On Sunday, January 29th, a group of Canadian newcomers were invited to attend a performance of "Displaced", a show that sold out its entire run. One of the attendees offered this feedback, published here with permission.
“Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to watch the play on Sunday. I really enjoyed it, even though, of course, it was a very emotional play, and I had tears in my eyes at some points. I am not a refugee and I am so glad that I came to this country because I wanted to (for love) and not because I had to flee my home country. I am so lucky to be able to go home as often as I like. Even though I am not a refugee, the play showed many aspects that I think are similar for all immigrants, regardless of the reasons they came. For example, I remember the part of the play when they talked about home and what home is. I could really connect with that. Even though you live in one country now, your other home will never go away and you will never stop comparing the two places.
All three stories were very interesting to follow, but due to my own heritage, I payed a lot of attention to the German story. It was interesting to see how her story developed because every immigration story is unique. It was also interesting because I just visited a workshop in November were a professor from the University of Saskatchewan talked about the struggles of German immigrants to Canada between and after the two World Wars.
I also was influenced a lot by the scene when the refugee from Afghanistan met with her (cold) settlement worker. I am also working with immigrants, so every time I meet a new client now, I remember that scene and try to be extra friendly and helpful.
I would like to forward a compliment to actors and organizers for a great job!”
On January 27th, the day "Displaced" opened at The Refinery, U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order placing a ban on people entering the U.S. from seven countries. This executive order is commonly referred to as The Muslim Ban, as the seven countries affected are Muslim-majority and the order states that Christian refugees from those countries will be given priority treatment when attempting to enter the U.S.
Once the order was issued, protests erupted at airports across America, while people coming to the U.S. with green cards and valid visas authorizing them to enter the country were detained for several hours while they were subject to additional screening, which sometimes resulted in deportation and reportedly the handcuffing of children, the elderly, and the disabled.
The characters in "Displaced" are historical. Natasha Martina and Sue Mythern wrote the play over a number of years. And yet, "Displaced" could not be more relevant in the world than right this very minute. Let us hope that newcomers who are seeking a better life for themselves and for their family may find safety and compassion here.
We thank the board of Live Five and the artists/collaborators at Ground Cover Theatre for creating this powerful, relevant, thought-provoking and inspiring new work. We cannot wait to see what you come up with next.