"When There's Nothing Left To Burn" portrays lives of those caught in violent political conflict

By Lara Fominoff @fomsy1 on Twitter
November 1, 2017 - 11:13am

LETHBRIDGE -  If there was one word to describe the world premiere of the University of Lethbridge's newly commissioned play, it would be 'unsettling.'
 
The play, called 'When There's Nothing Left to Burn,' was written over the course of two years, with input from Faculty of Arts Students, by Ottawa playwright and artistic director Sean Devine.
 
Devine's piece was chosen from more than 75 entries across the country for the U of L's 50th Anniversary.
 
He says he was inspired by the Ukrainian revolution that began in 2014, and modeled the play on the idea that a similar crisis could occur here.
 
"I wanted to create something that encapsulated all the divergent voices and faces of a city in the midst of a siege."
 
The piece, according to actor Zoe Bracken, takes place in a typical North American city, and portrays a variety of people in the throes of a violent political conflict.
 
"It's kind of the story of how people react. So do people turn to the government, do they fight against the government, do people try to ignore what's happening around them?"
 
And if you're expecting political correctness, think again.
 
"Everybody has their own opinions about what should be, and what shouldn't be displayed in media and what shouldn't be said in everyday conversation," explains Bracken. "I think people protect themselves all the time and this play kind of forces you to think about those things."
 
She says when she first began working on the play, it didn't really resonate with her. But with the political climate changing so dramatically over the last year, it hits a lot closer to home.
 
"It's extremely relevant now...it's extremely relevant and touches on a lot of things happening in the United States. It's an extremely important play to come and see."
 
Bracken says she hopes the audience goes away asking even more questions.
 
"I hope that they start to ask questions and think, if I was in this situation, who would I be?"
 
When There's Nothing Left To Burn runs from Nov.7-11 at 7:30 p.m. in the University Theatre.
 
Tickets can be purchased at ulethbridge.ca/tickets or by calling 403-329-2616.
 

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