November 11 – December 2 | Firehall Arts Centre | 280 E. Cordova
The Firehall Arts Centre is proud to produce and presents Only Drunks and Children Tell the Truth, by celebrated Indigenous playwright Drew Hayden Taylor, from Saturday, November 11 to Saturday, December 2, 2017.
Taylor’s Only Drunks and Children Tell the Truth is the gripping account of the “Sixties Scoop” – a painful chapter in Canadian history in which Indigenous children were taken from their homes, their communities and their culture, and placed with non-Indigenous families, without the consent of their parents.
As the government was closing residential schools in the ‘60s, it was deemed “in the best interest of aboriginal children” to be removed from their families so they could receive education in Euro-Canadian schools and be taught Christian values in order to become a part of mainstream society. This was not an official policy, but an action that was taken by child welfare authorities. This “scoop” of children reached its peak in the ‘60s and continued until the turn of the century in some areas of Canada. Babies and young children were taken and placed for adoption with families in Canada, the U.S., and in some cases, Western Europe. In Only Drunks and Children Tell the Truth, Drew Hayden Taylor delves into the story of Janice as she is confronted by her birth sister, Barb, and brought home to the Reserve where she was born.
First produced by the Firehall Arts Centre in the ‘90s, Only Drunks and Children Tell the Truth is a devastatingly truthful production and an unforgettable piece of Canadian theatre that deals with themes of abandonment, reconciliation, identity, and cultural dissonance. The 2017 production features performances by Chris Cound (Hana’s Suitcase) as Tonto, Braiden Houle (Th’owxiya: The Hungry Feast Dish) as Rodney, Chelsea Rose Tucker (Redpatch) as Janice/Grace, and Ashley Chartrand (Jail Baby) as Barb.
Donna Spencer, the Firehall’s Artistic Producer, states, “With humour and truth, Taylor has crafted a story that takes us to a place of greater understanding of why countless numbers of individuals deserve the recent settlements from the government for actions that completely destroyed families. In many cases, children were taken without any real justification. Those actions, which at the time may have been made with the best of intentions, continue to have repercussions throughout Canada and will be felt for generations.”
Post Show Talkbacks: November 16, 23, & 30
Credits for Only Drunks and Children Tell the Truth
Written by: Drew Hayden Taylor
Directed by: Columpa C. Bobb
Performances by: Chris Cound, Braiden Houle, Chelsea Rose Tucker, & Ashley Chartrand
Set Design by: Bryan Kenney
Lighting Design by: Jonathan Kim
Costume Design by: Cheyenne Mabberley
Stage Management by: Jillian Perry
For more information on the Firehall Arts Centre, please visit the following platforms:
About Drew Hayden Taylor:
Drew Hayden Taylor is an award-winning Canadian playwright, author, journalist, and humorist. Where theatre, humour, First Nations philosophy, literature and identity all walk hand in hand, Drew has worked and explored all of these worlds and more. Originally from the Curve Lake First Nations in Central Ontario, Drew has spent the last two decades travelling the world and writing about it from an Indigenous perspective, and has managed to bridge the gap between cultures by tickling the funny bone.
About the Firehall Arts Centre:
Located in a heritage fire station built in 1906, the Firehall Arts Centre produces a season of eclectic theatre, dance and interdisciplinary performances, and acts as a host to visual arts exhibitions in its intimate gallery/lounge. Each year, FAC hosts over two hundred performances bringing audiences into the heart of the city to enjoy artistic works, view art works in the gallery, and sip a beverage in the enclosed courtyard. The building that is now home to the Firehall Arts Centre served as a fire hall – the first motorized fire hall in North America – until 1975. Minor renovations to turn the building into a theatre were undertaken at that time but it was not until February 25, 1982, that the building opened as the Firehall Theatre. Later the decision was taken to change the name to the Firehall Arts Centre to better reflect all of the different arts activities that are housed in the bustling centre that we are today. www.firehallartscentre.ca