A conversation facilitated by Lindsay Lachance
Jill Carter, Spy Dénommé-Welch and Monique Mojica chat with Lindsay Lachance about their approaches to dramaturgy and artistic collaboration. This conversation discusses land-based and intercultural processes that the artists are working on, and offers insights into how others can create processes of their own.
Lindsay Lachance (Algonquin Anishinaabe) has worked as a dramaturg for over a decade and has a PhD from the department of theatre and film at the University of British Columbia. Lindsay’s dramaturgical practice is influenced by her relationship with birch bark biting and the Gatineau River. She is also the director of the Animikiig Creators Unit at Native Earth Performing Arts, which focuses on the development of new Indigenous works.
Based in Tkaron:to where she was born and largely raised, Jill Carter is an Anishinaabe-Ashkenazi theatre-practitioner, researcher and educator at the University of Toronto. Her research and praxis base themselves in the mechanics of story creation (devising and dramaturgy), the processes of delivery (performance on the stage and on the page), and the mechanics of Affect. In 2019, she co-devised and directed Encounters at the Edge of the Woods—the first Indigenous show in the century-long life of Hart House Theatre. And recently, she served as co-devisor, land-based dramaturg, and performance director of Streaming Life: Storying the 94 a site-specific truth activation on the grounds of the home occupied by Sir John A. Macdonald in the year he signed the Indian Act into Canadian legislation. She remains an active member of the Talking Treaties Collective, founder of the Collective Encounter, and serves as researcher and tour guide for First Story, Toronto with which she also devises land activations, mapping interventions, and personal cosmography workshops.
Monique Mojica (Guna and Rappahannock nations) Actor/Playwright/ Dramaturg – is passionately dedicated to performance as an act of healing, of reclaiming historical/cultural memory and of resistance. Spun directly from the family-web of New York’s Spiderwoman Theater, her theatrical practice mines stories embedded in the body in connection to land and place. She has created land-based, embodied dramaturgies and taught Indigenous Theatre in theory, process and practice throughout Canada, the US, Latin America and Europe. She founded Chocolate Woman Collective to create the play, Chocolate Woman Dreams the Milky Way.
She was most recently seen onstage as Aunt Shadie in The Unnatural and Accidental Women, at The National Arts Centre in Ottawa, with the NAC Orchestra in the European tour of I lost my Talk and in Izzie M.: The Alchemy of Enfreakment written by Monique with a diverse artistic collaborative team. Monique has collaborated with choreographer, Santee Smith since 2014 as the dramaturg for Kaha:wi Dance Theatre’s tryptic, Re-Quickening (in which she also performed), Blood Tides and SKe:NEN. Upcoming projects include serving as dramaturg for various Indigenous productions including Teneil Whiskeyjack’s Ayita for Edmonton’s SkirtsAfire Festival.
Spy Dénommé-Welch (Algonquin-Anishnaabe) is a multi-disciplinary composer, librettist/playwright, producer, educator, and the Artistic Director of Unsettled Scores. Select credits as a writer and/or composer include: Maple Sugar Moon (2020/2021); Come Home: The Legend of Daddy Hall (2021, play written by Audrey Dwyer); Rouge Winter (2019); RADAR (2019); Contraries: A chamber requiem (2018); Sojourn (2017); Victorian Secrets (2014); Giiwedin (2010).