In Spirit

Created/Written by Tara Beagan
and the original SummerWorks creative team
Direction: Tara Beagan
Performer: Sera-Lys McArthur
Production Design: Andy Moro
Stage Manager: Mike Lewandowski
Assistant Director: Jessica Carmichael

Western Canada Tour
Talking Stick Festival
 in Vancouver, February 19-20, 2014

Limited run in Toronto
Rutas Panamericanas Festival, Toronto March 3-8 2014
the production extends beyond Rutas in the Aki Studio Theatre, Toronto March 11-16, 2014

Buy Tickets Now

Tara, Andy, Sera-Lys photo by Juan CP

“I don’t remember growing up. Not really. I remember school shopping but I don’t remember ever thinking, Wow, my feet are bigger today, better get new shoes!” 


In Spirit (formerly Quilchena)

Spring, 1979. A young girl is mere days away from celebrating her birthday. Her dad can’t keep the secret of her gift any longer, so proudly presents her with a new bike- well… new to her.

Sharing in his excitement, birthday girl and bike make their debut trip along the nearest paved road. Failing to return for dinner, a makeshift search party finds only the bike, tossed to the roadside. Years pass and family and friends hope and pray for a return. There is no sign of their young, bright girl until one terrible day when partial remains are officially identified. The community tries to release her spirit into the next world, unsettled though they are by not knowing how this awful thing has happened. In that ceremony of communing, the missing girl does her best to push through to her loved ones, sharing her shattered recollections in shards. This fictionalized journey into love and loss is inspired by all too many true stories.


Sera-Lys and bike Juan C P

Native Earth’s featured production is the much-acclaimed In Spirit, directed by former NEPA Artistic Director Tara Beagan. Created by Beagan and the original creative team, In Spirit is a fiercely haunting work inspired by a true story. Production Designer Andy Moro returns with a fearsome videoscape along with the sound and lighting he conceived of in the SummerWorks production where “he seared our eyes and ears.” (NOW Magazine, ’07 Top Ten Theatre Artists of the year.) Actor Sera-Lys McArthur (Where the Blood Mixes, CBC’s Arctic Air, Hard Core Logo II) joins Beagan and Moro as the sole performer, rounding out the all-Indigenous creative team. The work will go on tour in February to Kingcome Inlet and debut at Talking Stick Festival on February 19th, before returning to the Aki Studio Theatre and Rutas Panamericanas Festival.

Mooney on Theatre
Urban Native Magazine
NOW Magazine

Technical information for presenters In Spirit technical rider feb 2014.

Click here for the In Spirit  Package Theatres.


Weesageechak Begins to Dance Festival XXV

Native Earth is happy to present the Weesageechak Begins to Dance Festival XXV!

photo of PJ Prudat by Juan Camilo Palacio

Aki Studio Theatre, Daniels Spectrum Building

585 Dundas Street East  Toronto, ON M5A 2B7

NOV 14 NOV 15 NOV 16 NOV 17 – 2 shows!

8PM at Aki Studio Theatre


by Andréa Ledding
director/dramaturg: David Geary

featuring Herbie Barnes, Rick Campbell, Nicole Joy-Fraser, Falen Johnson

Following Dominion, at the Paintbox Bistro, 555 Dundas St. East

Turtlesback Launch

8PM at Aki Studio Theatre


by Daina Ashbee
Michael Greyeyes

featuring Daina Ashbee, Maxine Chadburn, Emily Law, Mariana Meinke

*Contains nudity, not recommend for children

8PM at Aki Studio Theatre

Animikiig/ Thundering Voices


by Emilie Monnet
Cole Alvis

featuring Falen Johnson

Jack the Ripper

by Dakota Hebert
Donna-Michelle St. Bernard

featuring Aqua, Lisa Charleyboy, Meegwun Fairbrother, Jiv Parasram, Jeremy Proulx, PJ Prudat, Theresa Stevenson


by Justin Many Fingers
director/dramaturg: Derek Garza, Michael Greyeyes

featuring Michael Caldwell, Carlos Rivera


by Cathy Elliot
director/dramaturg: Herbie Barnes

featuring Aqua, Cole Alvis, Nicole Joy-Fraser, Dakota Hebert, Jeremy Proulx

2:30 PM at Aki Studio Theatre

When the Fish Met the Turtle

by Sharada K. Eswar & Rosary Spence
Jani Lauzon

featuring Sharada K. Eswar, Rosary Spence

8PM at Aki Studio Theatre

Heat Lightning

by Drew Hayden Taylor
director/dramaturg: Tara Beagan

featuring Jasmine Chen, Derek Garza, Moynan King, Monique Mojica


Weesageechak Begins to Dance XXV


Weesageechak 25
Photo of PJ Prudat by Juan Camilo Palacio

Come join Native Earth for the 25th annual Weesageechak Begins To Dance Festival! We have an amazing line up for this new play festival and all will be performed in our brand new Aki Studio Theatre located at the Daniels Spectrum building.

November 14th @ 8pm
DOMINION by Andréa Ledding
Director/Dramaturg: David Geary
Cast: Herbie Barnes, Falen Johnson, Nicole Joy-Fraser, and Rick Campbell

Inspired by a Dakota speaker’s response to the 2008 residential school apology, the one-act follows the story of Jack and Marie-Phillipe, an unhappily married couple, and Nimitaw and Tatawaw, who are barely managing – living, as they do, in a locked bathroom in their former home, a home now occupied by British Jack & French Marie-Philippe.

Following the performance of DOMINION will be the official launch of Turtlesback portal, hosted by our jazzy board president, Jed DeCory!

November 15th @ 8pm
UNRELATED by Daina Ashbee *Show contains nudity, not recommend for children.
Dramaturg: Michael Greyeyes
Cast: Emily Law, Daina Ashbee, Maxine Chadburn and Mariana Meinke

This dance piece explores the theme of the struggle by Aboriginal women to reconstruct their identities in a cultural setting hostile to self-definition. When women cannot see themselves as part of nature, they cannot see themselves and this is the origin of Aboriginal women’s problems with identity. Come and join dramaturge Michael Greyeyes for the exploration!

November 16th @ 8pm

Our emerging playwriting program has grown to two levels of development. The initial stage Animikiig (formerly Young Voices) and the second tier Thundering Voices (in honour of our late friend and elder Helen Thundercloud) bring us some amazing work for our Friday night festivities. Justin Many Fingers, Emilie Monnet, Cathy Elliott, and Dakota Hebert will be presenting excerpts from pieces in development. This night is always packed to the rafters with good times, so bring your friends and come early!

November 17th @ 2:30pm
WHEN THE FISH MET THE TURTLE by Sharada K. Eswar & Rosary Spence
Director/Dramaturg: Jani Lauzon
Cast: Sharada K. Eswar & Rosary Spence

We are proud to present When The Fish Met The Turtle, a multicultural collaboration between South Asian Canadian storyteller, writer and vocalist Sharada K. Eswar & Cree singer, songwriter and storyteller Rosary Spence. Together they work to blend inspiration, languages and cultures to evoke universal themes and emotions.

November 17th @ 8pm
HEAT LIGHTNING by Drew Hayden Taylor
Director/Dramaturg: Tara Beagan
Cast: Monique Mojica, Derek Garza, Jasmine Chen, and Moynan King

To close out the festival, we welcome back youthful theatre vet Drew Hayden Taylor with his latest piece, a comedic drama HEAT LIGHTNING.

Dates: Nov. 14th – 17th
Location: Aki Studio Theatre, 585 Dundas Street East  Toronto, ON M5A 2B7
Tickets Cost:Regular: $15
Elders/Group Rate/Arts Workers: $10
Festival Pass: $30
People under 16 and underemployed: free!

Box Office: 1-800-204-0855


Made to Order

Made to Order is a program that caters to individual organizations, schools, businesses and more. The program was created so that everyone within Canada can book Native Earth for their event online or over the phone. Some examples of our past Made to Orders range from Savage, a piece about living as an Aboriginal homosexual in rural Canada, (for Fort Francis High School), to Taking Pride, a piece about school mascots and what it means to represent your culture, (for Westhill Collegiate), to Strong Medicine, a piece about traditional practices with tobacco, which played, (for The Aboriginal Tobacco Strategy Conference.)

We also offer a nice variety of professionally facilitated workshops some of which are: Traditional & Contemporary Dance, Aboriginal Singing & Drumming, and Improv. Be creative at your next event and have Native Earth create, illuminate, and send the audience home with the message you want. Contact Community Liaison, Aqua. Phone 416.531.1402 email [email protected]

Photo of Jeremy Proulx (L), Falen Johnson (R) by Keith Barker


free as injuns

Written by Tara Beagan
Director: Ruth Madoc-Jones
Apprentice Director: Derek Garza
Dramaturgical Consultant: Daniel David Moses
Apprentice Dramaturge: Sarah Podemski
Set & Lighting Design: Andy Moro
Head of Props: Alex Vass
Sound Design: Verne Good
Sound Composition: Jason Burnstick
Costume Design: Erika Iserhoff
Movement: Michael Greyeyes

Featuring: James Cade, Lisa Codrington, Jerry Franken, John Ng, Yvette Nolan, PJ Prudat & Ash Knight

Tara Beagan’s powerful and poetic look at blood ties, entitlement, inheritance and legacy. Inspired by Eugene O’Neill’s Desire Under the Elms and the ‘Canadian experience.’

Buddies in Bad Times Theatre
February 28th – March 18th 2012
12 Alexander St. Toronto
Tickets: 416.975.8555 or

Pay What You Can Friday March 16th, 2012 8:00pm and Sunday March 18th, 2012 2:30pm

Photo of James Cade by Keith Barker



Training Apprenticeships

Now accepting applications  for the 2012/2013 Season!

Our Training Apprentice program provides practical experience with established theatre artists in Directing, Lighting and Set Design, Props, Dramaturgy and Project Management.

Deadlines for applications are posted annually.  Please click here for further info Animiikig and Thundering Voices call, and here for Training Apprenticeships call.

Please direct any questions to Artistic Associate at [email protected]

Animikiig, Thundering Voices, Training Apprenticeships

Animikiig is the Ojibwe word for the initial rumblings that tell us of the thunder storm that is to come.

Young Voices was founded by Yvette Nolan in response to the growing number of new Aboriginal playwrights. “Young Voices” was considered the temporary name of the training unit. Now in its Seventh Season, the renamed Animikiig Program offers Aboriginal artists who are new to helming theatrical creation the chance to develop their craft through practical experience in workshops and writing sessions with established performing arts professionals. Native Earth is proud to have had work like Agokwe by Waawaate Fobister, Giiwedin by Spy Dénommé-Welch and Salt Baby by Falen Johnson as part of the program before going on to full productions. We anticipate more great works will find full voice in the Animikiig Program.

In response to the deepening skill level of the Animikiig Program participants, Native Earth launches the inaugural year of  Thundering Voices.

This more intensive tier of artist development is named in tribute to our late company Elder and friend, Helen Thundercloud. As an adult educator, Helen was committed to First Nation’s efforts to achieve self-determination. Thundering Voices will help nurture more advanced artists in the development of their work. Both tiers of playwrights will have opportunities to showcase pieces over the season, including public readings at the annual Weesageechak festival.

Native Earth Performing Arts recognizes our responsibility as artists to ensure that Aboriginal stories persist on Canadian stages.  Through the work, participants develop writing skills and process, tread the path to self-actualization, build up discipline, assurance in self-expression, business acumen, and a group of contacts that will serve their work into the future. The artists also develop a sense of responsibility to a larger community through peer to peer teaching and working in a public forum.

Photo of Janet Antone by Keith Barker


Almighty Voice and His Wife

Written by Daniel David Moses
Director: Michael Greyeyes
Set & Costume Design: Jackie Chau
Sound Design: Richard Lee
Lighting Design: David DeGrow
Featuring: Derek Garza & PJ Prudat

Daniel David Moses’ seminal play about the legendary 19th century Saskatchewan Cree explores Almighty Voice as both accidental martyr and icon.

Past Reviews

Toronto, ON:
York University’s Joseph G Green Theatre
January 20, 8pm
January 21, 2pm and 8pm
Box Office: OR 416.736.5888

Whitehorse, YT:
Pivot Theatre Festival
January 25th, 8pm

Saskatoon, SK:
Persephone Theatre
January 27-28, 8pm
January 29, 2:30pm

Vancouver, BC:
PuSh International Performing Arts Festival
February 1-3, 8pm
February 4, 4pm

Photo of Michael Greyeyes by Nadya Kwandibens