Dr Lindsay Lachance is an award-winning dramaturge and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Theatre and Film at UBC. Lindsay has played a leading role in the creating and direction of the Indigenous Theatre department at Canada’s National Arts Centre as the first Artistic Associate Director. She earned a PhD in Theatre from the University of British Columbia and, in January 2018, successfully defended her dissertation titled “The Embodied Politics of Relational Indigenous Dramaturgies.” Lindsay’s academic work exists at the intersections of Theatre Theory and Dramaturgy and Critical Indigenous Studies, where she supports Indigenous theatre-making and dramaturgical structures. In honouring her Algonquin Anishinaabe family, Lachance’s dramaturgical practices are influenced by her relationships to birch bark biting and the Gatineau River.
Lachance’s dramaturgical practice has her collaborating with artists and scholars from across the country. As a practicing dramaturge, Lachance workshops dramaturgical techniques and principles she has researched and developed with both emerging and established theatre artists. Recently, these workshops have led to plays being published with Playwrights Canada Press and others having world premieres at The Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre, Tarragon Theatre and Gwaandak Theatre. Dramaturgy as a relational process is central to her interest in using dramaturgical events and gatherings as specific areas of analysis.
Her academic work explores land-based approaches to developing contemporary theatre, as practiced by her in her dramaturgical processes with Indigenous and non-Indigenous theatre artists and students. Lindsay looks at how the land, Indigenous material cultures and Anishinaabeg values; specifically, the Gatineau River, birch bark biting and The Seven Grandfather Teachings, can be used as starting points to build dramaturgical models.
Some ongoing and recent dramaturgical projects include, Frances Koncan’s Medea and Women of the Fur Trade, Yolanda Bonnell’s My Sister’s Rage, Quelemia Sparrow’s Skyborn, and Kim Senklip Harvey’s Kamloopa: An Indigenous Matriarch Story. Together with playwright Kim Senklip Harvey, they won the 2019 Jessie Richardson award for Significant Artistic Achievement for Decolonizing Theatre Practices and Spaces. This award was specifically given to acknowledge the dramaturgical methods and processes Lachance developed for Kamloopa: An Indigenous Matriarch Story, which later went on to win the 2020 Governor General’s Literary Award for Best Drama.
In the fall of 2023, Playwrights Canada Press will publish the third volume of Staging Coyote’s Dream co-edited by Lindsay Lachance and Monique Mojica. This volume collects pieces that were developed through land-based or innovative dramaturgical processes. As a co-applicant with University of Alberta’s Dr. Selena Couture, Lindsay received a SSHRC Insight Development Grant called “Decolonizing Performative Re-enactments of History”. This project is ongoing. She was also awarded a 2018 SSHRC Indigenous Research Capacity and Reconciliation Grant as a co-application with Indigenous Performing Arts Alliance and Electric Company Theatre. This research focused on creating tools and tips for Indigenous and non-Indigenous theatrical collaborations. In 2014, Lindsay was recognized as a Bombardier scholar and received annual SSHRC funding for her doctoral research.
Lindsay also holds ongoing partnerships with the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity where she is a returning Guest Faculty with Indigenous Arts, and is the former Director of Native Earth Performing Arts’ Animikiig Creators Unit, a two-year development program for emerging Indigenous creators. Lindsay is a board member for Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas Canada and Theatre Research in Canada.
Lindsay has been working with youth for over 15 years at summer camps, community centres, The Native Youth Program at the UBC Museum of Anthropology and the Indigenous Youth Residency Program at the Art Gallery of Ontario. She has participated at conferences and events hosted by The National Arts Centre, The PuSh Festival, Indigenous Performing Arts Alliance, the Audain Gallery at SFU, Native Earth Performing Arts, Full Circle First Nations Performance, Carleton University, The Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas Association, Canadian Association for the Performing Arts (CAPACOA), and the International Society for Performing Arts.
Lindsay honours the gifts and teachings that Indigenous women before her have offered and is motivated to honour and support the next generation of leaders.