By Sheila Martindale
God’s Lake is a collection of monologues, taken from interviews following the murder of a teenager in a small lakeside community in northern Manitoba. These pieces are spoken by four young people, who represent a wide variety of community members, and we never quite know who is who. But the words themselves are sincere.
To the rest of the country, this young woman (her name was Leah) is just one of the many missing and murdered Indigenous women about whom we have heard so much; but to family, close friends or mere acquaintances she was special and talented. And much missed.
Clearly, a great deal of work was put in by Francesca Albright and Kevin Lee Burton in crafting this timely piece of theatre, as well as by the cast – Nick Benz, Nyla Carpentier, Taran Kootenhayoo and Erica Wilson and Director Britt Small. There is also some clever projection work by Guy Segal.
For those of us who live in cities, the closeness felt by residents of small, rural communities may be hard to imagine. But we can think of the loss experienced by residents in isolated places, when one of their own is taken, abruptly and brutally, from them. When that person is young and bright, a friend to all, the grief is intensified, and the loss is felt personally. In those places which are separated by distance, it is like one of their own family is gone. This is brought out quite powerfully in this documentary-like performance – the pain is palpable. The audience can see it, feel it and experience it. One could suggest that this is what theatre is all about.
If you are interested in Aboriginal issues, or human issues for that matter, you will find this production (which runs for an hour with no intermission) quite interesting.
God’s Lake runs for three nights from Jan. 4 – 6 at the Metro Studio. Tickets are available at Ticketrocket or at the door – $22 or $15 for students.
For more information visit www.castlereigh.com/gods-lake/