Stage Door News
Toronto: “Isitwendam (An Understanding)” by Meegwun Fairbrother plays at the Aki Studio March 17-31
Monday, February 25, 2019
“Does healing really have an expiry date?” Native Earth Performing Arts is proud to present the worldpremiere 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 JackGrinhaus, from March 17-31, 2019 at Aki Studio.
When Conservative idealist Brendan, a young half white, half Ojibway man is hired by Aboriginal Affairs todiscredit 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 thefather 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 variousperspectives of atrocity and the steps we all need to take to find Isitwendam. A post-show meal andtalkback is included after every performance.
Meegwun Fairbrother is an award-winning actor, playwright, traditional singer, and dancer of Ojibwe andScottish origin, from Grassy Narrows First Nation. He played a lead role in APTN’s Mohawk Girls, the Syfyseries Helix, and Murdoch Mysteries, and is currently a lead in the CBC hit series Burden of Truth. Hisrecent theatre credits include Incident at Vichy (Soulpepper), Caught (Theatre Passe Muraille), Dreary andIzzy (Magnus Theatre), and King Lear (National Arts Centre). He also continues to teach arts-basedworkshops 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, andthe 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: TheRadio Play, Half Life, The Secret Mask (Theatre NorthWest), Last Christmas (Lunchbox Theatre, StageOne), dirty butterfly (Obsidian/B2C), and Phaedra’s Lust (Tapestry/B2C), and his original adaptation ofIbsen’s Hedda Gabler called Hedda Noir, which won him the Artist of the Year 2018 from the Prince GeorgeCitizen.
B2C’s Co-Artistic Director and award-winning theatre artist Lauren Brotman comes onboard as artisticcollaborator and producer, with Manitou Motions co-founder Sarah Koehn as associate producer andproduction 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), whocollaborates with multi-award winning “designaturge” Andy Moro (co-founder of ARTICLE 11) forprojections 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 movementcollaborator Carlos Rivera (Artist Associate Emeritus at Red Sky), with stage manager Carla Ritchie(Production Manager at Tarragon Theatre).
“Isitwendam (An Understanding) is an Ojibwe word that describes a feeling of sorrow and empathy. Itsuggests that no matter what hurt has been inflicted, there is an understanding of that wrong and thechance to be forgiven is present.”
Native Earth Performing Arts presents
the World Premiere of a Bound to Create Theatre Production
Written & Performed by Meegwun FairbrotherCo-Created & Directed by Jack Grinhaus
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
Aki Studio, Daniels Spectrum, 585 Dundas Street East, Toronto
March 17-31, 2019
OPENING NIGHT: Wednesday, March 20, 2019
Tuesdays – Saturdays @ 8 pmSundays @ 2 pm
Tickets: $20-$30 | Previews: $15-$20 | Tuesdays Pay-What-You-CanAvailable online at nativeearth.ca, or by phone at 416.531.1402
For more details: www.nativeearth.ca.
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Photo: Scene from Isitwendum. © 2019 Michael Kast.