SHIT shows the harsh realities of life after foster care

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SHIT | Firehall Arts Centre | January 27 – February 10, 2018

Three women who have been used and abused by the foster care system discuss their pain, their lack of trust in humanity, and their lack of hope for the future. Billy (Kayla Deorksen) is always looking for a fight; Sam (Yoshié Bancroft) grasps on to the hope that one day she will have a chance to be a mother, and Bob (Sharon Crandall) wants to be a man.  As Billy tells Sam, it’s better not to want anything. Life is less disappointing that way.

The prologue comes on fast and furious with a “thick carpet of fucks,” all three women swearing more in a few minutes than some do in a year. They act like they don’t give a fuck, talk like they don’t care about anything, and suppress their emotions so they don’t have to feel anything. As they discuss being forsaken, the different caregivers they’ve had, and whether or not their love their biological mothers, it’s clear that they do feel and they do want, but they have become good at hiding it.

Playwright Patricia Cornelius writes about marginalized individuals and working class people, and creates characters you don’t often see on a stage. It’s a rare opportunity for these three actors to play women who are not trying to be sexy, not apologizing for anything, and not submitting to anyone’s authority. Cornelius has stated, “I never want to write a moment in a play where a woman succumbs to coquettishness or is sexualized in any way, or has to be grateful or apologetic, or is there to serve some male protagonist.”

Although Billy, Sam, and Bob discuss sex, who has nicer boobs, and when they lost their virginity, there are no moments in the play when they are meant to be objects of desire or to please a male character. We learn about their struggles, their pain, and, most importantly, how the foster care system has left these women with no direction and no love in their lives. As lifelong victims of this system, they perpetuate the cycle of violence and abuse, unsure of their place in the world and convinced that kind people don’t exist and that their lives are shit.   

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