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November 2018
Tuesday November 20, 2018
Play: “Cottagers and Indians” in Kingston
Posted: Tuesday March 23, 2010
Drew Hayden Taylor

“I’ve spent too many years explaining who and what I am repeatedly, so as of this moment I officially secede from both races. I plan to start my own separate nation. Because I am half Ojibway and half Caucasian, we will be called the Occasions. And of course, since I’m founding the new nation, I will be a Special Occasion.” – Drew Hayden Taylor

Ojibway writer Drew Hayden Taylor is from the Curve Lake Reserve in Ontario. Hailed by the Montreal Gazette as one of Canada’s leading Native dramatists, he writes for the screen as well as the stage and contributes regularly to North American Native periodicals and national newspapers. His plays have garnered many prestigious awards, and his beguiling and perceptive storytelling style has enthralled audiences in Canada, the United States and Germany. His 1998 play Only Drunks and Children Tell the Truth has been anthologized in Seventh Generation: An Anthology of Native American Plays, published by the Theatre Communications Group. Although based in Toronto, Taylor has travelled extensively throughout North America, honouring requests to read from his work and to attend arts festivals, workshops and productions of his plays. He was also invited to Robert Redford’s Sundance Institute in California, where he taught a series of seminars on the depiction of Native characters in fiction, drama and film. One of his most established bodies of work includes what he calls the Blues Quartet, an ongoing, outrageous and often farcical examination of Native and non-Native stereotypes.

Among Taylor’s many awards are: the Canada Council Victor Martyn Lynch-Staunton Award for Theatre (2009); the Governor General’s Award for Drama, Nominee (2006) In a World Created by a Drunken God; the Siminovitch Prize in Theatre, Nominee (2005); James Buller Aboriginal Theatre Award for Playwright of the Year (1997) Only Drunks and Children Tell the Truth; and the Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding New Play, Small Theatre Division (1996) Only Drunks and Children Tell the Truth.

LATEST Drew Hayden Taylor NEWS

June 2016 : On Monday, June 27 in Vancouver, the 2016 Jessie Awards will be presented

January 2016 : Best of 2015

October 2015 : The blues are back in Drew Hayden Taylor’s new play

June 2015 : Now Available! The Talonbooks Fall 2015 Catalogue

May 2015 : God and the Indian, now playing in Toronto, “an emotional experience”

May 2014 : 85 Ebooks Published To Date!

April 2014 : Hot Off the Presses! Thrum, God and the Indian, DOWNVERSE, and From the Poplars

January 2014 : Browse Our Spring 2014 Catalogue!

August 2013 : First Nation Communities Read 2013–2014

August 2013 : 8th Fire’s Essential Reads List


Leacock Medal, 2017 (Long-listed for Take Me to Your Chief and Other Stories)

REVEAL Indigenous Art Award, 2017 (Winner)


Boy in The Treehouse, The / Girl Who Loved Her Horses

Nominated for the 1996 Chalmer’s Award for Best Play for Young Audiences (Girl Who Loves Her Horses)


Baby Blues

Winner of the 1996 Native Playwrights Award, sponsored by the University of Alaska Anchorage


Crees in the Caribbean

"The play is packed with wit and humour, but also packs an emotional punch. At the heart of Crees in the Caribbean is a commentary on the universality of human experiences from culture to culture; it shows that people from all parts of the world can share similar stories and experiences."
The Argus


Cerulean Blue

“An off-the-chart comedy … Not only was the acting on point, but the musical talent was as well … I walked away smiling from ear to ear … an amazing show that gave me goosebumps, warmed my heart, and left me laughing right until the very end … There were moments when I felt as though I was disturbing the cast by laughing so hard in the front row. I had to cover my face with my program to calm myself down … The musical performances were on the same level as the fantastic acting: impeccable. Each member of the band played their own instruments and sang their own vocals live. It was a great combination of theatre and music. I got to enjoy a great production as well as a killer concert.”
Ryerson Folio


God and the Indian

“There’s truth and there’s reconciliation, but what about good old-fashioned revenge? … God and the Indian is a departure for Taylor, known for his earthy, accessible and occasionally outrageous sense of humour. His past work has been primarily comic, his Blues Quartet series of plays penned specifically as a way to counter a preponderance of “tragic” or “stoic” portrayals of Canada’s First Nations people. … Though it toys with revenge tragedy, God and the Indian ultimately shares in the purpose of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada that is winding down its work the day after the play closes in Vancouver. It’s fuelled by the desire for the stories of residential schools to be shared and listened to and for what happened to be remembered – and for bystanders as well as perpetrators to accept responsibility, and accept that responsibility does not end with official apologies and photo ops.”
Globe & Mail

“Taylor’s script digs deep into the uncomfortable side of reconciliation, questioning the worth of official apologies and asking who gets left out of the official processes. … The humour can be hard to connect with, coming as it does amid stories of trauma and abuse, but it feels true to the character. … It’s not a script that pins things down neatly, preferring to revel in the ambiguity of memory, forcing the audience to interrogate who they believe and why. Is Johnny mixing up the terrible events of her childhood or is the assistant bishop lying? … The story becomes a kind of endless dance of guilt and trauma that can be overwhelming for an audience hoping for a clear resolution. For those who are wrought by the experience, support workers from the Indian Residential School Survivors Society attend every show. For the rest of us, these are the kind of stories we need to hear over and over, no matter how uncomfortable they might be.”
Vancouver Sun

“A respectful treatment of one of the most painful chapters in Canadian history … We need to hear the stories Taylor is telling in God and the Indian.”
Georgia Straight

“A moving and meaningful reconciliation drama, God and the Indian asks powerful questions and doesn’t give easy answers”
PRISM Magazine

“…an emotional experience. We witness an aboriginal woman, a survivor of abuse she endured while in the residential school system, face her abuser in his office. They engage in this highly tense argument that has crescendos and moments of total mental fatigue. And we, as the viewers, aren’t entirely sure of whose account we believe. Talking about the power of humour in the context of this play might seem a bit disjunctive. But in God and the Indian, humour is essential, powerful, and heartbreaking.”
– Jazz.fm


Dead White Writer on the Floor

“Abstract theatre is not generally associated with comedy … but judging by the laughter issuing from the packed house at Magnus’ opening night of the show, it is also drop-dead hilarious.” — The Argus



"Drew Hayden Taylor has a deft touch for mixing comedy and commentary in an entertaining … form of social satire."
Vancouver Sun

"…delivers the special combination of being gutbustingly funny while leaving you with deep realities to mull."



Fearless Warriors

Taylor’s…stories will make you cringe, cry, and when you really need it, laugh a little.


Berlin Blues, The

“This play displays a healthy sense of humor…If one needs an innocuous night of theatre, this can be taken as a series of funny events. Those hoping for something deeper can find allegories and metaphors pointing through history.”
LA Splash

"Drew Hayden Taylor has produced an accomplished series of comedies about reserve life that are consummate in their dramatic mechanics … The Berlin Blues may be breezy sitcom, but it has a point to make and is masterfully done."
Canadian Literature


In a World Created by a Drunken God

“Drew Hayden Taylor adheres to the dictates of classic, riveting theatre by presenting stellar characters struggling with hardcore moral questions, while inviting the audience to continue the dialogue after the curtain has dropped … The presentation sure is masterful.”
Quill & Quire

“Taylor … is a dramatist with a biting sense of humour and a keen eye for irony, particularly in his newly published play, In a World Created by a Drunken God … a play that is by turns quite sad, touching and thought-provoking … The play isn’t just full of funny faux pas or insults; it is a powerful story of two men confronted by the sins of their father, literally … In a World Created by a Drunken God tackles the thorny subjects of culture, morality and history to raise the more basic question of who we really are, apart from convenient labels and identity politics.”
Surrey Now

“Drew Hayden Taylor has a deft touch for mixing comedy and commentary in an entertaining and all-Canadian form of social satire.”*
Vancouver Sun

“In Drew Hayden Taylor’s compelling drama, two half brothers meet for the first time. Jason is a half-native Canadian. harry is a non-native American. This well-crafted work pits exploitation and abandonment against privilege and comfort, in an ethical debate that surmounts stereotypes of status and culture.”
— 2006 Governor General’s Literary Awards Jury

“Taylor has succeeded in creating an intriguing and thought-provoking story, with in-depth characters and mind-wrenching questions.”
— The Multicultural Review

"There’s a relevant, age-old social issue in Taylor’s play here— it’s one that involves reconciliation, accountability and no simple solution."— TheCoast.ca


400 Kilometres

"Excellent play, slice of life, modern Shakespeare … proper impression or expression, does no harm, but tells the truth." — Michael Taylor, writetothepoint1960.com

Seems to be genuine about living,

"Sharply written. Warm and funny."
Halifax Daily News

"Drew Hayden Taylor is not only one of the funniest writers in Canada today, he’s one of the most astute as well. He’s got both common sense and a sense of humour. What a winning combination!"

Copyright Talonbooks 1963-2018



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