Theatre society founded in Whitehorse, Yukon in 1999 by Leonard Linklater and Patti Flather to empower First Nations', Northern, and diverse voices. “Gwaandak” in the Gwich’in language means “telling a story”.
Productions include: Sixty Below by Flather and Linklater (2000), directed by Floyd Favel, which portrays the struggles of young First Nations man just released from jail. It toured throughout the Yukon and to Inuvik, N.W.T. In 2002, the CBC produced a series of new radio plays by Yukon writers in collaboration with Gwaandak Theatre. Other productions are: Yellow on Thursdays by Sara Graefe (2002, with Nakai Theatre dir. Michael Clark), about teenage sexuality; West Edmonton Mall by Flather, 2003, with Nakai Theatre, (dir. Michael Clark); Where the River Meets the Sea by Flather (2006, with Nakai Theatre); Carnaval by Mitch Miyagawa (2007, with Nakai Theatre); Go Angel Girlfriends, a collective creation (2008); and The Soul Menders by Flather (2009), a comedy about fractured families struggling to become whole at Christmas.
In 2011, it premiered Café Daughter by Kenneth T. William, the story of a girl with a Chinese father and Cree mother, working in her father's restaurant on the prairies, and coming to terms with her mixed heritage. It was remounted in 2013, toured to the Aki Theatre in Toronto (presented by Native Earth Performing Arts), Magnus Theatre in Thunder Bay, the Courtyard in Kitchener (MT Space), and the Talking Stick Festival in Vancouver. It was directed by Yvette Nolan, and starred PJ Prudat.
In 2012, Gwaandak Theatre presented Leonard Linklater's new play Justice (dir. Floyd Favel), which explores a tragic cultural misunderstanding and clash of justice systems during the gold rush.
The 2014 season featured The Hours That Remain by Keith Barker (dir. David Storch), which explores the story of a woman haunted by the disappearance of her sister, who visits her is a series of visions.
Paradise, developed by Patti Flather and director Majdi Bou-Matar from MT Space, premiered at the Yukon Arts Centre in Whitehorse, Yukon in 2015, and was showcased at IMPACT 15 in Kitchener, Ontario. An unemployed logger, a young man accused of terrorism, a family doctor and his daughter, are all searching for their humanity inside the systems that cage us all.
Map of the Land, Map of the Stars by Christine Clarke, Genevieve Doyon, Patti Flather, Andrameda Hunter, Leonard Linklater, Yvette Nolan, Michelle Olson, and Aimee Dawn Robinson premiered at the Kwanlin Dun Cultural Centre in Whitehorse in May 2017, produced by Gwaandak Theatre in association with Kwanlin Dun Cultural Centre and Yukon Arts Centre. It then toured to Dawson City and Carcross, Yukon, and to MT Space's IMPACT 17 Festival in Kitchener, Ontario. It enacts the history of the Gwich'in peoples in the North.
Gwaandak Theatre also hosts an annual summer play-reading program.
Colin Wolf is Artistic Director.
Last updated 2021-01-19