Children of God

Children of God

by Corey Payette


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Children of God is a powerful musical about an Oji-Cree family whose children were taken away to a residential school in Northern Ontario. The play tells the story of one family: Tommy and Julia, who are trying to survive in the harsh environment of a religious school, and their mother, Rita, who never stops trying to get them back. The impact of this experience on the lives of them all is profound and devastating, yet the story moves 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781927922385
Publisher: J. Gordon Shillingford Publishing
Publication date: 04/01/2018
Pages: 80
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.60(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Corey Payette is proud of his Oji-Cree heritage from Northern Ontario. Corey has worked as a playwright, actor, composer, and director across Canada. He is the Artistic Director of Urban Ink Productions (Vancouver, BC), was the 2014-15 Artist-in-Residence with English Theatre at Canada's National Arts Centre, and the founder of Raven Theatre (Vancouver, BC) focusing on new works by Indigenous artists.

As a playwright, Corey's work has been developed at the Vancouver Playhouse, the Firehall Arts Centre, Western Canada Theatre, Arts Club Theatre, Urban Ink Productions, Full Circle: First Nations Performance, and Raven Theatre. He is currently collaborating on an original musical Les Filles du Roi with Julie McIsaac, commissioned by Fugue Theatre.

Read an Excerpt

The students stand and leave the chapel while humming. TOMMY breaks off and hides, crouched behind a line of shrubs where he waits. JULIA crawls in between the trees and rushes to him.TOMMY: Ondaas. Nimise. (Come here, Sister.) There you are.They jump into each other's arms.You're late. We said we would meet at our secret hiding spot when the shadow of this rock meets this twig.JULIA: Tommy, I can explain.TOMMY: The shadow is past the wadikwan (twig.)JULIA: I know.TOMMY: When we heard someone had run, the guys were sure it was you. But I told 'em, "That's my sister, and she's not going anywhere without me." And I was right. Just wait till I tell Wilson; he'll eat his words.JULIA: Tommy, listen.TOMMY: So who was it, huh? No, don't tell me, I want to guess...that little girl with the short black hair.JULIA: We all have short hair.TOMMY: I was kidding. That one doesn't count. Was it...JULIA: It was a girl in fourth year. Got scared and bolted, I guess.TOMMY: Wow, a brave move for a fourth year. It's not even that bad yet.JULIA: She was a bed-wetter, couldn't make it through the night.TOMMY: She get the pee parade?JULIA: Yeah, all the time.TOMMY: Vince was the worst bed-wetter, but me and Wilson would change his sheets before Father would wake up so he wouldn't get the pee parade. You should do that.JULIA: You guys look after your own. I like that. Were you here when the train passed?TOMMY: Yeah, I was. But Nimaamaa (Mom) didn't come.JULIA: Are you surprised?TOMMY: I've been writing to her, you know. Told her to come get us. So she's gonna come any day now.JULIA: You think they sent your letter?TOMMY: Yah. Why wouldn't they send it?JULIA: If your letter says anything about wanting to go home, they won't send it. I thought you knew that.TOMMY: No, I didn't know.JULIA: Your hair is so short. You look different than I remember. TOMMY: Gimikwenden ina. (Tell me what you remember.)JULIA: What I remember? Tommy, your hair used to be longer, don't be dumb.TOMMY: I mean about home. I remember the smallest things so clearly but some things are blurring together...JULIA: Tommy, you gotta get out of here. If they see us talking we'll get a good lickin' for sure.BOTH: Stl'ek! (Nun!)They both duck behind the shrub. SISTER BERNADETTE and FATHER CHRISTOPHER come rushing and pass them without notice. SISTER BERNADETTE is carrying JULIA's bag.TOMMY: I've been trying to write it all from what i can remember. I'm even willing to take the fall if father finds me out. I know it's difficult looking back on years before we came here but those years are all I have and I need to make them clear. I remember the gravel roads and dust would get all over. Ma would yell at us to get clean when we came in from the field. I can sometimes hear the drums if I close my eyes and dream it. Their beating is calling me and will guide me safely home. They say we should forget it all. They say it all makes us bad. These memories I won't outgrow and you're the closest thing to home i know...

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