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The Rez Sisters: A Play in Two Acts –…
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The Rez Sisters: A Play in Two Acts (alkuperäinen julkaisuvuosi 2010; vuoden 1992 painos)

– tekijä: Tomson Highway (Tekijä)

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
2118100,343 (3.63)26
This award-winning play by Native playwright Tomson Highway is a powerful and moving portrayal of seven women from a reserve attempting to beat the odds by winning at bingo. And not just any bingo. It is THE BIGGEST BINGO IN THE WORLD and a chance to win a way out of a tortured life. The Rez Sisters is hilarious, shocking, mystical and powerful, and clearly establishes the creative voice of Native theatre and writing in Canada today.… (lisätietoja)
Jäsen:Stubb
Teoksen nimi:The Rez Sisters: A Play in Two Acts
Kirjailijat:Tomson Highway (Tekijä)
Info:Fifth House Publishers (1992), Edition: 1, 118 pages
Kokoelmat:Oma kirjasto
Arvio (tähdet):*
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Rez Sisters: A Play in Two Acts (tekijä: Tomson Highway) (2010)

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Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 8) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
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 |
This was my first incursion into Highway's fiction and I very much enjoyed the variety of characters, each with her character, problems, particularities and obsessions. Although I expected to have a clearer idea of the some of the challenges that Native women have to go through, I did glimpse into the obstacles, and joys, of life on the reserve. I enjoyed the fact that Highway speaks of life outside of the reserve through Ellen, of the cultural gaps when talking about Raymond and Emily's former life in Fresco and of life on the reserve: Zhaboonigan and her horrible ordeal, the tensions with the Chief and the men in general but also the love of the land and of the community. Nanbush was a curious character for me: seeing him on stage might have given me a better understanding of his role and symbolic nature - I'm sure he has a very strong presence which flits and swoops as emotions and drama unfold.
Finally, I loved the mix of Cree and Ojibwa which gave the text such poetry - I would love to hear it on stage.
A beautiful mix of cultures and perspectives. ( )
  Cecilturtle | Jun 28, 2014 |
I found this exhausting with all the picaresque. I liked all the Cree, and the effacing the difference between traditional and avant-garde. Lots of these lines have astonishing possibilities for delivery and I think this would come out great on stage (we arrived late and Douglas College sold our tickets! Suck it, Douglas College!). The most magnificent scene was where the sisters are arguing about going to the Biggest Bingo in the World in Toronto and circling each other spitting insults in this really intricate, contrapuntal, but also hilarious way. The line between bawdy fun and tired hurr-hurrery may have been crossed a few times too many though, and the flip side of "potential for delivery" is "flat on the page." But man there's a lot of pain here, leavened with laughter, waiting for the right First Nations actors to bring it to life. I would have liked to see if Douglas College was up to the challenge. ( )
  MeditationesMartini | Nov 28, 2012 |
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Englanninkielinen Wikipedia (1)

This award-winning play by Native playwright Tomson Highway is a powerful and moving portrayal of seven women from a reserve attempting to beat the odds by winning at bingo. And not just any bingo. It is THE BIGGEST BINGO IN THE WORLD and a chance to win a way out of a tortured life. The Rez Sisters is hilarious, shocking, mystical and powerful, and clearly establishes the creative voice of Native theatre and writing in Canada today.

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