Children of God
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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


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

Children of God celebrated its world premiere in Vancouver, BC at the York Theatre May 17 – June 3, 2017. After a very successful run in Vancouver, the production traveled to Ottawa, ON and was mounted on the mainstage Theatre at the National Arts Centre June 7 – 18, 2017. (An Urban Ink Production in collaboration with NAC English Theatre, in association with Raven Theatre/The Cultch.)

In 2018 the show was brought to stage in two co-productions: co-produced with Citadel Theatre in Edmonton, AB (March 3-24), and co-produced with Western Canada Theatre in Kamloops, BC (March 29-April 7).

In 2019 there were two co-productions – in Montreal at The Segal Centre for the Performing Arts and at The Cultch in Vancouver – and then a tour of five communities around the province of BC.

JUST ANNOUNCED: Children of God will be presented at Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre in Winnipeg, MB from Feb. 18 – Mar. 21, 2021. Check out RMTC’s 20-21 season announcement here.

Due to COVID-19, the RMTC production of Children of God has been postponed.

If you’re interested to produce Children of God in your city, please contact us!

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.


Videos featuring short interviews with the cast and crew are available on our YouTube channel.


“Children of God is must-see theatre for Canadians.” – GLOBE AND MAIL

“This is a brave work, and a starting point for important conversations …see it” – THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT

“Children of God will stand as a catharsis for some, an introduction for others, yet a point of connection for us all” – VANCOUVER PRESENTS

“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

“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

All REVIEWS from past productions were shared on our Facebook page

Story Guide

The CHILDREN OF GOD Study Guide is HERE. It provides information for educators or group leaders about the production’s content, themes, related terminology, and possible discussion or project topics. [Due to the sensitive nature of the content, we would recommend this production for ages 14+, with parental or adult accompaniment, but the Study Guide could be used with younger children to spark discussions around residential schools.]


The show’s program from the inaugural production in 2017 is HERE.

Past Productions

For details about the May 17 – June 3, 2017 world premiere at the York Theatre in Vancouver, BC see this page.

For details about the June 7 – 18, 2017 production at Canada’s National Arts Centre in Ottawa, ON see this page.

For details about the 2018 productions in Edmonton, AB and Kamloops, BC, see this page

For details about the 2019 productions in Montreal, QC and Vancouver, BC, and the tour of four other BC communities (Vernon, Nelson, Cranbrook and Surrey), see this page.


*CHILDREN OF GOD contains swearing and sexual content. Due to the potentially triggering content of the performance, Emotional Support Workers are always available to provide support to audience members who may require it.

Additional Resources

Past Development

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


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.

post performance talkback at Talking Stick Festival

(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.

Workshop in progress at the Arts Club Theatre

(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.

Donate to support future productions of Children of God HERE