Winnipeg playwright Frances Koncan (zahgidiwin/love) sets the dystopian tone early in her challenging 50-minute (shorter than advertised) drama. In a dark foyer littered with "Missing" posters, patrons are greeted by masked actors holding flashlights, who usher them into the theatre, testing some of their forearms as if to take their blood.
Riot follows a young Cree woman living in a walled city where water is scarce. Iskwe (an excellent Melanee Deschambeault) is looking for her outspoken sister; she finds herself both hospitalized and joining a team of rebels trying to bring down the wall — seemingly at the same time.
The well-staged production — featuring projections and strobe effects — weaves in Cree stories, as well as ideas about racism, water issues, the environment, missing and murdered Indigenous women and health care.
Although the play sometimes suffers from having too much to say on too many subjects, which can make it feel more admirable than enjoyable, it is a powerful work, disorienting, sometimes terrifying and hopeful.
— Jill Wilson
From the Fringe program:
A long time ago in the future, within a city of walls, a young Indigenous woman on a quest to find her missing sister is about to start a revolution.From the writer and director of zahgidiwin/love (4 STARS – CBC, 4 STARS – Winnipeg Free Press, Winner of the Harry Rintoul Award for Best New Play), How to Talk to Human Beings (4 STARS – Winnipeg Free Press), and Little Red (5 STARS – CBC).
Show Length: 60 minutes
Suggested Audience: Parental Guidance
Warnings: Coarse language, Strobe lights
Updated on Friday, July 21, 2017 at 6:39 PM CDT: Adds review