Off the Rails is a world premier production written by playwright Randy Reinholz and brilliantly directed by Bill Rauch.
The play takes much of it's story and even some dialogue from Shakespeare's Measure for Measure
, the play is an interesting concept and a creative way of using a Shakespeare play and his words to tell this story of how native Americans were so cruelly treated. Native children were taken force-ably from their parents and sent to terrible "boarding schools" who indoctrinated the children with a Christian white education, the goal was to annihilate their culture and native traditions and customs. Many of these children never saw their families again and some died of mistreatment, starvation and disease.
The play takes place in Genoa Nebraska at the Industrial School in the late 1880's, the story follows Madam Overload, (Lakota businesswoman and brothel owner) and the men and woman who work at her brothel, the Mayor General Gatt and superintendent Captain Angelo who keeps law and order at the school in a ruthless way. And a beautiful Pawnee teacher Isabel who comes to town to save her brother.
This is an intense play about how indigenous people suffered at the hands of the American Government. It is a haunting heartbreaking story of courage, survival and resistance. Thank goodness there are light and funny moments during the play also some wonderful songs and native dancing, all in all this is a sad but also uplifting tale that will bring a smile to your face and a tear to your eye!
For Tickets: osfashland.org