the editor of Beyond the Pale and co-editor of Refractions: Solo. She has been the writer-in-residence at Brandon University, Mount Royal College and the National Arts Centre. Nolan served as Artistic Director for Native Earth Performing Arts in Toronto from 2003 – 2011.

More about Yvette


Nina Lee Aquino

Nina Lee Aquino is a director, dramaturge and playwright. She is the current Artistic Director of the Factory. She is the editor of Canada’s first Asian-Canadian 2-volume drama anthology love + relasianships (Playwrights Canada Press) and the co-editor of the award winning New Essays on Canadian Theatre Volume One: Asian Canadian Theatre (Playwrights Canada Press). Nina co-wrote Miss Orient(ed) and has written her second play, Every Letter Counts (World Premiere, Factory Theatre 2013). Other credits include awards for directing: the Ken McDougall Award 2004, the Canada Council John Hirsch Prize 2008, a Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding Direction 2011 (paper SERIES, Cahoots Theatre Company).

More about Nina


Factory

Factory is a vibrant centre of new play development and presentation, with the proud by-line, “Home of the Canadian playwright.” Located in the heart of downtown Toronto, Factory produces a full season of all-Canadian plays, many of them world premieres. Factory is edgy and contemporary with programming that celebrates diverse theatrical voices and culturally diverse artists. Visit the Factory Website


 Press Release Available Here

Season Photography done by Bronwen Sharp
Designs by OX Agency

God and The Indian

by Drew Hayden Taylor

Presented in partnership with Firehall Arts Centre

May 2-17, 2015

Buy Tickets

Directed by Renae Morriseau
Set and Lighting Design by
Lauchlin Johnson
Costume Design by
Alex Danard

Starring Thomas Hauff and Lisa C. Ravensbergen

While panhandling outside a coffee shop, Johnny, a Cree woman, is shocked to recognize a face from her childhood spent in a residential school. Desperate to hear him acknowledge the terrible abuse inflicted on her and other children at the school, Johnny follows Anglican bishop George King to his office and confronts him.

“I guess it helps when you are the same race as God.” – Johnny

Running time is approximately 85 mins.
No intermission.
Audience Advisory: Mature content.

Special God and The Indian Events include:
Post-Show Panel,  Book Launch, Dinner & Show,  Cast Q&A’s
Read More

TICKETS

Tickets $15-$25, available online.

Tuesday-Saturday at 8pm; Sunday at 2pm.
Pay-What-You Can (PWYC) available for Tuesday performances.
Purchases made online or by telephone are by credit card only.
At the door payments accepted by cash, debit, VISA and Mastercard.

Box Office Telephone: 416-531-1402 Email: boxoffice[at]nativeearth.ca

More information on ticket pick-up here.


REVIEWS

“[An] emotional, engaging 90-minute battle of wits… Both Ravensbergen and Hauff give strong performances, taking the volleys of accusations and denials to heart-rending extremes.”
NNNNNOW Magazine

“While Johnny, played with heart and spirit by Lisa C Ravensbergen, is the manic, twisted, charming scene-stealer of the show, King, played by Thomas Hauff has a subtle complexity that makes him more than just a stereotypical predator.” – Mooney on Theatre

“a gripping play… the subject would be overwhelmingly bleak if it weren’t for [Taylor’s] occasional rays of comedy” – Torontoist

“Lisa C. Ravensbergen gives an electric performance” – Scene Changes

“This play is not only educational in its premise, but also moving with its dialogue and performances.” – theXTRAmile

AUDIENCE REACTIONS

“profound, disturbing & thought-provoking” – b current
“Great acting, great writing and great direction!
Don’t miss this beautiful show” – Theatre Smith-Gilmour
“A must-see!” – Judith Schuyler

PREVIEWS

“Sometimes humour is an entry point into conflict that eases people into that world and then surprises them with the things they are able to confront.” – Lisa C. Ravensbergen talks to NOW Magazine

“What surprised me the most was that I could still find some humour in the story, albeit dark humour. But to me, that most exemplifies the Native community, humour and tragedy walking side-by-side.”
– Drew Hayden Taylor talks to She Does the City


Drew Hayden Taylor

Drew Hayden Taylor is an award-winning playwright, novelist, scriptwriter and journalist from the Curve Lake First Nation. Some of Drew’s 26 books have been translated into Spanish, Slovenian, Italian and German. His plays have seen over 80 productions. His future projects include a book of Native science fiction short stories, a screenplay based on his highly successful comedy play The Berlin Blues, and the publication of Me Artsy, the continuation in his exploration of various aspects of Native culture that began with Me Funny and Me Sexy. And finding the time to do the laundry.


Firehall Arts Centre

Firehall Arts Centre is based in Vancouver, British Columbia, and is located in a heritage fire station built in 1906, the Firehall Arts Centre produces a season of eclectic theatre, dance and interdisciplinary performances and acts as a host to visual arts exhibitions in its intimate gallery/lounge. Each year the Centre hosts over two hundred performances.  Learn more about Firehall Arts Centre


 

Read Press Release

Production Photography by akipari
Poster Photography by Bronwen Sharp

Designs by OX Agency

Stitch

by Cliff Cardinal

A Culture Storm Production
presented by Native Earth Performing Arts

June 3-14, 2015

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Directed by Jovanni Sy
Production Design by Andy Moro
Composer Luca Caruso-Moro
Stage Manager Jennifer Stobart

Starring Georgina Beaty 

Kylie Grandview, single mom, and one of the nameless faces that blip across the screens of internet pornography is seduced by her dreams of starring in a main stream movie. In a twisted, turning series of self-sabotaging decisions ultimately resulting in the loss of her child, Stitch is Kylie’s last ditch effort to tell the truth about what happened to her face.

“…sometimes in order to keep what you have,
you have to sell it away.”

Thanks to our Supporters Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council, Toronto Arts Council, and the Centre for Indigenous Theatre

Audience Advisory: Mature content.

Message from Native Earth, Culture Storm & Cliff Cardinal

TICKETS

Tickets $15-$25, available online.
Tuesday-Saturday at 8pm; Sunday at 2pm.
Pay-What-You Can (PWYC) available for Tuesday performances.
Purchases made online or by telephone are by credit card only.
At the door payments accepted by cash, debit, VISA and Mastercard.

Box Office Telephone: 416-531-1402 Email: boxoffice[at]nativeearth.ca

More information on ticket pick-up here.

PREVIEWS

“…the audience will find it humorous and terrifying all at the same time” – Metro News

“… thought-provoking, as well as a very strong piece of writing.”
Hye’s Musings

REVIEWS

NNNN – Cliff Cardinal’s dark and ultimately unnerving comedy Stitch… A hit at SummerWorks 2011, the play still packs a gut-wrenching punch.” – Jon Kaplan, NOW Magazine

stars“…funny, shocking, and sad” – Martin Morrow, –  Torontoist

Stitch is a taut, sensitively directed production, beautifully performed by Georgina Beaty.” – Jeniva Berger, Scene Changes

“brilliant piece of theatre… will have you cringing, crying and laughing all at once. Not for the faint of heart, but very worth seeing.” – Michael Piscitelli, Ontario Arts Review

“The show is terrifying, deeply disturbing, challenging and yes, at times, very funny.” – Celeste Sansregret, Sprockets and Greasepaint


 

 Cliff Cardinal

Cliff Cardinal made his theatre debut with Native Earth in Freeman’s Wake by Yvette Nolan in the ’05 Rhubarb Festival. Stitch debuted in SummerWorks 2011, winning Theatre Passe Muraille’s Emerging Artist Award. Huff, won the Buddies in Bad Times Vanguard Award for Risk and Innovation at SummerWorks 2012, and closed the studio season at the National Arts Centre in May of this year. Maria Gets A New Life, debuted at SummerWorks 2013. “This captivating tale of an off-grid mother solidifies Cardinal as one of the most talented and intriguing writers in the country.” – NOW Magazine.


Jovanni Sy

Jovanni assumed the position of Artistic Director of the Gateway Theatre in May 2012. He was born in Manila and raised in Toronto where he was based professionally for twenty years as an actor, playwright, director, and dramaturg. For six seasons, he was the Artistic Director of Cahoots Theatre Projects in Toronto. Under his tenure, Cahoots produced new works by Anosh Irani, Ahmed Ghazali, Marjorie Chan, Guillermo Verdecchia, Marcus Youssef, and Camyar Chai. In 2010, Jovanni was the Playwright-in-Residence at the Shaw Festival, and Jovanni wrote and performed his one-man play A Taste of Empire which was nominated for two Dora Mavor Moore Awards including Outstanding New Play. In August 2011, he directed Cliff Cardinal’s award-winning play Stitch for SummerWorks.


Culture Storm

Culture Storm is an organization and network that supports artists in visual arts, performance, music, film and theatre for artistic visioning, production, touring, grant writing, workshops and audience development. They also work with small artistic organizations to broaden and diversify scope of programming, audience outreach, press, publicity and partnerships. Culture Storm works with a select group of artists whose work focuses on social justice and cultural issues presenting creative work to audiences to engage and inspire meaningful dialogues. The artists they work with play an important role in arts and culture by fostering social, political and community engagement and change. Learn more about Culture Storm


Read the Press Release

Production Photography by akipari
Season Photography done by Bronwen Sharp

Designs by OX Agency