The Ecstasy of Rita Joe


The play's structure will be seen by some as clumsy at times while others may appreciate the postmodern disordering of events. The story is told in songs, montages and tableaus. While the causes of the plight of Aboriginal people are not shown in sharp relief, it is clear that the violence of white culture is at the root of the problem. The Canadian Theatre Encyclopedia which calls the play "seminal in the history of Canadian theatre," considered it to be more historically significant than meritorious in its own right:

[It is] not great for what it is as much as it is great for what it promises and what it offers the imaginative creative team... flashes of dramatic brilliance and also the historical aspect of the work's timing; this was one of the first works about Native Canadians mounted on a stage and taken seriously.

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