Shows D

an old black woman name Auntie Chole to go and fetch Ruth. Dessa Rose: supposed owner. Nehemiah argues that Dessa Rose has scars which will prove she is the fugitive described on the wanted posters, and lunges at her, trying to pull up her skirt and expose her scars. but Dessa Rose screams and escapes From him. Knowing Dessa Rose's guilt. Ruth convinces the Sheriff not to allow Nehemiah to look at her. But the Sheriff insists that the trustworthy Auntie Chole must examine Dessa Rose for scars to decide the matter one way or another. In private. the stern Auntie Chole is about to lift Dessa Rose's skirt to inspect her, when Dessa Rose as much as admits her own guilt, saying that her baby will miss her. She tells Auntie Chole that she is only sixteen. Without looking further. Auntie Chole exits the cell. She tells the Sheriff that she "aint seen nothin' on her," which is the "God's honour truth" since she hasn't looked. Nehemiah has a breakdown, and begins to try and shove torn pages from his journal into the Sheriff 's hand, writings which supposedly chronicle Dessa Rose's confessions from their interviews. But when the Sheriff looks at the pages, .they are "nothing but scribbles." Dessa Rose and Ruth leave, safe at last. In one final confrontation between the women. Ruth corrects Dessa Rose for calling her "Mistress." and Dessa Rose retorts that her real name is Dessa Rose, not "Odessa." it is a moment when two strong-headed women recognise each other as equals and friends. At last, the company enters when we learn what became of everyone in the story, and how Dessa Rose finally made it West to freedom, and named her baby... Ruth. The-company moves slowly offstage, a "long strong line," leading into history. ( Lynn Ahrens) CAST • Dessa Rose (at ages 16 and 80) • Ruth (at ages 20 and 84) • Rose • House Slave • Ada • Tina • Auntie Chole • Ruth's Mother • Mrs Steele • Susannah • Dorcas • Eric • Philip • Sheriff Hughes • Trader Wilson • Bertie Sutton • Auctioneers #1 and # • Adam Nehemiah • Robert Steele • Mr Oscar • Sheriff Pine • Nathan • Harker • Joseph • Joy • Annabel Parishioners, Field Hands MUSICAL NUMBERS ACT ONE 1. WE ARE DESCENDED - Company 2. COMIN' DOWN THE QUARTERS - Kaine, Field Hands and Dessa Rose 3. OL' BANJAR - Kaine and Dessa Rose 4. Scene: "Oh, slavery didn't do away..." - Old Ruth. Rose, Dessa Rose and Kaine 5. SOMETHING OF MY OWN - Dessa Rose, Rose and Old Ruth 6. Scene: "Watch your step, Mr. Nehemiah..." - Sheriff Hughes and Nehemiah 7. INK - Nehemiah and Dessa Rose 8. Scene: "HEY HEY...HEY HEY..." Steele, Rose. Kaine, Dessa Rose and Ensemble 9. Scene: "You had no call to break that" Kane, Dessa Rose and Steele 10. Scene: "Why you kill him?..." Steele, Dessa Rose and Rose 11. THE GOLD BAND - Field Hands, Old Ruth, Rose, Harker, Mrs. Steele, Wilson, Nehemiah, Nathan, Harker, Field Hands and Coffle 12. Scene: "See them stars..." - Nathan and Dessa Rose 13. LITTLE STAR - Nathan, Harker and Dessa Rose 14. Scene: "Hey, pretty girl..." - Wilson, Dessa Rose and Ensemble 15. THE GOLD BAND (Conclusion) - Dessa Rose and Ensemble