Agency

Written by:

barb janes

Artist/Creator(s) Identify As:

2SLGBTQIA+

Cast Size:
9

Roles For:

  • Indigenous Peoples: 2
  • Men: 1
  • People of Colour: 2
  • Women: 8

Genre:

Comedy

Themes:

Adoption
Colonialism
Family
Racism

Length:

90 min.

Year Written:

2023

Synopsis:

When 12 year old Jazz discovers a shocking truth about her adoption, she flees a counselling session and gets lost in the Agency, which is both a century old and eerily timeless. She meets Louisa, a 1910s British Home Child, and Claire, a 60’s scoop adoptee – together, the three lost girls seek a way out of the maze of child welfare. Beset by dead ends, bewildering paths and the speed bumps of a new friendship, each girl is pursued by past traumas and unanswered questions about their lives, while also being pursued by the do-gooder social worker, Dr Thomas, and their many Mothers (birth and adoptive). The Mothers want their daughters back. Dr Thomas needs to save children, his Agency and his reputation. Can the girls solve the maze and make their escape? Or is their personal escape enough when other kids are still trapped?

Characters:

3 “orphans” from 3 eras:
Jazz (1990s), adopted from Korea, strong willed, testing boundaries, searching for her truth.
Louisa (1910s), British Home Child, self-contained, pragmatic, terrified of birth-mom, adores Dr Thomas.
Claire (1970s), 60’s scoop adoptee, sunny, imaginative optimistic, loves a\adoptive mom while longing for birth mom and her roots

Dr Thomas – charismatic, a trusted revered child-rescuer, runs the Agency, his helping is putting him in over his head
5 MOTHER characters, 30 something in age: Jazz’s adoptive Mom (loving, exasperated by Jazz’s rebelliousness, self-doubting, entitled), Louisa’s birth Mom (1910s, cockney, unreliable/recovering alcoholic), Claire’s adoptive Mom (1970s, middle-class, liberal, a rescuer), Claire’s birth Mom (Cree, lost her kids, angry, politicized, wants her kids back), Jazz’s birth Mom, Moon-Jah (2000s, voice only)

First Produced:

Several workshops, hope to produce at Winnipeg Fringe 2024

Resources:

The play can be accessed by contacting the author at bjanes@mymts.net

Warnings:

The play includes mentions and themes of child apprehension, alcohol/addiction, some swearing