This uniquely colorful and entirely authentic play has had highly successful productions at the Denver Center Theatre and the Mark Taper Forum. At every performance, without exception, it received a standing ovation. One critic described it as "A shattering evocation of the American Plains Indians. It tells in passionate, mystic poetry how their West was lost!" The New York Daily News critic wrote that it is "...a play with a very rich texture that becomes far more than just another cry for justice from the Indian point of view. No one who sees this play will ever forget it. The power of the play is not simply that it's superbly written drama but that it's all true. The play has color, flair, flamboyance. It has at other times an almost insufferable grief and fear. This is the death and destruction of the original Americans, and it hurts to watch. They are a people with a rich past and absolutely no future. This play is harnessed dynamite." Black Elk lived the experience of the Native American people from the moment before white people entered his world through the end of Indian independence at the massacre of Wounded Knee. His unique eloquence and that of his cousin Crazy Horse make this play a very special event. The play moves quickly and with mounting excitement through this history and through a vision of life as it once was for the Indian, and as it could be for all people.
- Type of Show Full-length Play
- Product Code B80000
- Cast Size 16
- Min. Royalty Rate $100/perf
- Cost $10.95
- Approx. Run Time 120 min
- Target Audience Middle School | High School | College and Adult
- Performing Group High School | College Theatre | Community Theatre | Professional Theatre
- Genre Drama | Tragedy
- ISBN(13) 9780871296153
- "It is one of the most moving and wonderful shows I've ever done. It is true magic!"
- Review by Charla Little, Red Oak High School, Red Oak, Texas
- "Black Elk Speaks is an amazing theatrical journey into our nation's past that must be heard. This is powerful theatre."
- Review by Carol Svoboda, Lincoln Southeast High School, Lincoln, Neb.
- "This was an excellent learning show for my students. We have never spent so much time researching a show before."
- Review by Molly Grasso, Papillion LaVista High School, Papillion, Neb.
- "Black Elk Speaks is a beautifully written play. My actors loved performing it. They not only had to stretch their acting talents, but they learned some American history as well. The Native American plight is often skipped over in history courses, so this play teaches its audience an important historical lesson. I have been directing plays since the '70s, and this one is at the top of my favorites."
- Review by Jane Colwell, Madisonville High School, Madisonville, Texas
Hints, Tips, and Tricks
- "Use all of the community resources available to you."
- Tip by Carol Svoboda, Lincoln Southeast High School, Lincoln, Neb.
- "Do your research. Find Lakotas in your area to come in and work with your students. Contact the universities for experts on North American culture. Research, research, research!"
- Tip by Molly Grasso, Papillion LaVista High School, Papillion, Neb.
Media Reviews"A moving piece of theatre." -Los Angeles Times
"A powerful and passionate drama, unusual in scope and depth." -Drama-Logue
"Black Elk Speaks is awe-inspiring." -Denver Post