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The rez sisters : a play in two acts de…
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The rez sisters : a play in two acts (original: 2010; edição: 1988)

de Tomson Highway

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26610101,321 (3.59)29
Portrays the attempts of seven Indian women from a northern Ontario reserve to beat the odds and win the world's largest bingo in Ontario.
Membro:TAE-library
Título:The rez sisters : a play in two acts
Autores:Tomson Highway
Informação:Saskatoon : Fifth House, 1988.
Coleções:Sua biblioteca
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The Rez Sisters: A Play in Two Acts de Tomson Highway (2010)

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Highway is the Canadian Shakespeare we need. His characters are vibrant, his narrative is multi-layered and he makes the experience of Indigenous people come to life in a way that challenges the stereotypical assumptions of non-Indigenous audience members. There are reflections of Campbell's Hero with a Thousand Faces and I'll be searching for a live production of this play to see how the text translates into live performance. ( )
  macleod73 | Sep 14, 2022 |
In this play, seven women living on the fictional reserve of Wasaychigan Hill (on Manitoulin Island) pin their hopes on winning THE BIGGEST BINGO IN THE WORLD. With a jackpot of $500,000 (this was first staged in 1986, so that was big money then), the sisters and half-sisters could change a great deal about their lives: more reliable income to support their families, money they could donate to make infrastructure changes on the reserve, or something as prosaic as a nice new toilet. We learn through flashbacks about the pasts of each woman, and the trickster figure Nanabush appears to various characters to move the story along. The dialogue contains some Cree and Ojibway lines, which are translated in footnotes.

I’d recommend this play if you’re looking to expand your reading of Indigenous literature—this play doesn’t get staged very often so the book might be your best shot at “seeing” it. ( )
  rabbitprincess | Sep 30, 2021 |
Rez Sisters Revival
Review of the Fifth House Publishers paperback edition (1992) of the 1988 original

Photograph of the Tom Patterson Theatre canopy stage prior to the opening of "The Rez Sisters" production at the Stratford Festival 2021, Stratford, Ontario, Canada. Photograph courtesy of Jaan Pill on Twitter.

I went with a dear friend to celebrate their birthday with a road trip to Stratford, Ontario to attend a live performance of Tomson Highway's The Rez Sisters on its closing day in August 2021. It was our first live theatre in 18 months (actually the first live anything, since I wouldn't count movies as 'live'). The stage was outdoors under a canopy as pictured above and the audience was somewhat socially distanced with selected groupings of chairs not touching each other. We were required to wear masks however, which wasn't that onerous.

Tomson Highway is a beloved Canadian playwright, author and musician of Cree origin and pre-pandemic we had attended a few of his music-cabaret shows at Théâtre français de Toronto and Koerner Hall at the Conservatory of Music. The Rez Sisters (1st performed 1986, published 1988) was his breakthrough work. It portrays a group of 7 women, related by blood or marriage or adoption, at the fictitious Wasaychigan Hill First Nation on Manitoulin Island, several hours drive north of Toronto. The women become fixated on attending the Biggest Bingo in the World in Toronto where there is a $500,000 top prize. The play has them voice their dreams and hopes, their plans for how to spend their winnings, raising money for the trip, the journey and the return back home to Wasy.

The Stratford cast and crew did a fabulous job of presenting the work using the limited means of an outdoor stage without an excessive use of props and equipment. Reading the play afterwards in this paperback edition really brought home the performance aspect of a playscript where gifted actors can embody and bring to life the words on the page.

As a bonus, when we were exiting the canopy theatre, we chanced to spot the author Tomson Highway himself chatting with folks at the exit. My friend waved enthusiastically at him and, everyone being masked, he couldn't be sure whether he knew us or not so he greeted her with "I don't recognize you with your mask on!" and she answered with "You don't know me! But I know you!" and we then had a friendly quick chat about how we have enjoyed his work in the past. He was as funny and charming in person as he always has been at his performances. As a further bonus, we discovered that his autobiography Permanent Astonishment: A Memoir will be published in late September 2021.

Trivia and Links
Canada's Stratford Festival filmed all of its 2021 productions for later pay-per-view streaming ($20 Cdn. per stream). The film of The Rez Sisters will premiere on September 30, 2021 and will be streamed periodically until November 21, 2021. See further information at https://www.stratfordfestival.ca/landingpages/Virtual-Streamed-Productions

The Stratford Festival 2021 Production page for its performances (July 23 - August 21, 2021) of The Rez Sisters is available at https://www.stratfordfestival.ca/WhatsOn/PlaysAndEvents/Production/Rez-Sisters

The program book for the production is available as a pdf file at https://cdscloud.stratfordfestival.ca/uploadedFiles/2021_HP_REZ.pdf

Jessica Carmichael, director of the 2021 production presents a resource page of relevant reading and listening as a pdf file at https://cdscloud.stratfordfestival.ca/uploadedFiles/Whats_On/Plays_and_Events/Pl...

The music playlist is also available at Spotify https://open.spotify.com/playlist/4OI7bxy0BRd56yvgWbS1t1?si=f0ad37b0ddfd415d&amp... ( )
  alanteder | Sep 2, 2021 |
"The Rez Sisters" is a fine juggling act by Tomson Highway, including seven women whose characters all emerge and develop as unique forces in the drama. The times the dialogue feels meandering is offset by the humor and the huge level of personality at play. And though there is much play there are some stark revelations that reveal the struggle of the characters. While this tension could have been teased out a bit more it is primarily left simmering under the surface of the conflict and the journey. The inclusion of Nanabush is excellent and helps to bolster the surreal/mythic elements of the play.
  b.masonjudy | Apr 3, 2020 |
I like the ideas that informed the mythical aspects of this play much more than the play itself. I liked the way Nanabush appeared throughout, the incorporation of mythic figures like that in a modern context always appeals to me. The prophesy that seven generations after the arrival of the Europeans the Native culture would be rejuvenated is also fascinating because it is something I constantly see happening around me, and according to some we are the seventh generation, and this was worked into the play in interesting ways. I think my perception of it might be different if it were on stage, as plays are meant to be taken in, but I think what lacked was my feeling of any personal connection to the characters on the page. ( )
  likecymbeline | Apr 1, 2017 |
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Portrays the attempts of seven Indian women from a northern Ontario reserve to beat the odds and win the world's largest bingo in Ontario.

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