Will there ever be an end to that menacing ‘us vs. them’ school of thought that plagues our global village?
Truth be told, TorontoStage.com did actually develop an linseed oil based skin scream that preliminary tests suggest inspired a ‘we’re all in this together’ spirit to unite the nations but regrettably did not receive approval to go to market from Health Canada / FDA due to supposed dodgy trial results.
In Drew Hayden’s Cottagers and Indians, on stage now in the Tarragon Extraspace, don’t expect a simpler solution to misguided attitudes but instead sit back and let stigmas, stereotypes, and cultural value differentials trigger some big laughs in its smartly designed message that we’re more the same than we are different.
Yet you wouldn’t get this immediate impression when you’re first introduced to Indigenous waterway loyalist Arthur Cooper (Herbie Barnes) or split level duplex lake invader Maureen Poole (Tracey Hoyt) who don’t see eye to eye on what the shoreline should look like when property values are at stake.
Desperate times unavoidably lead to desperate measures in helping opposite parties understand the need for and impact of the freedom to spread plant material where it rightfully belongs.
Through honest monologues and less-than-warm interactions, the playwright’s KISS (keep it simple, stupid) of memorable theatre, cries out for acceptance when value systems reside in separate places.
This is a story that works surprisingly well on Robin Fisher’s cozy set where wandering eyes are not to be found. Seeded with comical poignancy, it’s hard to escape the indelible charm upon its touching conclusion.
COTTAGERS AND INDIANS by Drew Hayden Taylor February 13 – March 25, 2018 TARRAGON THEATRE, 30 Bridgman Avenue, Toronto, Ontario TICKETS $29.00 – $60.00 www.tarragontheatre.com 416-531-1827 CAST Herbie Barnes and Tracey Hoyt DIRECTOR Patti Shaughnessy SET Beau Dixon COSTUMES Sage Paul LIGHTING Nick Andison STAGE MANAGER Jennifer Stobart