Cassel Miles Actor/Co-Creator
When I first became aware of Josiah Henson’s story, I was spellbound. There I saw a Black Canadian historical figure who I'd never heard of. He was a fugitive slave who went on to accomplish things unimaginable that marked Canadian history. And yet I had never heard of him. Who else had not either?
Despite all attempts to break him Josiah, somehow, remained unbroken. Somehow he was able to develop and maintain remarkably unflinching morals, steadfast integrity, and a superior character through immense and debasing hardship. He had the drive to not only survive slavery and gain his freedom, but to make a mark and to leave a legacy.
Josiah made a promise to the ship's Captain as he crossed the Niagara River into Canada. "I will use my freedom well," he swore and, true to his word, he did. He was as a leader, preacher, advocate, fund raiser, representative, educator, entrepreneur and author and the only person of African descent to be featured on a Canadian stamp to celebrate the centennial of his death.
JOSIAH was co-created as a one-person show using threads of dance, drama and movement to weave a tapestry of his early years in bondage and his daring escape to Canada. It's all about Canadians telling Canadian stories. to Canada. Canadian artists telling Canadian stories.
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Charles Robertson has been Co-Artistic Director of Bottle Tree Productions since 2006 with Anne Marie Mortensen. He has written and directed many theatrical performances. Some of his favourite he has directed include: Amadeus, The Miracle Worker, The Glass Menagerie, Talk Radio, The Hack, Hamlet, Sense and Sensibility, Romeo and Juliet and A Midsummer Night's Dream. Some of his favourite plays he has written include: Ghost of the Tree, 'Til the Boys Come Home, Pretty Pieces, The Hack and Eve of Confederation.
When he met Cassel Miles, Cassel shared his passion and dream of creating a show about Josiah Henson. Charles was captured by the story and set about writing a script.
Cassel and Charles have had a great working relationship ever since.