I went to a play on Tuesday for school.
Below is my review.
Reservations is a two-part play that attempts to explore colonization and the child welfare system.
The show is an ambitious attempt to educate the public about Canada’s sorry history with First Nations and centres around a conflict between an Alberta farmer, who wants to sell his land and give back portions to local aboriginals to make up for what was stolen in colonization.
The farmer faces conflict with his daughter, who doesn’t understand the point of her dad’s intentions.
The play then turns into a history lesson as the dad tries to explain his reasoning for the land donation – or return I should say.
There’s intriguing graphics projected on three screens that look cool, but at times, it feels like the dad is just rambling on.
The acting from the three-person cast also seemed a bit weak, but that went on to change in part two after a much-needed intermission.
It’s here that a new play is started — putting an end to the history rambling.
This time, the story is about the flawed child welfare system, which wasn’t mentioned in the first half of the play.
White foster parents concerned over a new worker assigned to handle their file are the story here.
The white mother has deep concerns over the new worker, who struggles to pronounce her foster children’s names. But you don’t see these kids once. It’s all adult actors here.
The mother fears her son Justice is going to be taken from her, so he can be returned to his home community and the worker makes matters worse by telling the mom ‘They are not your children.”
Then in an odd twist, the play turns into a lecture theatre. Like literally.
Sitting in the far back of the cramped theatre I was reminded of my time in university lecture theatres…. Something I don’t miss.
If the director wanted to make the crowd feel like they were in a real lecture, he succeeded.
The room packed with college students and a handful of older guests got hot and the lecture went on and on, which wasn’t necessary.
We got the point when the professor took the podium.
Reservations could have been strengthened if more story and less history was added.
History is important, but so are the details in a story that matter.
But at least they tried.
The play runs at the Rachel Browne Theatre until Sunday.