Children of God


A New Musical by Corey Payette

York Theatre: May 17-June 3, 2017 – Vancouver


An Urban Ink (Vancouver) Production in collaboration with NAC English Theatre, in association with Raven Theatre (Vancouver) / The Cultch (Vancouver) 

Children of God is a gorgeous, powerful musical about an Oji-Cree family whose children were taken away to a residential school in Northern Ontario. 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, pushes toward redemption. Children of God offers a thrilling blend of ancient traditions and contemporary realities, celebrating resilience and the 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.


“I saw this production in Kamloops on the third night of a small festival season presented by the Western Canadian Theatre Company. I’m sure they could have sold out three times for the number of people clamouring to get in, all after word of mouth had spread from the first two nights about this powerful musical by Oji-Cree writer Corey Payette. I knew after the first scene that it was destined for Canada’s stage.” – Jillian Keiley, Artistic director, NAC English Theatre


“Every once in a while someone as special as Corey Payette comes along with a project as special as this. Children of God was developed as part of The Collaborations because it was so extraordinary, passionate and beautiful.” –SARAH GARTON STANLEY


Donate to support Children of God HERE



Children of God

Workshop Production – October 2015

Produced by Urban Ink in partnership with Raven Theatre and Western Canada Theatre, in collaboration with the National Arts Centre English Theatre, and in association with the Tk’emlúps te Secwe̓pemc.

Children of God is a musical about an Oji-cree family whose children were sent to residential school. It takes place in two time periods twenty years apart, and examines how the effects of our past are directly related to our future. Written as a celebration of Indigenous peoples’ never-ending cultural spirit that blends traditional and contemporary, providing a new perspective to this story. To share in what was lost, the pain and anger that still exists in many families from wounds that will not heal. Hopefully, by acknowledging these stories we can move toward accepting the past.

Workshop Presentations
October 24, 26 & 28, 7:30pm
Pavilion Theatre


Corey Payette: Director & Playwright
Marshall McMahen: Production Designer
Julie McIssac: Musical/Assistant Director
Sybille Pearson: Dramaturg
Brittany Ryan: Design Assistant
Skylar Nakazawa: Stage Manager
Awo’kwejit jewelry by Cathy Elliott

Cast (listed alphabetically):

Michelle Bardach: Julia
Herbie Barnes: Tom
Raes Calvert: Wilson
Cathy Elliott: Rita
Kim Harvey: Joanna
Jennifer Lines: Sister Bernadette
Micheal Querin: Father Christopher
Aaron Wells: Vincent
Arlie Worthing: Elizabeth


Elliot Vaughan: Viola

Feb 2015:
a development workshop was held in partnership with Full Circle:First Nations Performance, with a workshop performance at Full Circle:First Nations Performance’s Talking Stick Festival.

Children of God talkback635
(pictured above: post performance talkback @ Talking Stick Festival, Feb 2015)

Nov 2014: a development workshop was held in partnership with the Arts Club Theatre Company, with a staged reading at the Arts Club Theatre Company’s ReAct Festival.

Children of God at the Arts Club
(pictured above: workshop in progress @ the Arts Club Theatre Company, Nov 2014)

2012: a week-long development workshop was held in partnership with the Firehall Arts Centre, Western Canada Theatre, and Raven Theatre.

2011: a week-long development workshop was held in partnership with the Vancouver Playhouse.