Harjo opens with a story of how we got lost; how we became separated from the beautiful world we were born into, a long time ago. She transitions smoothly into the personal story of Redbird Monawhee, a contemporary character facing challenges all too familiar to us today.
Her poetry is present, in her words and in the music. Accompanied by Larry Mitchell, the play is at once a musical, personal and healing journey through an Indian woman’s life. It is a window into the world of stories and realities, power songs and powerful actions. There is both humor and sadness, struggle and self-discovery, and interwoven through it all, the importance of the old stories and the lessons they hold.
For native people, it will remind you of your connections; for those who study Native American philosophy, professionally or as a personal journey, there is much to learn in Harjo’s work. The synthesis of story, song and ceremony is brought to life with raw beauty and compelling honesty. There is nothing superficial and nothing sacrificed to the theatrical aspect. Harjo shares with us what healing is, and with whom it begins.
Wings of Night Sky, Wings of Morning Light
Comment: I could attend this play, but I don't plan to. Healing, ceremony, poetry, and power songs are not the things I look for when I experience Native culture.
For more on Wings, see Harjo's Wild Theatrical Ride and Preview of Harjo's Wings. For more on the subject in general, see Native Plays and Other Stage Shows.
Below: Joy Harjo in Wings of Night Sky, Wings of Morning Light. Photo by Silvia Mautner.