Counter Offence by Rahul Varma, directed by Liz Valdez at the Segal Centre.
Counter Offence is collision of virtues: struggle to end racism comes in conflict with struggle to end violence against women. Counter Offence is a murder mystery, exploring, consequences of gender vs race and skin-colour.
Shazia, daughter of immigrant parents form India marries Shapoor, an Iranian on a student visa. She sponsors him for Canadian resident status. While the process drags on, their marriage takes an ugly turn. Shapoor hits Shazia and she calls in the police. Sgt Galliard attends Shazia’s call and arrests Shapoor.
Mr. Moolchand Misra, an anti-racist activist and a family friend comes to the defence of Shapoor and accuses Sgt. Galliard of racial misconduct. Moolchand questions cultural sensitivity of Montreal cops.
On the other hand, Ms Clarinda Keith, a black social worker, fully committed to zero-tolerance on violence against women, comes to Galliard’s defence. However, Mr Moolchand manages to put Sgt. Galliard through an inquiry. This angers the police brotherhood, who regards the inquiry as an offence against entire police force.
Meanwhile Shazia decides to end her marriage with Shapoor, which results in his deportation. But Shapoor returns back only to be found shot dead in his YMCA hotel room. He was a wife beater and a deportee but now he is dead. Everybody is a suspect. Did Shapoor’s race affect Sgt Galliard’s judgement? If so, how did Shazia’s race affect Galliard’s conduct? Counter Offence explores an explosive situation in which values collide – the struggle to end violence against women vs. the struggle to end racism.
Director: Liz Valdez
Stage Manager: Elyse Quesnel
Lighting Designer: Zoe Roux
Video Designer: Andrew Scriver
Presented at the Segal Centre for Performing Arts
5170 Chemin de la Côte-Sainte-Catherine, Montréal, QC H3W 1M7
Coming March 2020!