November 10, 2010

Tomson Highway plays in Cree

Tomson Highway releases plays in CreeAward-winning Canadian playwright Tomson Highway is releasing two of his most famous works in his first language—Cree.

The Cree versions of the plays The Rez Sisters and Dry Lips Oughta Move to Kapuskasing were officially released at a launch party at the University of Ottawa Monday night. Highway, 58, said a publisher, Fitzhenry and Whiteside, approached him earlier this year and expressed its interest in releasing the plays—both of which have been performed in English since the 1980s—in Cree.

Highway, who was born near Maria Lake, Man., said when he writes, the characters speak in Cree in his head but the words often come out in English or French.

"So actually the Cree versions that are coming out tonight are actually the original versions. As it turns out, the original ones that came out 20 years ago were the translation," Highway said.
Below:  "Tomson Highway says he hopes new Cree translations of his work will be taught in Cree language classes across the country." (CBC)

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