Makayla MorganAbout

Hello all! My name is Makayla Morgan and I am a first year journalism student here at Carleton University. I am from a small town in Ontario called Ajax and have lived there all my life. For as long as I can remember, I have always wanted to write. I spent a long time trying to figure out how I was going to make a career out of that. Combining my rather outgoing personality and writing skills, I found journalism. Around the same time, I found the dramatic arts and theatre. I love it. I had always been a theatrical and dramatic kid. I wanted to perform; to become someone else, even if only for a little while. I thoroughly enjoy both performing and watching theatre and I have been doing so for about 4- 5 years now. I firmly believe that theatre is one of the best conduits for social change and that the world would be a much duller place without it. Theatre helps us understand each other and the world around us. That’s why I want to write about it. I want to take theatre apart, understand what makes it amazing and then tell people about it.

About the NAC Student Performance Review Project

Review

The Unnatural and Accidental Women Captivates and Educates

Image taken during performance of The Unnatural and Accidental Women

Image taken during performance of The Unnatural and Accidental Women. Photo taken by Justin Yang

It’s no secret that Canada has turned a blind eye to the violence against Indigenous women. The Unnatural and Accidental Women by Marie Clements is a powerful piece that aims to change that ignorance.
This past Friday was the first presentation of the National Arts Centre’s new Indigenous Theatre season. The show tells the stories of the victims of Gilbert Paul Jordan, a sex offender in downtown Vancouver who often preyed on women from Indigenous communities.
Upon entering the theatre, spectators are struck by white curtains descending from the rafters and vibrant leaves strewn across the floor in front of the stage, piling downstage centre. As the show opens, the curtains fall as they are symbolic of trees being cut by a lumberjack to reveal the framework of a two story hotel where the show unfolds.
The production uses tech to connect strongly to the Indigenous experience. The soundscape, often accompanied by Indigenous song, draws the viewer into the world created by director Muriel Miguel. The show incorporates a great use of projections to display information on the women and their deaths, adding a sense of reality that is often lost in the theatre and reminding the audience that this is a representation of actual events.

In tandem with the brilliant tech and set design, each actor gives a realistic performance. The use of tasteful comedy offsets the serious themes of the play. Monique Mojica as Aunt Shadie is a force on stage, captivating the eyes of the audience. Every actress seizes their moment on stage to bring a truly heart-wrenching and beautiful realness to the women in which they portray. The use of Indigenous dance choreographed by Penny Couchie opens and closes the show, exemplifying the feeling that these “unnatural and accidental” women have finally been seen and heard.

Tuesday, October 1, 2019 in
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