Rose

By Tomson Highway

Rose
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Rose is the eagerly awaited third installment in Tomson Highway’s ?rez” cycle?a large-cast musical set on the Wasaychigan Hill Reserve in 1992, reintroducing many of the characters from the first two plays, The Rez Sisters and Dry Lips Oughta Move to Kapuskasing.

The play ... Read more


Overview

Rose is the eagerly awaited third installment in Tomson Highway’s ?rez” cycle?a large-cast musical set on the Wasaychigan Hill Reserve in 1992, reintroducing many of the characters from the first two plays, The Rez Sisters and Dry Lips Oughta Move to Kapuskasing.

The play features, as the title suggests, Roses. One Rose has recently become chief of the reserve, a woman who must fight constantly to keep her position and maintain the integrity of her native culture. Another Rose died seven years earlier in the saddle of her Harley while on her glorious, but grievous journey to women’s liberation. The third Rose never even had a chance to be born.

Emily Dictionary and some of her female biker pals take centre stage when Big Joey enlists the Sudbury Mafia to help with his plans to open a multi-million dollar dream casino in the women’s cherished Community Hall on the Rez. Bob Rae, Premier of Ontario at the time, makes an appearance in a land claims negotiation to sign the first Indian treaty in a hundred years with Chief Big Rose.

Violence against women is once again a powerful issue in the play as the battle for the future of the community builds to its shattering climax.

Cast of 10 women and 7 men.

Tomson Highway

Tomson Highway was born near Maria Lake, Manitoba in 1951. His father, Joe, was a hunter, fisherman and sled-dog racer, and his family lived a nomadic lifestyle. With no access to books, television or radio, Highway’s parents would tell their children stories; thus began Highway’s life-long interest in the oral tradition of storytelling. When he was six, Highway was taken from his family and placed in residential school in The Pas; he subsequently went to high school in Winnipeg and then travelled to London to study at the University of Western Ontario, earning a music degree in 1975 and a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1976. Instead of becoming a professional concert musician as he had at one point contemplated, however, Highway decided instead to dedicate his life to the service of his people. Fluent in Cree, English and French, he was for six years the artistic director of Native Earth Performing Arts, the first and most enduring Native professional company in Canada which he also helped found. From 1975 to 1978 Highway worked as a cultural worker for the Native Peoples’ Resource Centre. He has worked for the Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Culture and also for the Ontario Federation of Indian Friendship Centres as a program analyst. From 1983 to 1985 he worked as a freelance theatre artist before becoming the artistic director of the De-ba-jeh-mu-jig Theatre Company in 1986. He has been writer-in-residence at the University of Toronto, University of British Columbia, and Concordia University. Tomson Highway is widely recognized for his tremendous contribution to the development of Aboriginal theatre in both Canada and around the world. In 1994, he was inducted into the Order of Canada, the first Aboriginal writer to be so honoured.

Reviews

“Tomson Highway has been a groundbreaking foundational dramatist—the inaugural voice of a generation of First Nations playwrights in Canada. ”
Canadian Literature

?Tomson Highway has been a groundbreaking foundational dramatist?the inaugural voice of a generation of First Nations playwrights in Canada. ?
? Canadian Literature

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