Monday, May 29, 2017

Refugia - TCTB Review Roundup

Here at the TCTB, we had a LOT of thoughts about Refugia by The Moving Company at the Guthrie. Much discussion has ensued, and we're hoping these discussions will continue and expand.

Our bloggers said:

"What message is The Moving Company sending to their audience? They’ve both silenced the oppressed characters and given them a singular voice instead of allowing them to have individual voices. I identify as a female person of color with an immigrant mother, and it saddens me to not have found any reason to connect to this show. I commend them for their attempt at inclusivity, but if you’re looking for an authentic story of displacement, I’d implore you to look elsewhere as Refugia is short-sighted, white-centric and indulgent." - One Girl, Two Cities

Photo by Dan Norman.  
"So, at the end of the day, should you go see Refugia? I honestly don't know. I can't deny that in it's individual elements, Refugia is a beautifully crafted piece of drama. On the other hand, I have some very strong reservations about the script itself. I may believe that the authors intended this well (and I really do believe it), but somewhere in all the madness the point of the story - of refugees, of those who are suffering, of those who are forgotten and overlooked, of those to whom it is far too easy to turn a cold shoulder - is utterly lost." - Compendium

"So there you have it, the good, the bad, the ugly. As I said to my fellow TCTB, if one of the goals of theater is to start a conversation, then Refugia is a raging success! As long as we keep making art that matters, trying new things, being open about how we feel about what we're doing or what we're seeing, and take the time to listen to each other, I think we'll be OK." - Cherry and Spoon

"It’s like reading a self-published book. Some of the time, it’s great storytelling, captivating, and delightful. Other times, you wish the author had found a good editor. Refugia is a series of stories that deal with refugees and the fears and frustrations they endure. It left me with questions: Are we all refugees, traveling from one place to another, transitioning from one stage of life into the next?" - Play Off the Page

"This new work, playing on the Guthrie's McGuire Proscenium stage, aims to explore "exile, borders and the displacement of people," but we found the piece problematic, seeming to focus on white characters and stories and to underuse its few actors of color." - Minnesota Theater Love

Here's a few more reviews from the theater community:

Quest for Identity Drives Refugia - Rohan Preston, Star Tribune

With Refugia, The Moving Company Finds Its Place - Dominic P. Papatola, Pioneer Press

Refugia - Arthur Dorman, Talkin' Broadway

Refugia - Christine Sarkes, Aisle Say

Refugia: Serrand & Co. Do Gorgeous Work - Mari Wittenbreer, How Was the Show

Review of The Moving Company’s “Refugia” at the Guthrie Theater - Quinton Skinner, Medium

No man's land: 'Refugia' travels through time without borders - Jay Gabler, City Pages
And some background info:

Refugia Newsletter - Guthrie Theater (pdf)

Dominique Serrand talks about 'Refugia' - Pamela Espeland, Minnpost