- Dessa Rose
"Dessa Rose is based on the book by Sherley Anne Williams with lyrics by Lynn Ahrens and music by Stephen Flaherty (Ragtime, Once On This Island, Seussical and Rocky The Musical) who have won Tony Awards, Drama Desk Awards and Outer Critics Circle Awards and been nominated for Grammys, Academy Awards and a Golden Globe.
This powerful and moving story, set in 1846 in the ante-bellum South, follows two young women on their journey to acceptance. With elements of blues, folk, hymns and gospel, Dessa Rose perfectly blends history and fiction. The storytelling for which Ahrens and Flaherty are most famous is masterfully exhibited throughout. Passionate and innocent Dessa Rose is a young slave faced with a barrage of hardships because of the colour of her skin. While Ruth, a young white mother, faces difficulties because of her gender.
Ruth and Dessa 'hand down the story' to their grandchildren, reliving the adventure they experienced together. Through their extraordinary tale we see their deep and lasting bond and how this makes them part of a long, strong line of women."