This is an extremely difficult play to critique, both a metaphorical and psychological exercise questioning the nature of authority and the release of creative energy that requires a certain destruction of the self in the name of art.
Each character embodies the psyche of the main protagonist, a female who is working out her demons through revealing discussions with her therapist - who is at times another character as the need arises. Through her machinations, what appears at first simplistic - the acting out of fantastic conceits - becomes, in turns, an expose of the subconscious struggling against the constraints of society as we know it.
Tremblay addresses more than the issues of a psychologist with a disturbed adolescent patient, peeling away the layers of her resistance and denial. Stripped of metaphorical clothes and societal conventions, all barriers are removed, exposing the rage, doubt and vulnerabilities inherent in the human condition, in particular through the creative writing process.
The girl fancies herself a writer of the most beautiful novel ever written but is blocked by the obstacles that hinder the creative process. She slowly identifies and unveils the issues: a rivalry with her brother, the relationship with her parents, etc.
The result is a confrontation between self and the destruction of self, the natural boundaries that protect us from one another and out irrational selves. Finally, the only solution is a retreat to normalcy, the better to check the unloosed spirit.
This play speaks to our inherent psychological restraints as dictated by society and the sundering thereof, as well as the pitfalls of the creative writing process. Tackling the forbidden with alacrity, Tremblay chews through the ropes of civility, returning to a level of consciousness that protects from unsustainable self-immolation. The Ventriloquist holds back nothing in the pursuit of enlightenment.