Friday, November 19, 2021

 Watch where the Animikiig Creators’ are at in their final year with us. This is your chance to enjoy special previews of these talented Indigenous creators’ latest certain-to-be-produced work!

Learn about Animikiig Creators Unit here.

by Jimmy Blais

Wardo follows an Indigenous adolescent boy Dylan into his 17th foster home. He is hardened and shut down, his guard is up and seemingly impenetrable until…his new, charmingly eccentric mom Dottie finds her way in; Shakespeare. Using the child welfare system as a metaphoric parallel, Wardo examines the complexity surrounding our admiration of Shakespeare’s work and puts into question the significance of the space and time we dedicate to what many consider to be cultural imperialism.

Dramaturg by Yvette Nolan
Animation by Can (Jean) Rodrigue
Sound by Troy Slocum
Editing by Sean Colby
Additional Dramaturgical Support from Amanda Kellock
Commissioned by Repercussion Theatre
Support from Playwrights Workshop Montreal


Dylan: Todd Houseman
Zach: Zach RunningCoyote
Iostha: Kat MacLean
Dottie: Sarah Dodd
Trevor: Olivier Lamarche

Jimmy Blais is a member of the Muskeg Lake Cree Nation, he is of Plains Cree and French settler heritage.

Born and raised in Montreal, Jimmy graduated from Concordia’s Theatre Performance Program. He is a seasoned stage and film actor. He has worked professionally for over 10 years, for companies like The Stratford Festival, The Centaur, Geordie Productions, Porte Parole and La Licorne. Jimmy’s most notable tv role was playing Watio for five seasons in APTN’s hit series Mohawk Girls. Jimmy is also a writer, director, mentor and coach. He spent several years as a visiting artist/associate professor at Concordia University and as a mentor in Black Theatre Workshop’s Artist Mentorship Program. He was the Indigenous Artist in Residence for the 2016 Students On Ice Expedition to the Arctic. Jimmy just successfully completed the Indigenous Artist In Residence at The National Theatre School of Canada, where he spent 18 months focusing on creation and playwriting. His play Sonny’s Way was presented at Native Earth’s Weesageechak Begins to Dance festival in Toronto in November 2019.

by Joelle Peters

A reading by the playwright and conversation with Lindsay Lachance

A lot can change over the course of a summer. Niish is a coming-of-age story that explores themes of love, familial ties, identity, and community.

Joelle Peters (she/her) is an Anishinaabe actor/playwright from Walpole Island First Nation in Southwestern Ontario. A graduate of Seneca College’s Acting for Camera and Voice program, some recent theatre credits include: Embodying Power and Place (New Harlem/Native Earth/Nightwood), Queenie’s Castle (Women at Plays Festival), The Election (Nightwood/Theatre Direct/Commonboots/Theatre Passe Muraille), Two Odysseys: Pimooteewin (Signal/Soundstreams).

In 2020, Joelle was selected as the Siminovitch Prize Protégée by her mentor and dear friend Tara Beagan. Joelle’s plays include Frozen River (co-written by Carrie Costello and Michaela Washburn, winner of The 2021 Sharon Enkin Plays for Young People Award), Niish (in development with Native Earth’s Animikiig Creator’s Unit and commissioned by the Blyth Festival), and Do you remember? (commissioned by Burnt Thicket Theatre).

Instagram: @joellepeters.jpg
Twitter: @j0ellepeters