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Magnus Theatre Thunder Bay

Event date: 3/3/2022 - 3/19/2022 Export event
Indigenous Identity the Focus of Upcoming Magnus Theatre Production
Robert McKenzie
/ Categories: Arts, Magnus Theatre

Indigenous Identity the Focus of Upcoming Magnus Theatre Production

Falen Johnson’s SALT BABY

THUNDER BAY, ONTARIO  ~~~~~   February 28, 2022 LSNews)    Falen Johnson’s SALT BABY will be Magnus Theatre’s first Mainstage show of 2022, and audiences are invited to meet the playwright during a virtual event on March 13th.

Falen Johnson’s semi-autobiographical work tells the story of a young Indigenous woman whose skin tone sets her apart, both in her First Nations community and in the city. She finds herself growing up between two very different worlds and becomes determined to figure out how she fits into each. Blood quantum, DNA tests, and family trees – SALT BABY is a modern comedy about the journey towards self-discovery. 

Johnson is a Mohawk and Tuscarora playwright and broadcaster, and SALT BABY is based on her experience living in Six Nations and in Brantford, Ontario. It was published in 2013 and was Johnson’s first play. Johnson is co-host of the CBC podcast series, Secret Life of Canada, and recipient of an Emerging Artist Award from the Ontario Arts Council. Her most recent play, TWO INDIANS, published in 2021, is a dark comedy that explores the realities of being Indigenous in Canada. The book was shortlisted for the Governor General’s Award for English-language drama. 
SALT BABY is directed by Natalie Robitaille who was last seen on the Magnus Theatre stage in 2019 as “Lisette” in Keith Barker’s award-nominated drama, THIS IS HOW WE GOT HERE. Recent credits include portraying “Sonja” in Norm Foster's THE CHRISTMAS TREE, appearing in the television series ZIK, and lending her voice to several animated projects. She is currently Artistic Director of the Bruce County Playhouse in Southampton, Ontario. 

Brianne Tucker stars in the show as the titular character. Tucker is a Métis performer who last appeared on stage at Magnus Theatre as “Gretchen” in 2019’s BOEING BOEING. She recently portrayed “Imogen” in MNO BIMAADIZIWIN with Theatre By The Bay. Other credits include “Sister Marie St. Bonaventure” in DARK HEART (Thought for Food), “Melanie” in ONE SLIGHT HITCH (Upper Canada Playhouse), “Judy” in PERFECT WEDDING (Lighthouse Festival Theatre & Showboat Festival Theatre), “Angelina” in SPIRIT HORSE (Roseneath Theatre), and THE WORLD BELOVED: A BLUE GRASS MASS (Carnegie Hall). Her TV credits include THE HANDMAID’S TALE (Hulu).

Jordan M. Burns makes his Magnus Theatre debut as Salt Baby’s boyfriend, Alligator. Burns is a Disabled, Indigenous, Two-Spirit, Neurodivergent multidisciplinary artist who serves as a co-founding artistic director with Third Wheel Theatre Co. He is a graduate of Humber College’s Theatre Performance program and is currently completing his Honours B.F.A. in Theatre at York University. Some favourite credits include MNO BIMAADIZIWIN, THE CAT IN THE HAT, THE ECHOES II: PIGEON PIE, VERMILION, and A PINEBERRY'S PAST. 

Returning to Magnus Theatre is Jeremy Proulx. Proulx is an award-winning actor and multidisciplined First Nations storyteller of both Anishinaabe (Ojibwe) and Haudenosaunee (Oneida) descent. He last appeared on stage at Magnus Theatre in 2017 for Drew Hayden Taylor’s ONLY DRUNKS AND CHILDREN TELL THE TRUTH. His acting career has taken him across Canada and internationally throughout the US, Brazil, United Kingdom, Poland, Italy, Macedonia, and Greece. Select theatre credits include BONES: AN ABORIGINAL DANCE OPERA; MIINIGOOWEZIWIN…THE GIFT; FROM THE AZTLAN TO THE ZOCALO (Banff Centre); THE ECSTASY OF RITA JOE (Western Canada Theatre and the National Arts Centre); KING LEAR (National Arts Centre); WHERE THE BLOOD MIXES (Teesri Duniya Theatre); COTTAGERS AND INDIANS (Persephone Theatre). 

Making her professional theatre debut is Danelle Charette. A recent graduate of Randolph College for the Performing Arts, Charette is an Indigenous multidisciplinary artist based out of Tkaronto. She recently portrayed the character “Serena Katz” in Randolph College’s production of FAME: THE MUSICAL. Some of her cherished projects include EVERYMAN, MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR, and THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW. 

The talented design team includes Lisa Macchione on costumes, Sean Mulcahy on set, and Adam Parboosingh on lighting. 

SALT BABY runs from March 3rd to 19th, with evening performances starting at 7:30 pm. Saturday and Sunday matinees start at 2:00 pm and Wednesday matinees at 12:00 pm. Tickets for evening performances are $40 ($20 for students) and matinees are $35 ($15 for students). There will be a Pay What You Can (PWYC) matinee performance on Sunday, March 6th. Tickets for PWYC will be available in person at the theatre on a first-come, first-served basis starting at 1:30 pm the day of the performance. 

Magnus Theatre will host a Meet The Playwright event following the matinee performance on Sunday, March 13th. Playwright Falen Johnson will be joining the theatre audience via live stream for a reading of her recent works followed by an interactive question and answer session. The event will be streamed live on Magnus Theatre’s YouTube channel and Facebook page, and viewers will have the opportunity to submit questions during the session. Questions can also be emailed to [email protected] ahead of the event. Meet The Playwright is presented by the Magnus Theatre in Education department.

Tickets for all other performances are available on Magnus Theatre’s website at or through the box office by phone at 807.345.5552.



The cast of Falen Johnson's SALT BABY rehearse a scene from the upcoming show, running at Magnus Theatre from March 3rd to 19th. Pictured (L to R): Brianne Tucker, Danelle Charette, Jeremy Proulx, Jordan M. Burns. Photo by Scott Hobbs. 

#LSN_Arts  #LSNews_TBay 

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