Reservations

*assignment. no swearing or jokes*

 

On Monday night I went to a play called Reservations with my entire CreComm class. It featured only three actors, one of them being the writer, and focused on indigenous issues. There were two halves, the first about a farmer and his family in Alberta and the second about a couple in Winnipeg.

Contrary to most of my classmates, I enjoyed the second half more than the first. Being based in Winnipeg, I thought the subject matter was relevant and related well to many of the issues that have been brought up in the local news lately, which made it easy for me to connect to.

The play was about a middle-aged white couple who had raised three aboriginal siblings since they were very young and were now concerned they were going to lose them to CFS.

The acting was on point and gave me an accurate view of what it’s like to be parents in this position. The last scene was a university lecture, which I didn’t love (reminded me too much of my years in university of which I slept through most of) but the rest of it kept me engaged.

I liked the way the dialogue explained each side of the issue, both from the perspective of the white couple as well as the aboriginal social worker. I also found the changes in setting throughout the second half made it more interesting, as opposed to the first half, which all happened in one place.

I’ve been to many plays, but none based around such heavy cultural issues. The integration of indigenous people with modern settlers is something I’ve always been taught throughout my schooling, but I’ve never seen it presented in a creative way. The writer did an excellent job of educating the audience on the issues subtly through dialogue while remaining consistent with the tone and attitude of the characters.

The play gave me a new perspective on the CFS issues in the city. Reading about them in the news provides and accurate views, but very factual and impersonal. I liked having the insight of a couple that’s being directly affected.

The talkback session after the play wasn’t very helpful. The questions answered by the sound and lighting directors were very interesting, but the answers from the actors were too vague. It could have been because of the questions the audience was asking them, but I wish they would have gone into more detail about creating the play and portraying characters facing problems different from what they’d experienced in their real lives.

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