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Alberta Scene


Price: Adults from $26
Previews: $35 (Apr. 29 & 30)

Students tickets are half price for this event

Groups of 20+ receive great discounts! For more information contact

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The Ecstasy of Rita Joe

National Arts Centre - Theatre

Wednesday, April 29, 2009 at 7:30PM Add to My Schedule

Thursday, April 30, 2009 at 7:30PM Add to My Schedule

Friday, May 1, 2009 at 7:30PM Add to My Schedule

Saturday, May 2, 2009 at 2:00PM Add to My Schedule

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By permission of the artist,

In 1967, Canadian playwright George Ryga paved the way for a fledgling Canadian drama with The Ecstasy of Rita Joe.  Ryga's seminal work opened the National Arts Centre Theatre in 1969 and focused a spotlight on First Nations people and First Nations issues.  The glare was direct, unsentimental and powerful, and Canadian theatre would never be the same again.

Rita Joe, a young First Nations woman, goes to the city to find work and make a life for herself off the reserve.  What she finds is racism, poverty, obstacles and a world that she is neither able nor equipped to navigate.  She cannot go home and she cannot stay; ultimately, she becomes the victim of a no-man's-land for the invisible.

In 1969, a white woman, the remarkable Frances Hyland, played the part of Rita Joe.  Today, First Nations artist Lisa C. Ravensbergen interprets the role.  That much has changed; but revisiting the play asks us to question what else has changed in the decades since it first shocked audiences with its political candor.

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