by Paula Citron
There is something absolutely surreal about the silhouette of a 19th century red-coat British soldier patrolling an earthworks wall in a moon-drenched night against the backdrop of a large modern city. By the time Tara Beagan’s play The Fort at York is over, audiences have visited the blockhouse, the powder magazine, the officer’s kitchen and a field campfire that recreates the night before the Battle of York.
For the non-history buffs, the Americans arrived in 14 ships in April, 1813. The out-numbered garrison at Fort York and the town militia didn’t stand a chance, although they did put up a fight. This absorbing site specific play, however, leaves the coming battle to our imagination.
Beagan and Chris Reynolds have directed an emotional rather than a historical plot, aided by some fine acting from the multiracial cast who also helped in the creation of the play.
The Fort at York continues until Oct. 13.
From the Fort York National Historic Site, I’m Paula Citron, arts reviewer for CLASSICAL 96.3 FM.