God and The Indian: Renae Morriseau

For our cross-nation partnership with Firehall Arts Centre, we’re bringing Toronto and Vancouver audiences Drew Hayden Taylor’s God and The Indian, in Aki Studio May 2 – 17, 2015. Following the Toronto premiere, the production returns to Vancouver where it runs May 20 – 30, 2015.

After directing the world premiere of God and The Indian in Vancouver in 2013, Renae Morriseau (Cree) returns to bring audiences the Toronto premiere, currently playing in Native Earth’s Aki Studio.

“In our traditional ways the audience is then witnesses to share the story about this dark history about Canadian policy and legislation.”

Originally from Manitoba, Renae is based now in Vancouver where she works to cultivate social justice, inclusiveness and community-building through her work in theatre.  It’s these motivations that inspire Renae to help tell this heartbreaking story about Canada’s residential schools.

“It’s a story that needs to be told,” says Morriseau. “In our traditional ways the audience is then witnesses to share the story about this dark history about Canadian policy and legislation.

Morriseau hopes audiences from all backgrounds will come to see the production. “I think it’s important for all Canadians to see – Native or non-Native. People need to understand the impact that residential schools have had on my people – “my” meaning all the different Nations across Turtle Island which is now called Canada,” Morriseau explains. “We’re talking seven generations of my people that have been impacted. With residential school survivors today, these stories help support the survivors to acknowledge the pain and loss of family and community.”

Morriseau is not the only member of the original Vancouver production working on the Toronto premiere; both designers (Lauchlin Johnston, Alex Denard) also returned to revisit the play.

Listen Renae Morriseau on our
Podcast: gaganoonidiwag

However, this is anything but a remount, as Morriseau has had an opportunity to explore the work with a completely new cast, whom she describes as “talented, intuitive, adaptable and creative.”  The Toronto premiere stars Toronto-based Thomas Hauff as Assistant Bishop George King, and Vancouver-based Lisa C. Ravensbergen (Ojibwe/Swampy Cree) as Johnny.

Audiences interested in a discussion about the issues addressed in the play are invited to check here for a list of pre- and post-show talks with the creative team.

God and The Indian runs in Toronto May 2 – 17, and moves to Vancouver May 20 – 30, 2015.


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Tidbits About Renae Morriseau

What advice would you give to someone
who wants to do what you do?
Be curious. Start with your curiosity of what your passion creatively is. What are the stories that resonate in your heart and your mind and in what manner to do you want to develop your creative source.

What ability would you like to steal from another artist?
Lisa C. Ravensbergen’s acting and tenacity.
Tom Hauff’s uncanny ability to read between the lines.

Where is your favorite place to be?
With my grandson at a lacrosse game.

What’s your favourite dessert?
I make a great pumpkin cheesecake.

Favorite childhood toy?
Burnt bannock used as a hockey puck.

What’s next?
Returning to Vancouver to work with Vancouver Moving Theatre on Tracks: 7th Canadian Community Play and Arts Symposium.


Renae Morriseau: Since the early 1980s, Renae has worked in the arts in Canada, United States and most recently, internationally with her singing group, M’Girl. In theatre, she produced, wrote, directed and acted in a variety of Aboriginal stories contributing her music, dramaturgy, and teaching theatre to the next generation of thespians. In film she produced, wrote, directed and acted in a variety of television dramas, feature films, music videos, and documentary productions with her music licensed to diverse film and television productions. See: Down2Earth