Émilie Monnet’s Okinum, which premiered in French and Anishinaabemowin at Centre du Théâtre d’Aujourd’hui in 2018, was to have its English-language premiere as our Brave New Looks offering this season. The play’s title, which means dam, parallels the fate of the beaver with the Indigenous peoples once the Europeans arrived. Jessica Carmichael, of Abénaki-European descent, was to make her directorial debuts both here and at the Stratford Festival until the pandemic shut everything down. Jessica, who also acts, creates and dramaturges theatre, would have directed The Flick in the Spring of 2021 as part of our subscription series.
Émilie founded Onishka Productions, a Montreal-based arts organization created to support artists from different cultures and disciplines and the Scène contemporaine autochtone (SCA), an initiative to bring Indigenous performing arts projects to life. Her artistry is informed by many years of activism with Indigenous organizations in Canada and Latin America as well as her participation in artistic projects involving women offenders and Indigenous youth.
For three years, Jessica was the Artistic Director of the TYA company, Carousel Players. She is a former Artistic Associate for Toronto’s Native Earth Performing Arts and Program Director of their creators unit, Animiikiig. She was a workshop host for “The Study”, presented by the National Arts Centre, Indigenous Performing Arts Alliance and Debajehmujig Creation Centre. She is currently working as dramaturg for Jani Lauzon and Kaitlyn Riordan’s “1939”, commissioned by the Stratford Festival of Canada.