In a society that continues to become more multicultural, preconceived notions and stigmas surrounding varying religions and cultural groups are bound to exist.
A Full House, a play written by English professor Rajnish Dhawan not only addresses these issues, but it focused completely around them.
Directed by former colleague and recently retired English professor John Carroll and produced in part with the UFV English department, A Full House tells the story of four female roommates, all from various cultures and religions, and their difficulties — and efforts — in striving to understand each other’s ways of dealing with grief. With a Muslim from Afghanistan, a Hindu from India, a Sikh from India, and an American who all relocated to the Fraser Valley, clashes in beliefs are bound to happen.
A Full House explores themes of differences between cultures — something that is growing in relevance given the increased globalization in Canada and, more specifically, the Fraser Valley and by focusing on common misconceptions about terrorism, religion, and women’s roles in society, A Full House takes on heavy topics.
However, it can be hard to talk about multiple issues at once, especially when they include violence, rape, and sexism. While at times the inclusion of so many themes seemed almost overpowering, it was obvious that this was the point that Dhawan was trying to make — that these are topics that need to be addressed and should not be ignored.
The play heavily focuses on terrorism, especially through the perspective of different religious groups but the blame isn’t necessarily on any one group, rather, on the way the world is.
With all female characters, there were scenes that seemed to imply the blame is on how men do things. However, it never seemed to blame men simply for being men, but as a collective.
Dhawan’s strong writing and the play’s script allows for a lot of subtleties, some of which may or may not have been picked up as a result of the acting. However, many of these subtleties included numerous sexual innuendoes, sometimes bordering cliché and far from realistic.
With the play’s characters being four female roommates, a lot of the comic relief felt oversexualized, reinforcing the taboo rather than breaking it.
Overall, A Full House did what it intended to do: make viewers think about their views on terrorism by demonstrating that terrorism isn’t something that’s limited to anyone of a certain race or religion.