By Windspeaker Staff
With files from Jeremy Harpe of CFWE-FM
An “incendiary” theatrical production about the residential school experience is coming to the Westbury Theatre in Edmonton on Dec. 12. Reckoning runs until Dec. 17, brought to audiences by Fringe Theatre.
“It’s really an exploration of multiple different perspectives of having gone through the (Truth and Reconciliation Commission)”, said Tara Beagan (Ntlaka’pamux), founding member of ARTICLE 11, the company that produced Reckoning.
And it starts with a piece on the adjudication process where survivors told their stories of the horrific abuse they endured in the schools, she told Jeremy Harpe of CFWE-FM.
“Adjudicators came through so many unspeakable stories that they started to suffer from PTSD, so that’s something that hasn’t really been analysed yet,” said Beagan.
However, it was very much on the radar of ARTICLE 11, because friends and colleagues were acting as advisors and adjudicators of the TRC process at that time.
Another aspect of the production is the intergenerational fallout of the residential school legacy, so Reckoning explores that through a woman whose mother attended a residential school and whose father taught within that system.
Beagan said the third piece of the triptych talks of those people who didn’t survive the truth-telling itself, those who couldn’t cope with telling their stories of the past, perhaps for the first time, and bringing them back into their current realities.
“We just want to honor the people who went through that and those that didn’t come through it OK.”
Through sound, movement and video, Reckoning, comes when the truth has been incinerated and reconciliation seems impossible, reads a press statement from Fringe Theatre announcing the production, “an ode to the irreconcilable.”
Reckoning is directed and designed by ARTICLE 11’s Beagan and fellow founding artist Andy Moro (Omushkego Cree/Mixed Euro). The company is named for the eleventh article in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which states Indigenous peoples have a right to practice our arts and culture and have the resources to do so.
December 15 brings the second anniversary of the final report of Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
The production stars Beagan, Marcel Petit, Jonathan Fisher, Jesse Wabegijig, and Lena Recollet.
Music is composed by Melody McKiver. Collaborating Elder is Paul Chaput.
Tickets are available at: https://tickets.fringetheatre.ca/performances.php?eventId=601:973