Join us in Celebrating World Theatre Day!
Playwrights Guild of Canada (PGC) celebrates World Theatre Day on March 27th, 2022. PGC, together with its partners the Professional Association of Canadian Theatres (PACT) and l’Association des théâtres francophones du Canada (ATFC) invites Canadians to join in and experience the joy – and power – of theatre. Each year, a messenger is selected from Canada as an ambassador of Canadian theatre. This year, we have messages to share from three theatre artists/collectives. Debajehmujig Theatre Group, Mishka Lavigne, and Makambe K. Simamba have offered their perspectives while answering one question: Where does theatre live for you?
View the three World Theatre Day messages by clicking on the images below:
Debajehmujig was the first – and remains the only – professional theatre company located on a Reserve in Canada. The organization was founded by Shirley Cheechoo, Blake Debassige and a group of like-minded colleagues in 1983 in West Bay (M’Chigeeng First Nation) on Manitoulin Island, Ontario. In August of 1989, the company moved to Wiikwemkoong Unceded Territory, where it’s headquarters remains to this day.
We create original work based on an Anishnaabe worldview that builds bridges between cultures, generations, and territories. We also support the development of Indigenous artists in remote rural areas as well as cities. Since 2009, we have operated a purpose-built multi-arts centre in downtown Manitowaning.
As an Indigenous theatre company, Debajehmujig represents an Indigenous worldview and reflects the reality of Native live. This worldview is a holistic approach to life and how all things are connected. We believe that as humans we create with our entire being – our physical, our emotional, our intellectual and our spiritual selves. Stories have been passed down for thousands of years by storytellers, musicians, record keepers and dancers. It is because it was never written own, that it survives. The history and the culture of the people is contained within the bodies of the people, in the muscle memory of the dancer, in the songs of the singers, in the stories of storytellers.
We have travelled to many different places all over the world to share our message.
‘De-be-jeh-mu-jig’ translates as ‘storytellers’ from the Cree and Ojibwe language.
Mishka Lavigne (elle) est autrice dramatique, scénariste et traductrice littéraire. Elle a écrit Cinéma, pièce co-produite par le Théâtre la Catapulte et le Théâtre Belvédère en 2015. En mars 2017, on a pu voir Vigile, écrit pour le Théâtre Rouge Écarlate d’Ottawa.
Elle a aussi écrit Havre, créée à la Troupe du Jour à Saskatoon en septembre 2018 puis au POCHE/GVE de Genève en janvier 2019. Le texte est lauréat du Prix du Gouverneur général 2019. Plus récemment, son texte Copeaux, produit à Ottawa en mars 2020 a remporté le Prix littéraire du Gouverneur général 2021 et le Prix littéraire Jacques-Poirier 2021.
Mishka écrit aussi en anglais. Sa pièce Albumen a été créée à Ottawa en mars 2019 puis en Australie en juillet 2019. Le texte est récipiendaire du QWF Playwriting Prize en novembre 2020. Son nouveau texte, Shorelines, sera publié chez Playwrights’ Canada Press. Mishka signe aussi plusieurs projets audios, tant seule qu’en collaboration avec d’autres artistes (Le silence ici, Spoutnik : Hors des sentiers balisés, Kino-Radio 2021).
Mishka travaille présentement sur deux nouveaux projets pour la scène et à l’écriture d’un livret d’opéra avec le compositeur montréalais Tim Brady (Bradyworks). De plus, on pourra prochainement voir une production de son texte Murs (Créations In Vivo et Théâtre populaire d’Acadie) en Ontario et au Nouveau-Brunswick en plus d’entendre une adaptation balado réalisée par Transistor Médias.
Mishka est aussi traductrice, autant vers le français que vers l’anglais et signe près d’une vingtaine de traductions de théâtre, de prose et de poésie.
Mishka Lavigne (she/her) is a playwright and literary translator based in Ottawa/Gatineau. Mishka wrote Cinéma, co-produced by Théâtre la Catapulte and Théâtre Belvédère in 2015 and the one-woman show Vigile, produced by Théatre Rouge Écarlate in Ottawa in 2017.
Her play Havre, premiered at La Troupe du Jour in September 2018 and at the POCHE/GVE in Geneva in January 2019. The play was awarded the 2019 Governor General’s Literary Award for Drama (French). More recently, Copeaux, produced in Ottawa in March 2020 also won the the Governor General Award for Drama in November 2021 and the Prix Jacques-Poirier in February 2021.
Mishka also writes in English. Albumen, her first play in English received the Prix Rideau Award for Outstanding New Creation in 2019 and the QWF Playwriting Award in 2020. Mishka’s newest play Shorelines will be published by Playwrights Canada. Mishka also creates audio projects, either solo or in collaboration (Le silence ici, Spoutnik: Hors des sentiers balisés, Kino-Radio 2021).
Mishka is currently working on two new projects for the stage and on a bilingual opera libretto with Montreal composer Tim Brady. Her play Murs will soon be on stage (Créations In Vivo, Théâtre Populaire d’Acadie) in Ontario and New Brunswick and was also adapted into a podcast by Transistor Médias.
Mishka is also a theatre and literary translator, translating both in French and English and has done about twenty translations of drama, prose, poetry.
Makambe K Simamba is a Dora Award–winning playwright and actor for Our Fathers, Sons, Lovers and Little Brothers, which premiered at b current performing arts and was recently published by Playwrights Canada Press. Other plays include A Chitenge Story, The Drum Major Instinct Trilogy, Makambe Speaks, and MUD. Select acting credits include Our Fathers, Sons, Lovers and Little Brothers (Tarragon), A Chitenge Story, inVISIBLE (Handsome Alice), GIANT (Ghost River Theatre), Serving Elizabeth (Thousand Islands Playhouse), Bea (Sage Theatre), Winners and Losers (Chromatic Theatre), and SIA (Pyretic Productions). She was the 2020/2021 Urjo Kareda Artist-in-Residence at Tarragon Theatre. Makambe holds a BFA from the University of Lethbridge in Theatre and Dramatic Arts. Makambe is proudly Zambian, and her intention is to be of service to her community through her ability to tell stories.
Photo Credit: Lauren Vandenbrook
Thank you to our partnering World Theatre Day organizations. PGC is proud to work with this collaborative and passionate team of Arts Administrators.