The Ecstasy of Rita Joe

Introduction

The Ecstasy of Rita Joe is a drama by George Ryga. The play, in two acts, premiered at the Vancouver Playhouse, November 23, 1967. It was directed by George Bloomfield. The play has an important place in the history of modern Canadian theatre, as it was one of the first to address issues relating to Aboriginal peoples. It recounts the story of a young Aboriginal woman in the city.

The play opened the studio theatre of the National Arts Centre in 1969. It was adapted as a ballet by the Royal Winnipeg Ballet in 1971. The play was revived by Alberta Theatre Projects in 1976. It was translated by Gratien Gélinas and presented at the Comédie-Canadienne. It was also produced in Washington, DC, in May, 1973, with Chief Dan George and Frances Hyland in lead roles.


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