The Land Acknowledgement or As You Like It

Cliff Cardinal (Toronto)

5 – 9 Jun

Southbank Centre, Purcell Room at Queen Elizabeth Hall


  • Latecomers are not admitted, so please arrive in advance of the event’s listed start time
A devastating yet laugh-out-loud examination of land acknowledgements as cultural and political practice

Cultural provocateur Cliff Cardinal revisits Shakespeare’s timeless tale of mistaken identities, gentle ruses and banishment in this show that exults in difficult subject matter.

When Crow’s Theatre, one of Toronto’s most eclectic and adventurous companies, premiered this audacious new production, they said very little about it. All they revealed was that Cliff Cardinal was doing a “radical retelling of William Shakespeare’s As You Like It.” There were no further details, no cast list, nothing.

How – and why – would Cardinal, a young Indigenous playwright and actor of Cree and Lakota heritage, acclaimed for his acerbic humour and willingness to deal with raw emotions and difficult subject matter, going to retell one of Shakespeare’s most accessible and whimsical plays?

Dubbed “the Canadian arts surprise of the year” by The Globe and Mail, Cardinal’s brilliant play, The Land Acknowledgement or As You Like It, offers you the unvarnished truth of the state of the reconciliation process between Indigenous communities and colonial settlers in Canada.  When the curtains rise, prepare for Shakespeare as you’ve never seen him before and likely never will again.

Winner of the 2023 Governor General’s Literary Award for Drama.



“[The Land Acknowledgement] swayed me to give it a standing ovation… This performance is an act of resistance that also raises questions about the ethos of inclusivity and diversity in the institutional setup.”
— -A Young(ish) Perspective
“a thought-provoking play that will leave the audience grasping for answers from beginning to end”
— - Page to Stage
“…not what you’re expecting but it is all the more powerful for it…”
— - There Ought To Be Clowns
“…like nothing else you’ve seen before…”
— - Voice Magazine


Writer and Creator Cliff Cardinal
Lighting Designer Logan Cracknell
Stage Manager Jennifer Stobart
Artistic Director, Crow’s Theatre Chris Abraham
Executive Director, Crow’s Theatre Sherrie Johnson

Produced by Crows Theatre (Toronto)

Crow’s Theatre gratefully acknowledges the support of The Canada Council for the Arts and the Ontario Arts Council.

Also supported by the High Commission of Canada in the UK.

Image Credit © Dahlia Katz 


Southbank Centre



What is a land acknowledgement?

It is a formal statement that acknowledges the original Indigenous Peoples of the land, spoken at the beginning of public events and ceremonies.