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God’s Country Reviewed- Ebb Rivers

God’s Country Reviewed- Ebb Rivers

God’s Country Reviewed- Ebb Rivers
May 27
17:32 2018

By Ebb Rivers

Thought provoking and conversationally stimulating are the most accurate words to describe “God’s Country,” a docu-drama written by Steven Dietz. It tells of events happening over thirty years ago surrounding the white supremacist group, The Order. It was cleverly written, maybe even a little too cleverly for modern audiences. It has all the right stuff to make a great production: A cast and crew showing talent and professionalism in their performances. bettering many larger productions, and stride for stride living up to my expectations for a touring production. The venue is a cozy and quaint theater, mirroring the playhouses of those from the mid 18th through later 19th centuries. The Stage Left Theater is a small and very personable one, creating an opportunity to build intimacy between the actors and audience (the entire audience), something that is simply not possible in larger venues. Directorial savvy, Rebecca McNeill, did an outstanding job showing she has true talent by taking this controversial and emotionally volatile powder keg down a bumpy road and delivering it safely to its destination. The only thing missing is a clear and defined plot line, which may leave the theater goers scratching their heads to what Dietz’s point or message may be, at least that was the consensus of the individuals I spoke with from both cast and audience. I will admit that I too was thinking the very same thing.

“God’s Country” will have you contemplating where it’s leading the entire show, and leaves you wondering WTF… I believe this was Dietz’s intention. As I mentioned, it was cleverly written and it was done so to invoke thought and stimulate conversation. Of those I asked, some thought he was trying to convey how fear of others could turn into hate and paranoia. Some thought he was trying to relay the rights to freedom of assembly and freedom of speech to everyone, even the extremist groups. I personally believe Dietz is trying to show how hatred, racism, and intolerance of individuality is somewhat inherited. “As long as there is one remaining, The Order will continue,” was chanted with force several times throughout the show. This, along with a couple of other references such as a baby being placed in the center of the group while they recited the beliefs of The Order, and the training of the group leader’s son being groomed to someday take his father’s place with the organization, is what led me to believe Dietz’s objective was to show the incorporeal hereditaments of hate and intolerance.

One thing for sure about this production, it will evoke emotion and thought! But don’t take my word for it, go see for yourself and be sure to let us know what message you think Dietz is trying to deliver.

Ebb Rivers

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