Cliff Cardinal's THE LAND ACKNOWLEDGEMENT, or AS YOU LIKE IT
Cliff Cardinal's THE LAND ACKNOWLEDGEMENT, or AS YOU LIKE IT
March 10 - April 2, 2023 at the CAA Theatre
Tickets go on sale Thursday November 10
David Mirvish presents the acclaimed Crow's Theatre production of The Land Acknowledgement, or As You Like It, the final show in the Off-Mirvish season. Written by and starring Cliff Cardinal, the production will play March 10 - April 2, 2023 at the CAA Theatre, 651 Yonge Street.
ABOUT THE PLAY
In September 2021, just as theatres were starting to reopen after the long pandemic hiatus, Crow’s Theatre, one of the city’s most eclectic and adventuresome companies, decided to begin with an audacious new show. They said very little about it. Only that it was a “radical retelling by Cliff Cardinal” of William Shakespeare’s As You Like It. There were no further details, no last list, nothing.
Of course most people know As You Like It as one of the bard’s most accessible and whimsical plays. How was Cliff, a young Indigenous playwright and actor acclaimed for his acerbic, mischievous humour and willingness to deal with raw emotions and difficult subject matter, going to retell this classic of Western theatre?
When the show was finally on stage, word spread about it like wildfire. Its first audiences raved: it was "essential viewing,” “a surprising, powerful, thrilling, and moving piece of theatre that will never be forgotten.”
As more people saw the show, it became clear that what Cliff was doing with his new work was examining the relationship between the Indigenous community and the settlers. He was showing us what a young and insightful artist from the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation sees in the aftermath of the discovery of unmarked graves on the grounds of former residential schools. He was offering us the unvarnished truth of the state of the reconciliation process this country has been attempting for the last few decades. He was using theatre to do what it has always done: to take a few moments and pay attention to someone other than our own selves.
Called “the Canadian arts surprise of the year” by The Globe and Mail, Cliff’s brilliant play The Land Acknowledgement, or As You Like It will dazzle and engage you as only the best theatre can.
The Land Acknowledgement, or As You Like It features Lighting Design by Logan Cracknell. Jennifer Stobart is the stage manager.
ABOUT THE PRODUCTION and CLIFF CARDINAL
Cliff Cardinal is a polarizing writer and performer known for his black humour and compassionate poeticism. William Shakespeare’s As You Like It, A Radical Retelling by Cliff Cardinal received its world premiere at Crow’s Theatre on September 30, 2021. The engagement was extended twice due to popular demand.
The show’s Toronto success led to engagements across Canada. It enjoyed a sold-out run at the PuSh International Performing Arts Festival in Vancouver in February 2022; reopened the Roxy Theatre in Edmonton, April/May 2022; and played
Carrefour International De Théâtre festival in Quebec City this past June. Upcoming, the production will play the Great Canadian Theatre Company (GCTC) in Ottawa, January 17 to 29, 2023, before returning to Toronto at the CAA Theatre.
Cliff Cardinal’s multi-award-winning one-man play Huff, which he has performed over 200 times, is a harrowing yet hilarious show about youth who abuse solvents to the risk of suicide. Huff won the Buddies in Bad Times’ Vanguard Award for Risk and Innovation; Outstanding Performance and Outstanding New Play Dora Mavor Moore Awards; RBC’s Emerging Playwright Award; The Edinburgh Fringe Festival Lustrum Award (which recognizes the greatest moments at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival); was shortlisted for the Amnesty International Freedom of Expression Award; and received a five-star review in The Guardian Observer titled, “a hard-hitting tour de force.” The play has been published, translated into French, continues to tour, and was released as a podcast by the CBC Radio.
Cliff Cardinal’s CBC Special, his eagerly anticipated follow-up to Huff, won the Jon Kaplan Spotlight Award for the top performance at Toronto’s SummerWorks Festival and toured Canada’s north beginning in Yellowknife. Cardinal’s first multi-character play, Too Good To Be True, which opened VideoCabaret’s 2019 season at the Busy Street theatre in Toronto, with Cardinal directing, “...solidifies Cardinal as one of the most talented and intriguing writers in the country.” NOW Magazine.
Born on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, Cliff studied playwriting at the National Theatre School of Canada, and is an associate artist at VideoCabaret where he develops his new work. Cliff also fronts the hilarious and nefarious Cliff Cardinal and The Skylarks, who have released two albums; and is the son of iconic Canadian actress Tantoo Cardinal. Cliff lives in Toronto with his wife Sage Paul, Artistic Director of Indigenous Fashion Week Toronto, their dog Frodo, and their cat Tiga.
ABOUT ARTISTIC DIRECTOR CHRIS ABRAHAM
Artistic and General Director, Chris Abraham, has been the driving force of Crow’s Theatre since the 2008-2009 season. He has successfully led the company through two major milestones: the 25th and 35th Anniversaries of the company; as well as building Streetcar Crowsnest, a pioneering, state-of-the-art facility with three venues in the East End of Toronto. This season, Chris served as co-conspirator with Cliff Cardinal on William Shakespeare’s As You Like It, A Radical Retelling by Cliff Cardinal and directed Zorana Sadiq’s MixTape. This year he has also directed Porte Parole’s The Assembly in Lithuania and the film version of Soundstreams Musik Fur Das Ende, and has received critical acclaim for his work as the Shakespearean coach on the hit television series Station Eleven. Next, Chris will be directing Cyrano at the Shaw Festival in Niagara-on-the-Lake.
Chris’ artistic practice spans the spectrum of solo work, documentary, highly lauded Stratford and Shaw productions, hybrid music theatre concerts, opera, and filmmaking. At Crow’s, he has directed numerous award-winning plays including, Julius Caesar, Stars: Together, The Wedding Party, True Crime, Boy in the Moon, The Assembly, The Watershed, The Seagull, Winners & Losers, Someone Else, Eternal Hydra, and I, Claudia. In 2003, Chris directed the film adaptation of Kristen Thomson’s award-winning hit I, Claudia for which he won a Gemini Award.
A graduate of the National Theatre School’s directing program, Chris later served as co-director of the school’s renowned directing program from 2006 to 2010, and in 2013, he was awarded the Siminovitch Prize in Theatre for Directing.
ABOUT CROW’S THEATRE
Crow’s Theatre ignites passionate and enduring engagement between our audiences and artists by creating, producing, and promoting unforgettable theatre that examines and illuminates the pivotal narratives of our times. Founded in 1983, Crow’s Theatre has premiered over 50 new, daring, Canadian works, including the multiple-award-winning production of Brad Fraser’s Unidentified Human Remains and the True Nature of Love; John Mighton’s A Short History of Night, James O’Reilly’s Time After Time: The Chet Baker Project, Lee MacDougall’s High Life, Annabel Soutar’s The Watershed, Kristen Thomson’s The Wedding Party, Julius Caesar and Tartuffe with Groundling Theatre Company and Canadian Stage, The Flick with Outside the March, and Emil Sher’s adaptation of Ian Brown’s The Boy in the Moon.