Canadian Native Theatre: Humour, Magic and Reality
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Despite Canadian aboriginals’ long-documented inclination towards performance, Native dramaturgy is a recent phenomenon. Born out of the feeling of having been wronged but, fortunately, not of the desire to take revenge, Native playwrights base their pieces on the collision between the Euroamerican intellectual tradition and the mythic perspective of a quite sophisticated oral literature, which claims knowledge is born from the revelation found in the marvellous. They imagine spaces in which common and uncommon things exist side by side, design plays for the entertainment and education of Natives and non-Natives alike, and aim at encouraging a transnational solidarity. In the present paper I analyse Native drama in terms of themes and techniques, I argue it is informed by the vision of Bertolt Brecht and the surrealism of Sam Shepard, and suggest that comedy is the most suitable genre for its authors’ purposes.