TORONTO, ON – Native Earth Performing Arts is proud to present its production of Ipperwash, written and directed by Six Nations playwright Falen Johnson, in partnership with the Blyth Festival, from February 6 to 18 at Aki Studio.
Ipperwash premiered at the Blyth Festival in its 2017 Season.
In 1942, when the Department of Defence forcibly evicted the community of Stoney Point to the neighbouring reserve of Kettle Point to establish the military training base, Camp Ipperwash, the Department promised to return the land after the war had concluded. This promise went unfulfilled for more than 70 years.
Ipperwash follows Corp. Bea Johnson, an Anishinaabe from New Credit, who is hired by the Department of Defence to manage the ordinance clean-up at Camp Ipperwash. During her stay, she realizes she knows very little about the recent history. As she comes to understand the damage done by the Department, Bea sees firsthand how this act of displacement reverberates on land grossly exploited by the government. When a little girl from the past pays her a visit, Bea’s world starts to unravel as she is forced to examine her complicity in the tragedy that is Camp Ipperwash. Ipperwash tells an intimate story of reclamation, repatriation and resilience of the Stoney and Kettle Point communities.
Playwright Falen Johnson (Mohawk/Tuscarora) makes her directorial debut with Ipperwash, her second production at Native Earth following her acclaimed Salt Baby, directed by Yvette Nolan. Her plays, including Two Indians, have shown in theatres across the country. Select performance credits include: Tombs of the Vanishing Indian (Native Earth), The River (Nakai Theatre), Tout Comme Elle (Necessary Angel, Luminato), and Where the Blood Mixes (Saskatchewan Native Theatre). Her writing has been featured in Brick Literary Journal, The Canadian Theatre Review, Granta Magazine, and Moth Storytelling Hour. Her new podcast The Secret Life of Canada, co-hosted with Leah-Simone Bowen, debuted this past summer.
The cast includes familiar faces: award-winning actor and writer Paula-Jean Prudat (Métis/Cree/Saulteaux) returning from the Shaw Festival; emerging actor Samantha Brown (Ojibwe/British); as well as Jonathan Fisher (Anishinaabe) and James-Dallas Smith (Mohawk) from the cast of the first Ipperwash production at Blyth Festival. Blyth’s Artistic Director Gil Garratt joins the production team as a core collaborator, alongside an all-star creative team, including multiple award-winning lighting designer Michelle Ramsay, costume designer Jeff Chief, and sound designer and composer Deanna Choi, with stage manager Michael Panich.
Native Earth Performing Arts
Created and Directed by Falen Johnson
Presented in Partnership with Blyth Festival
Aki Studio, Daniels Spectrum
585 Dundas Street East, Toronto
Run Dates: February 6 – 18, 2018
Tuesday to Saturday @ 8PM • Sundays @ 2pm
Preview: Sunday February 4 @ 7pm
& Tuesday February 6 @ 8pm
Opening Night: Wednesday February 7
Single Tickets $15-$25
Available online at www.nativeearth.ca or by phone 416.531.1402
Pay-What-You Can (PWYC) available for Tuesday February 13
Native Earth Performing Arts is Canada’s oldest professional Indigenous theatre company. Currently in its 35th year, Native Earth is dedicated to creating, developing, and producing professional artistic expressions of the Indigenous experience in Canada. Through stage productions (theatre, dance and multi-disciplinary art), new script development, apprenticeships and internships, Native Earth seeks to fulfill a community of artistic visions. It is a vision that is inclusive and reflective of the Indigenous community who actively participate in the arts.