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Children of God

A new musical by Corey Payette | World Premiere | An Urban Ink (Vancouver) Production in collaboration with National Arts Centre English Theatre, in association with Raven Theatre (Vancouver) / The Cultch (Vancouver)
YORK THEATRE | 639 COMMERCIAL DR. | [map link]

MAY 17 – JUN 3, 2017

York Theatre

In this powerful musical, the children of an Oji-Cree family are sent to a residential school in Northern Ontario. This is a story of redemption: for a mother who was never let past the school’s gate, and her kids, who never knew she came. Children of God offers a thrilling blend of ancient traditions and contemporary realities, celebrating resilience and the power of the Indigenous cultural spirit.

THE DRAW: Inspired by First Nations music, Payette’s moving score also includes echoes of Broadway masterpieces such as Fun Home and Next to Normal.

Contains swearing and sexual content. Due to the potentially triggering content of the performance, Emotional Support Workers will be available to provide support to audience members who may require it.

Children of God Study Guide

If you see one work of theatre this year, make it this one” – Marsha Lederman, The Globe and Mail

This is a brave work, and a starting point for important conversations …See it. – Kathleen Oliver, The Georgia Straight

There were tears; there was jubilation. Going back to the very roots of theatre, it was a rare experience of communion – Jo Ledingham

Children of God is necessary…Go see it – Colin Thomas, colinthomas.ca

Not a dry eye in the house, as far as I could see – Lincoln Kaye, Vancouver Observer

Children of God will stand as a catharsis for some, an introduction for others, yet a point of connection for us all – Chelsey Stuyt, Vancouver Presents

If you call yourself a Canadian then you have a duty to see this dark but illuminating work”- Alex Waterhouse-Hayward

I think musicals can do that. They open up people’s hearts. All of a sudden you see this person, you care about them. Wouldn’t that change our world if people really cared about indigenous people?” – Corey Payette in interview with Andrea Warner, The Georgia Straight

Showtimes:
May 17 – 18, 7PM: Preview
May 19, 7PM: Opening Night
May 20, 23 – 27 30 – 31 + Jun 1 – 3: 7PM
May 21, 28 + Jun 3: 2PM

Running Time:
2 hours 20 minutes including intermission. Please note there will be an additional 30 minute discussion following each performance.

Vocal Eye

Vocal Eye

We are pleased to offer a VocalEye Live Described Performance for patrons who are blind, partially sighted, and visually impaired on May 28 and an ASL Interpreted Performance on May 21.
To book your VocalEye Live Described Performance on May 28, please call our Box Office at 604.251.1363 or email boxoffice@thecultch.com.
To book your tickets for the ASL Interpreted Performance on May 21, please email boxoffice@thecultch.com.

Sponsors and Funders:

Credits:

CAST
Herbie Barnes: Tom/Tommy
Cathy Elliott: Rita
Kim Harvey: Joanna/Secretary
Trish Lindström: Sister Bernadette
Kevin Loring : Wilson
Cheyenne Scott: Julia
Michael Torontow: Father Christopher
Aaron M. Wells : Vincent
Kaitlyn Yott: Elizabeth

CREATIVE TEAM
Book/Music/Lyrics & Director: Corey Payette
Production Designer: Marshall McMahen
Musical Director/Piano: Allen Cole
Orchestrator/Viola: Elliot Vaughan
Dramaturg: Sybille Pearson
Assistant Director: Julie McIsaac
Lighting Designer: Jeff Harrison
Movement Director: Raes Calvert
Sound Designer: Kris Boyd
Fight Directors: Mike Kovac & Ryan McNeill Bolton
Stage Manager: Samira Rose
Assistant Stage Manager: Jessica Schacht
Jewelry design: Helen Oro

MUSICIANS
Cello: Brian Chan
Piano: Allen Cole
Guitar: Martin Reisle
Viola: Elliot Vaughan

PRODUCTION TEAM
Producer: Christie Watson
Production Manager: Adrian Muir
Head of Wardrobe: Darryl Milot
Props Master: Carol Macdonald
Sound Board Operator: Kyra Soko

What People are Saying

I'm glad this musical has been written and is bein...

I’m glad this musical has been written and is being produced. I will bring my friend.

-- Kirsten Ebsen
Just saw it yesterday. Lends a emotional, powerf...

Just saw it yesterday.
Lends a emotional, powerful, voice to a message that needs to be heard.
May this be the start of a transformative journey for the production, its crew, cast, and other members associated with this production.
The powerful voices move you to tears.

-- PJ
I saw the play last night. Powerful in its portray...

I saw the play last night. Powerful in its portrayal of Indigenous Cultural and Spiritual resistance in the face of overwhelming odds! The actors are superb…the music and singing haunting! Unforgettable!!

-- Rahael Jalan
Today I attended the musical called Children of Go...

Today I attended the musical called Children of God. “The children of an Oji-Cree family are sent to a residential school in Northern Ontario. This is a story of redemption: for a mother who was never let past the school’s gate, and her kids, who never knew she came. Children of God offers a thrilling blend of ancient traditions and contemporary realities, celebrating resilience and the power of the Indigenous cultural spirit.”

Congratulations to the team who has put this beautiful piece together. Thank you for sharing your stories with the public. I am still in shock from what I have just witnessed. My heart is hurting for those who have and still are experiencing the discrimination that is found in residential schools or even in public. Thank you for helping me better understand my role as a non Native to work towards reconciliation. Thank you for educating me with the truth. Thank you for offering a safe space at the end of the show for people to share their stories of assault. Thank you to the cast and crew for creating a spiritual and safe environment for all victims.

EVERYBODY needs to see this play!!! PLEASE GO WATCH THIS! This is important education which nobody should ignore.

Once you witness a part of their suffering, you can better understand the pain they have endured. You honor indigenous cultural spirit and recognize its strength and beauty. The world needs to understand what really happened. They need to study your ways, your language, your respect, your rituals, your love. You were stripped away from your culture, your energy, your essence, we need to acknowledge and make a difference.

Thank you Glen Gould for showing me this and for sharing your story.

-- Olivia Leigh Nowak
Exceptional ! The cast and crews have opened th...

Exceptional ! The cast and crews have opened the doors in this amazing work towards education and healing for all .Kudos ………………..role models and leaders .

-- Sandy Tonello-Greenfield
Must see theater experience. Write up mirandaposs...

Must see theater experience.
Write up mirandaposse.tumblr.com

-- Elaine Miranda
These innocent children became adults. They did no...

These innocent children became adults. They did not choose this deconstruction, nor did their parents. I encourage to identify and to think of yourself and your own family in such a time and place in our history and what if that was your life to live. I saw these kids behind fences as i did my paper route at age 12 in Winnipeg. I went home and asked my parents what the kids had done wrong?? They said “they did nothing wrong, and this is wrong”. they looked very sad. They explained further and I was shocked. Give yourself and your children the opportunity to have an important conversation by going to this production – Children of God.
It was a defining moment for me at 12! I felt close to my parents as I listened and I saw their authentic selves

-- KOG
Saw this wonderful musical last night. It carries...

Saw this wonderful musical last night. It carries a powerful message every Canadian should hear. As well, it works beautifully as a play and the music is haunting. Congrats to the cast and to Corey Payette for writing such an amazing entertainment.

-- Susan Harman
Just saw this tonight. There were warnings of the ...

Just saw this tonight. There were warnings of the potency of the subject matter, emotional support was available in the lobby, and a quiet room for those who couldn’t handle the content. I was expecting and bracing for an overwhelming emotional impact. But by the end of the first act I was wondering why. It seemed like fluff and I couldn’t understand how they could treat the subject matter so lightly.

But the second act was amazing. It may have been about the indigenous people and residential schools, but it sure made me think about all the power struggles of people with no knowledge of the culture they think they are trying to help(?) Children being torn from their parents at a tender age to be taught a different way of life made me think of children being sent to boarding schools, choir boys being abused by priests, teachers, relative and children living in hell being abused by their parents.

It was brutal and to the point but in a creative and imaginative way. The man playing the 4 year old boy was brilliant. The set was used to its full potential and the music and singing worked with the content. It more than made up for the first act.

The talk afterward was interesting and a good way to come down from the second half of the play. It also made for an intensely emotional discussion at dinner after the show.

-- Janet Swanson
thks SO MUCH...

thks SO MUCH

-- ROBERT C. MEREDITH
The play was great. I enjoyed it very much and rec...

The play was great. I enjoyed it very much and recommend it to be seen.

-- Arash
I was an audience member at last night's performan...

I was an audience member at last night’s performance and Talk Back of “Children of God.” I want to thank all involved for contributing their energy towards such a powerful production. I think it takes a lot of courage to put yourself in the shoes of a character who is experiencing such intense emotions, so thank you for telling this story. I don’t have the words to describe the emotions I felt and the impact it has had on me.

I think that Education will play a critical role in the reconciliation process. As a recent graduate of Teacher’s College, I’m glad to see that teacher-training programs have started to consider the implications of the legacy left by Residential Schools. In Teacher’s College, we are beginning to have discussions about how to teach difficult histories to students- what are the challenges? How can we incorporate survivor testimony in the classroom? how do we support students as they learn about a troubling national past and how do we direct them to the TRC’s 94 Calls to Action? We also discussed ways to engage Indigenous Learners and why it’s important that everyone can see themselves reflected in the material taught in class. This was a good start but I think that we can do even more in the Teacher Training programs.

My sincere thanks goes out to the cast and crew. I’m 22 years old and I’ve never been so moved by a work of art as I was last night. You humanized a story that is so often told in statistics, and I want to thank everyone involved in the production. You are contributing to the most important conversation I know that is happening nation-wide, and this afternoon I’m going to take a look at the TRC’s Calls to Action to see how I can contribute to this process of National Reconciliation.

Thank you for this incredible production

Megan

-- Megan Batty

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