Emerging BIPOC artist profiles : Jayden Iota’takeratenion Beaton

Jayden Iota’takeratenion Beaton is a Montréal based artist of Mohawk and Ojibwe descent whose emerging work as an actor, director, and playwright continues to show promise as a prominent aboriginal voice in local theatre. Founder and Artistic Director of Tewakaratónnions Productions – whose company made its debut at the 2019 Fringe with the world premiere of ‘Fragments’ – , he shares his thoughts on storytelling as the foundation of his artistic practice.

“For me, theatre was always about being able to tell stories that people could connect to,” Jayden begins. “That’s why the name of the company means ‘we are storytellers’ – and I’ve always really wanted it to be about that collective ‘we’.”

Tewakaratónnions’ artistry, as exemplified in its inaugural play, is grounded in realism and naturalism in its reflection of contemporary society. But, it also strives to encompass human experiences beyond those of just native artists.

“We want theatre to be expansive,” he explains, “and so what we’re really trying to do is something that is relatable and as true to life as possible.”

Upcoming projects for his company – which are now in the back burner due to current world affairs – seek to further crack that universality open whilst also exploring aboriginal mythos. With increasing advocacy for the inclusivity and visibility of BIPOC creators, there is hope that Beaton’s work will have amplifying reach and impact.

“It’s important to myself and to other people of colour that we are now better able to get out our messages and stories that show our perspectives. To be able to share that with audiences and with other artists is incredibly meaningful.”

In further wishes for the community as it rebuilds from crisis and upheaval: “I hope there is an explosion of new artists coming out, and I think this will crack the nut open for that,” he weighs.

“I also just wanted to say that there are so many ways of being an ally at this time that doesn’t involve posting on social media. You can petition, donate, write to your local government. Now is the moment to stand up and raise your voice, regardless of how you do it.”


Favourite Fringe show you’ve seen recently?

“The Carrot: Sex, Shit, Death” by the Carrot Company.

Annual Fringe tradition?

Going to the hub and staring at all the posters to get a feel for every show that’s there.

Most memorable moment at the Fringe? 

Going to the Fringe-for-All for the first time. Seeing everyone in costume and putting their ideas up on stage was probably the most fun I’ve ever had.

Ceci n’est pas un Fringe ::: This Is Not a Fringe Festival

Ceci n’est pas un Fringe ::: This Is Not a Fringe Festival

Online and Socially Distanced Art, June 11-21, 2020 

We are thrilled to reveal programming for Ceci n’est pas un Fringe ::: This Is Not a Fringe Festival, taking place June 11-21, 2020. Audiences and artists are invited to gather for 11 days of online and socially distanced art, including theatre, dance, music, magic, storytelling and activities for kids! The festival master schedule is to be revealed and tickets will go on sale at montrealfringe.ca on June 8.

“This isn’t your typical Fringe Fest,” says Amy Blackmore, MainLine Theatre’s Executive and Artistic Director. “In fact, this is not a Fringe Festival at all! Postponing the 30th anniversary of the Fringe was heartbreaking, so we decided to conceive an alternative event. Inspired by the resilience of our artistic community and the desire for audiences to get their Fringe on this month, we’ve curated a selection of activities to keep the spirit of the Fringe alive.” 

Programming Highlights

Signature Series – A combo of online free and paid events bringing together the best of the Fringe past, present and future, June 11-21. Expect to participate in Zoom hangouts, watch livestreams and join interactive games that include blasts from the past, festival favourites and innovative ideas. The lineup kicks off with an Opening Night Concert on June 11, followed by nightly events such as Fringelivestream’s Being Brown is my Superpower and The Iceberg, QDF Coffee Time, In The Stars by Home Theatre Productions, Smut Slam: a dirty storytelling open mic, CROWD KARAOKE with Sherwin Tjia, Edging With Mike The Re-Edgening, Lipsync Bingo Fringe Fundraiser with House of Gahd, an ELAN Schmoozer and more! Spend your evenings with us!

Daily Dose of Fringe – A range of tiny artistic offerings, June 12-21. 

  • Contemporary dance videos in partnership with Bouge d’ici featuring work by choreographers and dance artists Allison Elizabeth Burns, Aurora Prelević, Jalianne Li, Jessica Sofia Lopez Garcia, Julianne Decerf, Liane Thériault, Naomi Gwynn, Stéphanie Fromentin and Tiera Joly Pavelich.
  • Magic acts presented by magicians from across the national Fringe Festival circuit, including Derrick Chung, Grant McSorley, Jacque Swan, Marc Trudel, Purple Magic and more!
  • Short stories presented in partnership with the Montreal storytelling events Confabulation and Enfabulation, featuring Ahmad Hamdan, Frédérique Dubois, Juliana Léveillé-Trudel, Nisha Coleman and more!
  • Online challenges inspiring us to get creative by following instructions brought to you by the organizers of le Festival tout’ tout court.

The Transformation Series – A series of talks facilitated by Amy Blackmore, June 15-19 from 5 à 6. Featuring speakers from across the country, we discuss topics that are important to our artistic community as it navigates these transformative times. Participate by joining the conversation on our Fringe Facebook Live or YouTube channel. Speakers to be announced June 8. 

  • #1 – Let’s talk about makin’ art right now, English (June 15)
  • #2 – Parlons créer de l’art, là maintenant, French (June 16)
  • #3 – Let’s talk about green theatre-making, English (June 17)
  • #4 – Parlons du maintien de conciliation travail-vie-famille, French (June 18)
  • #5 – Parlons du futur de la diffusion des arts / Let’s talk about the future of disseminating art, bilingual (June 19)

MiniFringe Activities – A collection of activities just for the mini-est of Fringers, our kids! Happening daily from June 12-21 on the new MiniFringe Facebook fan page and YouTube channels, they include theatre, music, dance, puppetry, arts and crafts, drag queen storytime and more! Expect to see familiar faces such as Abby Long, Dot Dot Dot, Joshua Budman, Laurent Pitre, Lynsey Billing from Scream Dance Academy, Maggie Winston from Lost & Found Puppet Co., and more.

Community art listings Planning a safe (online or socially distanced) art event this June? Apply to have it listed in our community art calendar. We’ll publish a list of events taking place from June 11 until June 30 as a way for artists to connect with new audiences. Email jordan@mainlinetheatre.ca!

The St­-Ambroise Montreal Fringe Festival would not be possible without the support of its many financial partners and sponsors: McAuslan Breweries, la Ville de Montréal, le Conseil des Arts de Montréal, Patrimoine canadien, le Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec and the Cole Foundation. We would also like to thank our Friends of the Fringe.

Ceci n’est pas un Fringe ::: This Is Not a Fringe Festival would not be possible without the additional support of our event sponsors: Centaur Theatre, English Language Arts Network and Quebec Drama Federation. Become a sponsor today by contacting us at info@mainlinetheatre.ca.