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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Dust Eaters showcases two cultures at odds

    The Borderlands Theater production of “”Dust Eaters”” is a captivating story that chronicles the tale of two families living in Western Utah near the Goshute reservation during a span of more than one hundred years in merely two hours. They may have different heritages, but they call the same land their home. As the generations come and go, cultural perspectives remain the same and the struggle of the American-Indian characters continues.

    “”This play examines the complexity of the two communities living side by side …the Mormon communities and the Goshute,”” director Barclay Goldsmith said. Both of their lives may center around the house, but their motivations and sentiments vary immensely and, therefore, the show can offer a variety of experiences for the audience.

    “”It can relate to different types of students,”” Goldsmith continued, “”Some will know some of the issues (like) environment and cultural diversity and some will have not looked at it very much.”” While weaving many sub-conflicts within the story, “”Dust Eaters”” tactfully addresses such issues in a thought provoking manner.

    “”Dust Eaters”” artistically brings to the surface cultural issues that have plagued this country since the Europeans first settled here. Why, this play asks, after 150 years are our cultures still so far apart? And, why do we not understand each other? “”Cultural assumptions don’t shift much,”” Julie Jensen, the playwright, said.

    This show will hold the attention of its audience through its didactic cast, imagery, and internal conflict. Jensen writes characters that come alive for the audience with their toughness, strong spirits and stubborn dispositions across the generations. Her attention to detail even vividly paints a picture depicting the attitudes in a historical context.

    “”I have always been imaginatively thinking of the lives of ancient people in that area,”” Jensen said.

    The cast of four plays all of the roles with power and clarity. If it weren’t for the clear character choices made by the actors, it would be difficult to follow the plot. Additionally, the simple set does not detract from the action on the stage, rather, it reinforces the idea of a shell of a house holding all of the experiences of the many lives that passed through its doors.

    “”Dust Eaters”” can be seen today through October 21 at the Beowulf Alley Theatre, 11 S. Sixth Ave. Showtime is at 7:30 p.m. and admission is $10.75-$19.75. Call 882-7406 for reservations and more information.

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