The Rez Sisters


Show Info

Brilliant. Globe and Mail

A hoot. It’s a lump in the throat and a cheeky boot in the butt. Saskatchewan Indian

One of the most touching, exuberant, cleverly crafted and utterly entrancing plays. Toronto Star

Five stars. Rez Sisters funny, poignant and heartbreaking. Times Colonist

Dora Award for Outstanding New Play

Floyd S. Chalmers Canadian Play Award

A rich, magical journey of redemption by celebrated First Nations writer, Tomson Highway. Seven women – all related – leave their reservation on a road trip to Toronto and the “Biggest Bingo in the World”, each hoping to win the jackpot and change their lives forever.

Audience advice: This performance contains strong language, mature content, and the use of stage haze.

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Cast & Artists

    • Reneltta Arluk
    • Emily Dictionary
    • Tiffany Ayalik
    • Zhaboonigan Peterson
    • Tantoo Cardinal
    • Pelajia Patchnose
    • Tasha Faye Evans
    • Marie Adele Starblanket
    • Waawaate Fobister
    • Nanabush
    • Cheri Maracle
    • Veronique St. Pierre
    • Tracey Nepinak
    • Philomena Moosetail
    • Lisa C. Ravensbergen
    • Annie Cook
    • Tomson Highway
    • Playwright
    • Peter Hinton
    • Director
    • Catherine Hahn
    • Set & Costume Designer
    • Bonnie Beecher
    • Lighting Designer
    • Troy Slocum
    • Sound Designer/Composer
    • Ryan Cunningham
    • Assistant Director
    • Denise Clarke
    • Choreographer
    • Jennifer Swan
    • Stage Manager
    • Jessica McLeod
    • Assistant Stage Manager

The Heart of the Matter

  • B4Play - Peter Hinton
  • B4Play - Tantoo Cardinal
  • B4Play - Dr Judith Sayers
  • B4Play - Ryan Cunningham
  • The Rez Sisters by Tomson Highway
  • Storytelling - Tantoo Cardinal
  • Overcoming Cultural Bias - Tantoo Cardinal
  • Opportunity and Perspective - Tantoo Cardinal
  • Native Theatre - Tantoo Cardinal
  • Native Storytelling - Tantoo Cardinal
  • Classical Plays vs New Works - Tantoo Cardinal
  • Connecting and Disconnecting - Tantoo Cardinal
  • Acting - Small Role - Large Impact - Tantoo Cardinal
  • Being an Activist - Tantoo Cardinal


Inspired by Michel Tremblay’s play Les Belles-soeurs, Tomson Highway’s The Rez Sisters introduces us to seven women, all related either by blood or marriage, living on the fictional Wasaychigan Hill Indian Reserve on Manitoulin Island, Ontario.

As we get to know each woman’s unique personality and perspective on life, we gain insight into their lives on the reservation, their relationships with one another, the personal demons they struggle with, and the humour they use to rise above it all. When they find out about “The Biggest Bingo In The World,” to be held in Toronto, they embark on an eventful and challenging roadtrip, each dreaming of winning the jackpot and what life-changing fortunes it will bring them.

Throughout the play, the women are followed and observed by the “trickster,” Nanabush, who we will recognize in several forms throughout the women’s journey. Our sisters return to the Reserve with a renewed understanding of themselves, each other, and where they live.