This Tuesday, I went to a play for Journalism class. I know, I went to a play… shocking.
The play cost $10 with a student card, which was still high considering how I am used to getting things for free, but alas, I could deal with it.
The play is called ‘Reservations,’ and it is actually two plays in one, separated by an intermission. The first half of the play deals with Pete’s (Steven Ratzlaff) character deciding to give his land to the nearby Siksika First Nation as opposed to giving it to his daughter Anna (Sarah Constible). Esther (Tracy Nepinak) served as the voice of reason.
In the second half, the play was about CFS and Denice (Nepinak), an agent with an aboriginal CFS agency who spats with Jenny (Constible) over who should care for the aboriginal children that Jenny and Mike (Ratzlaff) were fostering.
I was quite disappointed with the play overall, however the first half of the play was marginally better than the second half. The storyline of the first half seemed more flushed out and felt more “play-like,” whereas the second half completely lost me when the play turned into a University-style lecture. I feel that with the artistic freedom that a play provides, the Writer, Steven Ratzlaff, could have come up with a much more engaging way to get his point across.
What did work was the stage design and the audio production. I was very impressed with the stage design. The projections looked very professional and did a good job at setting the scene. the audio production was also quite well done, with my only concern was when i heard a clock ticking and thought for several minutes that “What Do You Mean,” by Justin Bieber was about to start playing.
Reservations is the only play I remember seeing, and being totally honest, it completely lived up to my expectations. I wasn’t expecting a masterpiece, and that is exactly what I got.
The plays shortcomings seriously undermine what I was able to take away from the play. While the issues are important, I found the play did a bad job of bringing them up in a way that resounded with me.
At the talkback session, the author (Ratzlaff) came across as extremely pretentious. He seemed to not want to answer any difficult questions and just brushed them aside.
The one redeeming thing about the play was that there was free food at the end… perfect for the long late night bus ride home.