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Sunday March 28, 2010 in Books
Rita Joe is a young Native woman who leaves the reservation for the city, only to die on skid row as a victim of white society’s violence and paternalistic attitudes towards First Nations peoples. As perhaps the best-known contemporary Canadian play and a poetic drama of enormous theatrical power, The Ecstasy of Rita Joe had a major influence in awakening consciousness to the “Indian problem” both in whites and Natives themselves.
Cast of 5 women and 15 men. With a preface by Chief Dan George.
The Ecstasy of Rita Joe premiered November 23, 1967, at the Vancouver Playhouse.
ISBN 13: 9780889220003 | ISBN 10: 088922000X
5.5 W x 8.5 H inches | 128 pages
$17.95 CAN / $17.95 US
Backlist | Drama | Bisac: DRA013000
QUOTES OF NOTE
“Scenes of shattering impact, genuine and true, and passages of a purity and intensity that catch you off guard and keep you there. As for author Ryga, his is obviously just the kind of disruptive influence we need.”
“Rita Joe was a landmark in more ways than one. It was—and remains—a play for all seasons and for all peoples.”
“George Ryga has taken the human experience, which in this case is Canadian only by the accident of destiny, distilled it through his fine sense of compassion and given it to us … as an act of communion in which our own participation is inescapable.”
“I can only say that I sat there for two hours and was profoundly moved by something that tugged far more penetratingly at my heart strings, and far more urgently than any intellectual exercise I may have been willing to submit to …”
About the ContributorsGeorge Ryga
In 1967, George Ryga soared to national fame with The Ecstasy of Rita Joe, which has since evolved into a modern classic. A self-proclaimed artist in resistance, Ryga takes the role of a fierce and fearless social commentator in most of his plays, and his work is renowned for its vivid and thrilling theatricality. George Ryga died of stomach cancer in Summerland, BC, in 1987 and will always be remembered and cherished as one of Canada’s most prolific and powerful writers. His memory was publicly honoured at the BC Book Prizes ceremony in 1993.
We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Canada Council for the Arts; the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund (CBF); and the Province of British Columbia through the British Columbia Arts Council for our publishing activities.