For our cross-nation partnership with Native Earth Performing Arts, we’re bringing Toronto and Vancouver audiences Drew Hayden Taylor’s God and The Indian. The play has just finished a successful run in Toronto and is headed to the Firehall for a run this week (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 this national tour of this timely production.
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 new production; both designers (Lauchlin Johnston, Alex Denard) also returned to revisit the play.
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 production stars Toronto-based Thomas Hauff as Assistant Bishop George King, and Vancouver-based Lisa C. Ravensbergen (Ojibwe/Swampy Cree) as Johnny.
God and the Indian runs May 20 – 30 at the Firehall Arts Centre. There is a post-show talkback on Thursday May 28 following the 8pm show.
This post originally appeared on Native Earth Performing Arts’ blog.