The UTM Forensics Society (IVNVI) hosted The Navigator, a charity theatrical production, in the MiST Theatre last Wednesday. The Navigator is a whodunit murder mystery produced in collaboration with the English and Drama Student Society to raise money for Child Find Canada.
The stage was graced with blank shapes, bright spotlights, and barren seats as the show began, centred around a table with five chairs. Each suspect in the murder of Dennis Reynolds was detained in a room as the audience watched everything unfold. An aspiring body builder, one of Dennis’ relatives, a successful woman, and a car factory worker were all defendants whose actions were questioned by the omnipresent invisible voice of a detective. As the characters were forced to discover the real murderer among them, the plot expanded and relationships were revealed, and the script was brilliantly executed.
The Navigator was written by Mohammed-Maxwel Hasan. When asked about his inspiration for writing the play, Hasan said that “storytelling [is] by far the most effective way to get your point across. If more people told exciting stories, the easier it would be to learn life’s greatest lessons.” The intricate points of the play were well scripted and excellently performed by the cast.
While covering issues of identity and truth, The Navigator also articulated the importance of complex characters in productions. Tatiana Haas, who played Dementria, engaged the audience with her strange movements and eerie persona, even though she had few lines until her breaking point at the climax of the story. Connor Dutchak embodied the body builder character with his constant flexing (“Just because I have big, beautiful biceps doesn’t mean I use them for evil”), genuine care, and loud presence. With the characters turning against each other, Emily Thorne as Hazel kept the cast together with her wit and street smarts, maintaining her individuality throughout the play.
The performance from the entire cast and crew was exceptional, thanks in part to director Paul Falkowski. He encouraged the fabrication not only of multiple realms but also of various perspectives.
The cause to support was another source of satisfaction for the audience. Child Find Canada is a non-profit community service that has advocated for missing children since it was founded in 1984. Now affiliated with the Canadian Centre for Child Protection, it receives 40–50 reports of missing children per year. More information, educational materials, and direct support can be found at missingkids.ca.
For more information on IVNVI, visit utmforensics.com.