Only Drunks and Children Tell the Truth

A Magnus Theatre Production

By: Hillary Jones, Contributor

Drew Hayden Taylor has done it again. His most recent play, Only Drunks and Children Tell the Truth, opened at Magnus Theatre on October 27th to a full house and the audience was not disappointed.  The play details the complicated layers of emotion involved in discovering your true self and learning to fit together the puzzle pieces of your identity.

The play follows the story of Grace, an Indigenous woman in her mid 30s who was taken by the Children’s Aid Society and placed with a white family. Her life takes a turn when her birth sister unexpectedly arrives at her home in Toronto to inform her of their mother’s passing and request she return to their reserve to pay her respects to their mother.


The carefully crafted narrative opens a door into the unfortunately prevalent world of being torn between two identities; a world that most white people may not otherwise get to see. As the layers of emotion unfold from both the perspective of Grace and her birth sister Barb, the audience is guided through the intense ongoing challenges presented by racist colonial institutions and policies. The portrayal of Grace’s character was especially powerful, drawing the audience deeply into the reality of her emotional turmoil until the final curtain.


Only Drunks and Children Tell the Truth is a gripping play that should be received by a large and diverse audience. It is through acknowledging realities such as those portrayed in this narrative that we can all begin to truly understand the country that we live in. Only by first recognizing the torment that prevails from our colonial past, can we (and I mean all of us with settler privilege) begin to take responsibility to improve our country for future generations.