displaced by Natasha Martina and Sue Mythen is a dramatic performance about three women displaced from their homes by tumultuous events and the difficulties that befall them in their voyage towards a better life in Canada. The story is presented in an engaging manner meant to draw the audience into the characters struggles and create empathy for their plight. The play uses both visual and oral stimulus through both spoken text and movement to portray the story to the audience. Using this multi-modal format, the play aims to make the audience use their eyes and ears to connect to the story through actively listening to the character’s dialogue and through the visualization of the physical toll that the characters bodies have taken throughout their journey.
I believe that a play is a great way to showcase personal histories. The playwrights, Martina and Mythren, are using the stories of Mary, the Irish woman affected by the Irish Famine, Sofia, the German woman affected by the war, and Dara, the Afghani woman affected by Taliban rule, to tell the unpleasant history of the women who were displaced from their homes and emigrated to Canada. They portrayed the story in this way in order to get the viewer to think about how they treat other people who are considered “different” and to think about the ways in which where we are from affects how we are perceived. Although the majority of the accents within the play were fairly accurate representations of the peoples in which they were supposed to portray, there were some difficulties with the accents in the play that detracted from the value of the story. When the audience is too busy trying to decide if both characters are Irish, the message, meaning, and flow of the play is lost. However, the accents were necessary for clarities sake because without them the play would have been a jumbled mess of who’s who. With that being said, the accents, when done well, did enrich the plays emphasis on “otherness” and how the people considered “others” had to flee their own repressive countries only to be treated with similar problems here in Canada. The play gave a stark reminder that, although Canada was a land of freedom and opportunity, oppression still has a grasp here in Canada.
I believe that this play has many opportunities for teaching English especially in regards to identity. This play is based on the histories of three women and their passage to Canada. Using this idea, a family tree assignment in which the students gather information about their histories and write about the endeavours of their ancestors would allow them to begin to see themselves in a different light. This tree would be a road map of all the history that has lead up to them and give them a better idea of the people and places in which they come from. In this way, students get a better understanding of who they are through the studying of their ancestors. This assignment works great because it allows students to delve deeper into their own histories and discover the foundations in which their identity was created from. A comprehensive knowledge of the background of your students can allow a better understanding of their character and a few of the obstacles they may have overcome within their lives. Thus, the teacher can better connect and relate to their students as well as have the students better connect and relate to one another.
—Genre: 1. Engaging- Touching the heart and mind of the audience
- Informative- Historical Contexts and conditions
—Mode: Multi-Modal: Aural, Visual, and Oral
Curriculum Connections (theme):
**Outcome: CR A10.1-Comprehend and respond to a variety of visual, oral, print, and multimedia texts that address:
social action (agency) (e.g., Human Existence).
social responsibility (e.g., Destiny and Challenges of Life); and
identity (e.g., Foundational Stories).
-View, listen to, read, and respond to First Nations and Métis resources and other texts that reflect diverse personal identities, worldviews, and backgrounds (e.g., appearance, culture, socio-economic status, ability, age, gender, language, social structures, and decision making).
-Respond personally and critically to individuals, events, and ideas presented in a variety of First Nations, Métis, and other Canadian and international texts.
-Generate relevant questions about texts on issues related to identity, social responsibility, and social action (agency).
**Outcome: CR A10.4– Read, interpret, and draw conclusions about the ideas, information, concepts, and themes presented in a variety of literary (including poems, plays, essays, short stories, novels) and informational (including magazines, newspapers, and on-line information) texts.
-Read, comprehend, and explain the human experiences and values reflected in various literary and informational texts created by First Nations, Métis, Saskatchewan, Canadian, and international authors from various cultural communities.
-Read and interpret critically the main ideas, events, and themes of a variety of literary texts including stories, novels, scripts, poetry, and non-fiction works, and prepare, present, and defend critical responses to what is read.
-Interpret, explain, analyze, and discuss how the literary qualities and the distinctive conventions, structures, and language features of a range of texts suit the topic and purpose.
Martina, N., & Mythen, S. (2017, January 28). displaced. (J. Block, E. Laishram, & A. Mazurik, Performers) The Refinery, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.