Gwaandak Theatre is a non-profit theatre company founded in Whitehorse, Yukon in 1999 by theatre artists Leonard Linklater and Patti Flather.
Since 2000, Gwaandak has played a prominent role in development, production and touring of new Canadian plays reflecting Aboriginal, Northern and diverse experiences, in the North and beyond. Our acclaimed productions explore themes around social justice, cultural identity, decolonization, under-represented voices, and human rights.
Sixty Below, about a young Gwich’in Aboriginal man trying to stay out of jail, toured Yukon/NWT. Tell Me More… was a collective creation with the Ynklude group, featuring a large cast of artists with and without disabilities. Café Daughter, about a Cree-Chinese girl growing up on the Prairies in the 1950s and 1960s against a backdrop of discrimination, toured in the Yukon, B.C. and Ontario. Justice, inspired by a true gold rush-era story of a tragic clash of Aboriginal and colonial justice systems, reached Yukoners in five communities and was part of the National Arts Centre’s Northern Scene in Ottawa. Gwaandak Theatre also regularly shares its plays and Study Guides with schools.
Throughout the past 15 years, Gwaandak Theatre has forged strong partnerships with Yukon arts organizations, community groups and individuals (including Dänojà Zho Cultural Centre, Adäka Cultural Festival, Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre, Northern Cultural Expressions Society, Yukon Arts Centre), as well as outside the territory with other companies and artists (such as MT Space Theatre, New Harlem Productions, Full Circle First Nations Performance and Native Earth Performing Arts).
Gwaandak Theatre also provides challenging employment experiences for both emerging and established Yukon theatre artists, who have the opportunity to collaborate and work with guest artists on all of our productions.
For the 2015 Festival, Gwaandak will present a reading of Tara Began’s Ministry of Grace.
Cedar and sweetgrass meet fire and brimstone. It’s 1950. Grace’s children have been taken away to school. She becomes a migrant labourer in California, where she’s recruited as the “Tamed Heathen” for a traveling evangelical ministry. Her healing gifts clash with the imposter preacher. Will Grace be able to stand in her true path? Inspired by the playwright’s grandmother’s story.