Daniel David Moses: “Joys and Anguish”

Another household name in Weesageechak Begins to Dance 27 is playwright and poet Daniel David Moses A trailblazer among Canada’s First Nations writers, Moses hails from the Six Nations Grand River.

Author of Almighty Voice and His Wife, part of the canon of great Canadian drama and now included in The Norton Anthology of Drama, 2nd Edition, Volume 2: The Nineteenth Century to the Present, Daniel David Moses brings to Weesageechak Begins to Dance 27 his latest work Crazy Dave Goes to Town.

“This play is inspired by the memoir Crazy Dave by great Anishinnaabe storyteller Basil Johnston, which was inspired by his Uncle David, a guy with Downs Syndrome, and his Grandmother Rosa, and the life they and the rest of their family led at Cape Croker between the World Wars,” explains Moses. “A cunning way to tell a community’s history with both its joys and anguish.”

Moses’s plays include The Dreaming Beauty (a winner of the 1990 Theatre Canada National Playwrighting Competition), and Coyote City (a nominee for the 1991 Governor General’s Literary Award for Drama), his first stage play, which saw early development in a Native Earth workshop in 1987.

“A cunning way to tell a community’s history with both its joys and anguish.”

“Even after all these twenty seven plus years, [the Weesageechak festival] is still the place you can be sure your story about First Nations folks will get a hearing and maybe a showing,” says Moses. “The audience doesn’t have to be only entertained, although we do that too…”

Moses continues to write poetry, and his most recent collections are River Range (a CD with original music by David Deleary) and A Small Essay on the Largeness of Light and Other Poems (2012).


Some bits and bobs about Daniel David Moses

What advice would you give to someone who wants to do what you do? Be good to your actors. This is a team sport. Give them neat things to perform. They’ll make your words as big as they can be,
even the small talk parts.

Describe your ideal writing environment.
The morning, after breakfast, with a cup of coffee
and the sun on the rise.

Why should audiences come to the Weesageechak festival?
You should ask for four reasons. This is an Aboriginal festival.
Four directions? So I guess my answer is you get to look at those other three directions, beside the forward one.
Past is present, too, at the event, as is spirit and thought.
Audiences appreciate being able to do that.

What’s next for you?
I can’t tell you that. The contract hasn’t been signed yet.
Don’t want to jinx it.

Thanks Daniel!


You can catch Crazy Dave Goes to Town on Thursday, Nov 20th @ 7:30pm with a Weesageechak Begins to Dance 27 Festival Pass.
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