An Evening with Jack Charles

Jack Charles

Photo by Bindi Cole


An Evening with Jack Charles

March 17, 2017, 7:30pm
Walker Court, Art Gallery of Ontario

Jack Charles is an Australian tribal Elder and a legend of Aboriginal theatre. Now over 70 years old, Charles is bringing his work Jack Charles v. The Crown to Toronto for a presentation at Canadian Stage as part of their biannual Spotlight Series. In the next installment of the All Together Now: Performance Across Disciplines program, Charles performs solo at the AGO, telling stories and singing songs that span a lifetime of political activism, art, addiction and crime. His experience as a stolen child echoes the experiences of Canadian Indigenous peoples; his generous spirit and unwavering strength make his journey one of resilience and hope


Born in 1943, Jack was well and truly a child of the Stolen Generation. He spent many of his formative years in the boys’ homes of Melbourne, which he took on with his usual laconic outlook: “It was alright by me – I was happy to assimilate. The only trouble was I wasn’t ever going to fit in. I’m fucking brown, mate.”

In 1972, he founded the first Aboriginal theatre company Nindethana and has performed with the cream of Australia’s actors, directors and writers including Geoffrey Rush, Neil Armfield, John Romeril and Tracey Moffatt. His work has spanned feature films, TV series and hundreds of plays including The Chant of Jimmie BlacksmithBedevilBen Hall and The Marriage of Figaro. Most recently, he was the subject of Amiel Courtin-Wilson’s award-winning documentary Bastardy, and was awarded the prestigious Tudawali Award at the Message Sticks Festival in 2009, honouring his lifetime contribution to Indigenous media.


This winter, the AGO presents a program of three performances that span art, music, comedy, literature and theatre, live in Walker Court. The program explores ways collaboration, creation and performance are formative to experiences of community. Free with admission and presented on select Friday evenings, the series continues the AGO’s commitment to bringing live culture into the museum space, offering opportunities for audiences to immerse themselves in diverse expressions, stories and provocations that cross artistic disciplines.

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