Presenting "Discovery: A Comic Lament"

"Discovery: A Comic Lament" is coming to Emmanuel Mennonite Church in Winkler, Friday, July 26 at 7 p.m. (SUPPLIED PHOTO)

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“Discovery: A Comic Lament” is coming to Emmanuel Mennonite Church in Winkler, Friday, July 26 at 7 p.m.
Hosted by the Truth & Action Working Group, the two-person drama is about how the land under our feet came to be under our feet.
According to Ted and Company, ( the Virginia-based, faith-rooted theatre company performing the show, the play looks at love of land, loss of land, and what it means to own something. With a comedic twist, the live drama explores the attitudes and legal concepts at play when Europeans came to these shores and tracks these to the present.
Starring Ted Swartz and Michelle Milne, Discovery: A Comic Lament is also about learning to face big problems with the energy that only shared laughter can create.
The story
Chris has farmed the land his grandmother found as a home in Kansas after fleeing Russia almost 100 years ago; his daughter Riley is learning more and more about who was on that same land before her Oma arrived, and the jarring connections she has to the fate of those people. We follow Chris and Riley as they navigate their changing relationship to each other and to the land their family has farmed for several generations.
Interspersed with their story are vignettes examining how “ownership” has come to be defined in the US and Canada. Diving into historical documents, absurd situations, and extended metaphors, the audience discovers how the Doctrine of Discovery (the legal framework that justifies theft of land and oppression of Indigenous Peoples) is still being used and causing harm today.
Discovery: A Comic Lament provides a starting point for further conversation: What does it mean to “own” something? What is the relationship between “owning” and “taking” — and what is the relationship between “ownership” and (taking) responsibility?
The Truth & Action Working Group is made up of local citizens primarily from six churches centred in the Morden-Winkler area. The group aims to promote positive public awareness of Indigenous realities and to build relationships with Indigenous neighbours.
Will Braun is a member of the working group and he said he’s looking forward to the event.
“I am curious to see how this play will bring comedy to a normally heavy, guilt-inducing topic,” he said. “Laughs or no laughs, land and ownership are sensitive matters.”
Braun added that this is an interesting way to look at this topic.
“It seems we’re all here to stay, so perhaps it wouldn’t hurt thinking about how we ended up here, and why not do so in a way other than the chokingly earnest approach that people would normally expect,” he said.
All are welcome to attend the event at 7 p.m. on Friday, July 26 at the Emmanuel Mennonite Church in Winkler. A free will offering will be taken.
The play is also being performed the evening prior at Canadian Mennonite University in Winnipeg.

“Discovery: A Comic Lament” is coming to Emmanuel Mennonite Church in Winkler, Friday, July 26 at 7 p.m. (SUPPLIED)