Dessa Rose


Dessa Rose


Book and Lyrics by  Lynn Ahrens
Music by  Stephen Flaherty
Based on the Novel by Sherley Anne Williams

Two Acts, Book Musical, Rated PG
Lincoln Center Theater

A powerful, moving story surrounding two incredible women, DESSA ROSE is a uniquely stirring musical drama that is the perfect blend of history and fiction.

The storytelling for which Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty are most well known is masterfully exhibited in DESSA ROSE. In a pre-Civil War America, passionate and innocent Dessa Rose is a young slave who is faced with a barrage of hardships because of her skin color. Ruth is a young, white mother who faces a barrage of hardships because of her gender. Through a series of turns ranging from comical to tragic to ultimately uplifting, these two women become unlikely and lifelong friends.

For groups that pride themselves on producing thought-provoking theatre, DESSA ROSE is a must. Affecting, harrowing, and touching, it explores an array of emotions unmatched by most other musicals. Audiences will leave unanimously in awe of the musical's powerful message which transcends race, gender, and age.



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The acclaimed Paper Mill Playhouse production of Children Of Eden (which was compared favorably in the press to The Lion King) used several children in the chorus, who played many of the animals by means of puppetry, costumes and masks, to great effect.

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