Minority Report spotlights marginalized students

Student production explores difference, oppression, and accountability

The cast of Minority Report. 

Minority Report had audience members buckling with laughter at one moment and snapping their fingers in solidarity the next at the Rotunda Theatre on Wednesday night.

Produced by The Imaginary Theatre Company and directed by Kemi King, Arts ’21, the play follows Mari, a freshman at Queen’s, as she navigates Frosh Week, social circles, and her newfound independence on campus. 

In the midst of joining student initiatives and campus clubs, she inadvertently becomes a first-year editor of Minority Report, a student-run magazine that highlights the experiences of minorities on campus. The script was written by Queen’s student Sophia Macapagal, Arts ’20.  

At times hilarious and sobering, Mari’s experiences highlight the quiet severity of microaggressions and how one is forced to renegotiate identity in the face of social differences. 

On move-in day, Mari’s roommate, Cattie, makes off-hand comments about her Filipino nanny, and asks Mari if she knows karate. The play is infused with these stereotypical assumptions and experiences—at one point, Mari is mistaken for another student who’s also a person of colour. 

Initially, Mari tries to brush off these comments and convince herself that she “can control the narrative [...] so people don’t outright target [her].” She soon discovers her responsibility to use her voice to drive change and uplift those who, like herself, may be tentative to speak up.

Along with trying to find her own voice, Mari struggles to find her overall identity as a woman on her own for the first time. 

The play explores intergenerational relationships and being thrust into independence as a person of colour. As Mari makes friends and attempts to make minute rice instead of using the rice cooker her mother packed her—to no avail—she begins to find an appreciation for her identity and reconcile her mother’s traditions with her newfound autonomy. 

Not only does Minority Report hold audiences and their peers accountable for the treatment of minorities at Queen’s, it also highlights the role campus has played—and continues to play—in the marginalization of minorities at Queen’s.

At an editorial meeting, Minority Report’s Editor in Chief, June, announces that the magazine is likely to be downsized due to costs associated with the redevelopment of the JDUC. 

The prospective JDUC renovations are already a topic of serious concern amongst underrepresented groups on campus, whose spaces and initiatives are at risk of being undermined by the redevelopment. 

The blow to Minority Report’s funding emulates these already tangible issues, and holds the university accountable for the institutional oppression of minorities and advocacy groups on a campus that don’t do enough for under-represented groups. 

The play expands to Mari’s acquaintances, revealing they were in attendance at the infamous 2016 “racist party.” In a passionate monologue, Mari condemns their lack of accountability and comes to terms with her responsibility as a person of colour to make her experiences visible and to speak for those who may be afraid to.

Minority Report is an important call to action on a campus on which issues of race, appropriation, and oppression are so often overlooked, disregarded, or simply unseen by the majority of students who don’t experience them. 

It holds us all responsible for the experiences of minorities, regardless of whether we associate with certain groups or not.

As Mari says—or rightfully shouts—“maybe it wasn’t your idea, but you’re still part of the f—ing problem.” 

All final editorial decisions are made by the Editor(s)-in-Chief and/or the Managing Editor. Authors should not be contacted, targeted, or harassed under any circumstances. If you have any grievances with this article, please direct your comments to journal_editors@ams.queensu.ca.

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