The Summit: A vital conversation on Indigenous theatre

In the spring of 2014, NAC English Theatre, the Indigenous Performing Arts Alliance (IPAA), the Luminato Festival and the Banff Centre collaborated on an initiative called The Summit. We brought together leading Indigenous artists from across the country for a vital conversation that would lead to informed choices as to how to approach a larger, longer and more involved investigation of Indigenous work on this land. English Theatre Artist-in-Residence Corey Payette, a playwright, actor, composer and director of Oji-cree heritage from Northern Ontario, has created a powerful video about the experience.

The Summit leads to The Study (May 2015), in which dozens of theatre creators, performers, students and scholars gather on Manitoulin Island to explore the Indigenous body of work. This two-week gathering was curated by Sarah Garton Stanley, Associate Artistic Director of English Theatre, Algonquin playwright Yvette Nolan, and Corey Payette, with an advisory of Jill Carter, Marie Clements and Joseph Osawabine. The Study is happening in collaboration with Debajehmujig Storytellers and IPAA.

The Study will culminate in a two-day conversation and performance event called The Repast, from May 14-16, 2015. This immersive and installation event aims to encapsulate the explorations and discoveries made during The StudyThe Repast will feature performances, shared meals and conversations, as well as in-depth discussions about the development and inclusion of Indigenous artists and works in theatres and communities, and nationwide.

The Repast intends to share this work with artists, programmers, presenters, scholars and other interested creatives across Canada to further broaden our communal sense of the depth and continued evolution of Indigenous performance in Canada. It will be a live streamed event.

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Corey Payette

Corey Payette is Artist-in-Residence for NAC English Theatre. He is a playwright, actor, composer and director of Oji-cree heritage from Northern Ontario.