(This story is sponsored by The Cultch.)
After a national tour and the highly successful 2017 world premiere at The Cultch, Children of God is returning to the York Theatre (639 Commercial Drive) on Friday, February 22. This is the second original work by playwright, actor, composer, and director Corey Payette.
Drawing on his Oji-Cree heritage, Payette puts the spotlight on a dark part of Canada’s history. In this powerful musical, the children of an Oji-Cree family are sent to a residential school in northern Ontario. It shares the story of Rita, a mother who was never let past the school’s gate, and her kids, Tom and Julia, who never knew she came.
“I felt I needed to do something about it and make sure that people knew what happened here,” says Payette. “Children of God was born out of anger and frustration that this horrible history had happened and yet was hidden from the narrative of our country.”
In some First Nations communities today, rates of domestic abuse, alcoholism, and youth suicide are high, which researchers have traced back to the residential school system and the abuse it meted out to the students. This ongoing process of undermining community well-being, self-esteem, and cohesion, despite the schools being closed, is often referred to as intergenerational trauma.
Children of God explores the terrible legacy of the residential school system, but celebrates the resilience and power of the Indigenous cultural spirit. Inspired by First Nations music, Payette’s profoundly moving score also includes echoes of provocative Broadway masterpieces such as Fun Home and Next to Normal. And ultimately, Payette hopes to encourage open conversation and understanding.
“I believe that for true reconciliation it can’t just be Indigenous peoples who bear the burden of this work,” says Payette. “It needs to be everyone, in every community, investing in this process and continuing the journey forward together.”
Children of God opens on Wednesday, February 20 at 8 p.m. at the York Theatre with performances until Sunday, March 10. Tickets start at $24 and can be purchased now at tickets.thecultch.com or through The Cultch’s box office on 604-251-1363. Enter to win a pair of tickets to the February 22 Opening Night performance, below.
Two tickets (valued at $118.00) to the opening of Children of God on Friday, February 22 at 8 p.m. at the York Theatre (639 Commercial Drive)
* Required fields
Contest Deadline: Monday, February 18, 3:00 am
Winner(s) will be contacted either by phone or email.