Children of God

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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, Associate Artistic Director, NAC English Theatre



May 17 & 18: 7pm Preview
May 19: 7pm Opening Night
May 20, 23 – 27, 30 – 31 & June 1 – 3: 7pm Evening shows
May 21, 28 & June 3: 2pm Afternoon matinées


Talkback after all shows
ASL Interpreted Performance: May 21, 2pm
VocalEye Described Performance – Live description for people with vision loss: May 28, 2pm


York Theatre, 639 Commercial Drive, Vancouver, BC

Tickets on sale now through The



June 7 & 8: 7:30pm Preview
June 9: 7:30pm Opening night
June 10, 13 – 17: 7:30pm Evening shows
June 10, 17, 18: 2pm Afternoon matinées


Talkback after shows on June 14 & 15

National Arts Centre, 1 Elgin Street, Ottawa, ON

Tickets on sale now through the NAC:



~Donate to support Urban Ink and Children of God HERE



October 2015: Workshop production

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

Tickets: $15


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

February 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)

November 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.