Indigenous Speakers Series presents Jani Lauzon and Kaitlyn RiordanExport this event to calendar

Monday, September 26, 2022 — 4:00 PM to 5:30 PM EDT

The Indigenous Speakers Series proudly presents Jani Lauzon, director and playwright, and Kaitlyn Riordan, playwright, whose co-created play 1939 is running at the Stratford Festival this season.

Lauzon and Riordan will speak to their unique process of engaging community and support from Elders and Knowledge Keepers, with a lens to the work of Indigenous artists and activists over the last 100 years, used to develop their play 1939. Set at a fictional Residential School in Northern Ontario, the co-playwrights worked cross-culturally to explore the use of Shakespeare as a tool of colonization and what happens when the students subvert that intention and bring their cultures and lived experiences to the task of putting on a play.

About the speakers

Jani Lauzon and Kaitlyn RiordanJani Lauzon is a director and multidisciplinary performer of Métis ancestry. She received the John Hirsch Directors award through the Ontario Arts Council, the Toronto Critics Best Directors Award for her production of The Monument at Factory Theatre and a Dora Mavor Moore Best Director nomination for Almighty Voice and his Wife at Soulpepper Theatre. Her production of Where the Blood Mixes, also at Soulpepper, recently garnered critical acclaim. She is also an award winning screen actor, a nine-time Dora nominated theatre artist, a Juno nominated singer songwriter and a Gemini award winning puppeteer. He company, Paper Canoe Projects produces her original work including: Prophecy Fog, I Call myself Princess and A Side of Dreams.

Kaitlyn Riordan is a settler on this land, of Irish and French descent. She lives in Tkaronto and is a four-time Dora nominated actress and a playwright. 1939, co-written with Jani Lauzon, premiered at The Stratford Festival in 2022. She was part of the leadership team at Shakespeare in the Ruff from 2012-2021, where her 'feminized’ Shakespearean play; Portia’s Julius Caesar, premiered in 2018 (then produced at Hart House in 2019). It centres the lives of the mostly unseen women in Shakespeare's play, using half new writing in verse and half Shakespearean text. Other plays in development include I Sit Content - about Emily Carr, Gertrude's Hamlet - which provides the origin story for Shakespeare’s most famous Queen, and The Naked Nun – which speaks for itself. 


Join in person or via livestream

  • Join us in Theatre of the Arts in-person 
  • Or join the event via livestream — link forthcoming
  • No sign-in or registration required for in-person or livestream

 The Indigenous Speakers Series is organized by a group of Indigenous and settler faculty, staff, and students from the Waterloo Indigenous Student Centre (WISC), the Dean of Arts Office, the departments of History and Communication Arts, the Office of Indigenous Relations, and the Office of Research. The series is co-sponsored by WISC and the Faculty of Arts with the support of donors to the Arts Indigenous Initiatives fund. The series highlights the voices of Indigenous artists, writers, activists, and leaders from across Turtle Island, offering UWaterloo students, faculty and staff opportunities to learn from, understand, and engage with Indigenous issues.

Location 
ML - Modern Languages
Theatre of the Arts
200 University Avenue West

Waterloo, ON N2L 3G1
Canada

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