Synopses & Reviews
Marie Clementss latest play sears a dramatic swath through the reactionary identity politics of race, gender and class, using the penetrating yellow-white light, the false sun of uranium and radium, derived from a coal black rock known as pitchblende, as a metaphor for the invisible, malignant evils everywhere poisoning our relationship to the earth and to each other.
Burning Vision unmasks both the great lies of the imperialist power-elite (telling the miners they are digging for a substance to cure cancer” while secretly using it to build the atomic bombs that devastated Hiroshima and Nagasaki); and the seemingly small rationalizations and accommodations people of all cultures construct to make their personal circumstances yield the greatest benefit to themselves for the least amount of effort or change on their part. It is also a scathing attack on the public apology” as yet another mask, as a manipulative device, which always seeks to conceal the maintenance and furtherance of the self-interest of its wearer.
Clementss powerful visual sets and soundscapes contain curtains of flames which at times assume the bodies of a chorus passing its remote judgment, devoid of both pity and fear, on the action: a merciless indictment of the cross-cultural, buried worm of avarice and self-interest hidden within the terrorism of the push to go with the times,” to accept the iconography of a reality defined, contextualized and illuminated by others.
Marie Clements writes, or, perhaps more accurately, composes, with an urbane, incisive and sophisticated intellect deeply rooted in the particulars of her place, time and history.
Cast of five women and 12 men.
Miners, people of Hiroshima, and others labour under the false sun of uranium. Cast of 5 women and 12 men.
About the Author
Marie Clements is an award-winning Métis performer, playwright and director whose work has been presented on stages across Canada, the United States and Europe. A fellowship award from the BC Film Commission enabled her to develop the film adaptation of her stage play, The Unnatural and Accidental Women. She is also a regular contributor on CBC Radio. The world premiere of Copper Thunderbird is the first time Canadas National Arts Centre has produced the work of a First Nations playwright on its main stage.