Stage Door News

Toronto: Native Earth Performing Arts presents "Isitwendam (An Understanding)" March 17-31

Monday, January 28, 2019

“Does healing really have an expiry date?” Native Earth Performing Arts is proud to present the world premiere of Bound to Create (B2C) Theatre’s production of Isitwendam (An Understanding) written and performed by Meegwun Fairbrother, and co-created and directed by B2C Theatre Co-Artistic Director Jack Grinhaus, from March 17-31, 2019 at Aki Studio.

When Conservative idealist Brendan, a young half white, half Ojibway man is hired by Aboriginal Affairs to discredit a Residential School survivor’s reparation claim, his whole world is turned upside down. Isitwendam is the story of a young man in search of a truth, whose journey leads to a discovery about the father he loathed and lost, and an awakening of himself and his generation.

A fusion of western and Indigenous storytelling that includes Ancient Indigenous Sign Language, drumming, dance, and song, this powerful, heart-wrenching, yet humorous theatrical production explores various perspectives of atrocity and the steps we all need to take to find Isitwendam. A post-show meal and talkback is included after every performance.

Meegwun Fairbrother is an award-winning actor, playwright, traditional singer, and dancer of Ojibwe and Scottish origin, from Grassy Narrows First Nation. He played a lead role in APTN’s Mohawk Girls, the Syfy series Helix, and Murdoch Mysteries, and is currently a lead in the CBC hit series Burden of Truth. His recent theatre credits include Incident at Vichy (Soulpepper), Caught (Theatre Passe Muraille), Dreary and Izzy (Magnus Theatre), and King Lear (National Arts Centre). He also continues to teach arts-based workshops to Indigenous youth across Turtle Island.

Co-creator and director Jack Grinhaus works in various streams of theatre as director, producer, designer, playwright, and actor. He is the Artistic Director for the Canadian regional theatre Theatre NorthWest, and the Co-Artistic Director of Bound to Create Theatre since 2004. His recent directing credits include ART (Persephone Theatre/SATA Nomination, Best Direction), Million Dollar Quartet, It’s a Wonderful Life: The Radio Play, Half Life, The Secret Mask (Theatre NorthWest), Last Christmas (Lunchbox Theatre, Stage One), dirty butterfly (Obsidian/B2C), and Phaedra’s Lust (Tapestry/B2C), and his original adaptation of Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler called Hedda Noir, which won him the Artist of the Year 2018 from the Prince George Citizen.

B2C’s Co-Artistic Director and award-winning theatre artist Lauren Brotman comes onboard as artistic collaborator and producer, with Manitou Motions co-founder Sarah Koehn as associate producer and production assistant. A remarkably talented group of artists also joins the creative team, including Dora-nominated lighting designer Melissa Joakim (Prophecy Fog, This is the Point, Alien Creature), who collaborates with multi-award winning “designaturge” Andy Moro (co-founder of ARTICLE 11) for projections design, set designer Hans Saefkow (It’s a Wonderful Life, Half Life, Girl in the Goldfish Bowl), sound designer Marc Merilänen (creator or NADJIWAN projects; I Call myself Princess), and movement collaborator Carlos Rivera (Artist Associate Emeritus at Red Sky), with stage manager Carla Ritchie (Production Manager at Tarragon Theatre).

Native Earth Performing Arts presents
the World Premiere of a Bound to Create Theatre Production

Written & Performed by Meegwun Fairbrother
Co-Created & Directed by Jack Grinhaus

March 17 - 31, 2019
Aki Studio, Daniels Spectrum
585 Dundas St East, Toronto

Tuesdays - Saturdays @ 8 pm
Sundays @ 2 pm

Artistic Collaborator/Producer Lauren Brotman
Associate Producer/Productions Assistant Sarah Koehn
Stage Manager Carla Ritchie
Lighting Designer Melissa Joakim
Projections Designer Andy Moro with Melissa Joakim
Set Designer Hans Saefkow
Sound Designer Marc Meriläinen
Movement Collaborator Carlos Rivera
Tickets: $20-$30 | Previews: $15-$20 | Tuesdays Pay-What-You-Can
Available online at, or by phone at 416.531.1402.

For more details:


Isitwendam (An Understanding) is an Ojibwe word that describes a feeling of sorrow and empathy. It suggests that no matter what hurt has been inflicted, there is an understanding of that wrong and the chance to be forgiven is present.”

Photo: Meegwun Fairbrother in Isitwendam. © 2018 Michael Kast.