Thursday November 14


You the Guy?
by Christopher Mejaki

A young Indigenous man raised by a single mother off reserve in a small Ontario town lives in poverty, turning to drug dealing as a way of survival until he gets caught and thrown in jail. He sits at the crossroads. Fortunately, the ancestors have other plans for him.

Follow this harrowing journey of a man who beat the odds to find his culture, his passion, and his path forward. Mejaki weaves a story like no other with a huge heart and a big smile — his story is unlike any you have heard before.

Developed at Native Earth’s 2019 Mskomini Giizis Residency.

Christopher Mejaki is Ojibway/Odawa from the Wikwemikong Unceded Indian territory on Manitoulin Island. He is a graduate of the National Theatre School’s Acting Program (2018) and CIT (2015). His recent credits include: OKOTOKS (Making Treaty 7) and Vimy (Western Canada Theatre). He is also a grass, hoop, and fancy dancer.


The Heels of Our Grandfathers
by Cole Forrest

The teaching represented by the eagle is Love. Through stories of finding community, self-love, and acceptance, follow the journey of Little Eagle, an Indigenous youth who takes themselves from reserve reject to full-fledged drag queen.

Developed at the 2018 Paprika Festival’s Indigenous Arts Program.

Cole Forrest is an Ojibway artist based in Toronto, Ontario. Originally from Nipissing First Nation, Cole strives for compassion and acceptance within the arts. He has written, directed, and acted in various short films, theatre pieces, and a musical. Cole is regarded as an emerging cultural leader of Northern Ontario.

 


River of Blood
by Ed Bourgeois

Joseph is a modern-day First Nations man on a quest to identify the roots of his mixed-blood heritage. He is a descendant of the 18th century English colonists captivated during the French and Indian Wars, who intermarried with their Mohawk and French captors.

Eunice Williams was one such captive who rejected her father’s attempts to return her to Massachusetts in favour of her adoptive Mohawk family. Her trauma is manifested three centuries later in Joseph’s relationship with his own bi-polar daughter, Danielle, for whom healing is out of reach until her father deals with the ghosts of his past and accepts the realities of their mutual present.

Workshopped at the Autry’s 2018 Playwrights Retreat; received staged readings at LaJolla Playhouse and Oklahoma City Native American New Play Festival; and was a Semi-Finalist in the 2019 Blue Ink Playwriting Award.

Hailing from Oregon, USA, Ed Bourgeois (Kanien’kehá:ka/hunka Dakota) developed the Alaska Native Playwrights Project, which trained 32 Native playwrights 2010-2013. His plays were included in Native Voices at the Autry (LA)’s Short Play Festival: Trail TreesBackstage, Blue Moon, which won the 2016 Von Marie Atchley Excellence in Playwriting Award. 


Tapwewin- Her Inquiry
by Maria Campbell, Yvette Nolan,
Marilyn Poitras, Cheryl Troupe

A response to the ongoing, frustrating MMIWG inquiry, Tapwewin opens the inquiry to the voices who are not being heard: the teenager who was taken by North-West Mounted Police (NWMP) in the 1800’s to service the man; the midwife who was vilified by the priest run out of the church; the women who work the streets.

Producing Company: The Crossing

Maria Campbell is a Cree-Métis writer, playwright, filmmaker, scholar, teacher and elder. Her memoir “Halfbreed” (1973) is regarded as a foundational piece of Indigenous literature in Canada. She was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2008. Campbell has authored several other books and plays, and has also directed and written scripts for films.

Yvette Nolan (Algonquin) works as a director and dramaturg across Turtle Island. Her plays include Annie Mae’s MovementThe Unplugging, Gabriel Dumont’s Wild West Show (Co-Writer), and the libretto of Shanawdithit. From 2003-2011, she served as Artistic Director of Native Earth. She is currently an Artistic Associate of Signal Theatre.

Marilyn Poitras is currently the Director of Native Law Centre at the University of Saskatchewan. Her life is committed to including and recognizing Indigenous voice and story into the larger narrative. She has edited numerous books on elder stories and land, and produced a short doc on Indigenous women in Canada “7 Minutes”, directed by Tasha Hubbard.

Cheryl Troupe is Métis and holds a PhD in history from the University of Saskatchewan, where she is also an Assistant Professor. Her research centers on twentieth Métis communities in Western Canada, using oral histories, family histories, and mapping to better understand how Métis families and communities are connected to the spaces that are important to them.



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