Divided We Fall, a play framing the subtleties of racism that can occur in everyday society, is featuring at the Capitol Theatre from May 29 to June 1.
“We wanted to showcase people’s real experiences and sort of let everyone know this is happening, and then address sort of what casual racism is and offer some solutions,” said Naomi Boutwell who co-wrote the production with Teresa Drew.
The pair each interviewed several men, women and children from around British Columbia about their experiences with racism and how it has affected them. They chose the stories, or parts of stories, that stood out from the people they spoke to.
“It says on the poster that [the play] is written by Teresa and Naomi but to be honest I feel like it’s been more facilitated because a lot of the monologues are almost word for word from the people who told us them,” Boutwell said.
The play is modeled is to highlight racial discrimination that can happen in day-to-day life that is overlooked, inconspicuous and not may not be blatantly obvious.
“Thinking about all the missing indigenous women in Canada right now and the fact that for such a long time nobody’s paid attention to that issue...It’s still a huge issue and the thing is it’s just so causally ignored. I think it’s always an issue and it’s always worth talking about.”
The concept of the production was introduced to Teresa Drew from the Ministry of International Trade with a mandate to focus on casual racism.
Actors in the play come to the production from STAGES, an after school drama program for youth, the Friendship Centre and other interested Alberni residents.
Drew said the play is aimed to encourage people to check themselves and what they are going to say before they say it and to question one’s motives that may be hurtful to others.
“We are all equal and it’s about time that it happened. There’s a lot of stuff that people don’t know,” Drew said.
Free tickets are available and can be picked up at the Port Alberni Friendship Centre. On show nights, doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the production begins at 7 p.m.