The Ecstasy of Rita Joe Front Cover

Paperback / softback
ISBN: 9780889220003
Pages: 128
Pub. Date: January 1 1970
Dimensions: 8.5" x 5.5" x 0.3125"
Rights: Available: WORLD
Non-Fiction / SOC062000

  • DRAMA / Canadian
  • DRAMA / Indigenous Peoples in the Americas
  • SOCIAL SCIENCE / Indigenous Studies

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The Ecstasy of Rita Joe

By George Ryga

Rita Joe is a Native girl who leaves the reservation for the city, only to die on skid row as a victim of white men’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 five women and 15 men. With a preface by Chief Dan George.

The Ecstasy of Rita Joe premiered November 23, 1967 at the Vancouver Playhouse.

“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.”
—Washington Post

“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.”

Rita Joe was a landmark in more ways than one. It was—and remains—a play for all seasons and for all peoples.”
— Vancouver Province

“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 …” — Montreal Gazette