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Revisiting, The Ghosts of Celilo

March 9, 2018 @ 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Dinner $15 Program Free



Please join us in welcoming Marv Ross  on Friday March 9, as he will talk about the storyline of The Ghosts of Celilo while showing excerpts of the play.  He’ll share the challenges faced in creating an original Native musical based on true stories from the Columbia River and will revisit the message that “When one culture diminishes another culture… both cultures are diminished..”

On March 10, 1957, the massive steel and concrete floodgates of  the new, The Dalles Dam on the Columbia River closed and within hours Celilo Falls, approximately 13 miles upstream, disappeared beneath the rising waters.

In 2007 Marv Ross, Thomas Morning Owl, and Tom Hampson created a powerful musical based on true stories from the Columbia River.  The Ghosts of Celilo tells of three children’s quest to escape a boarding school and catch their ceremonial first salmon before their home is destroyed by the rising waters behind a dam. The play was presented as part of the 50-year observance of the inundation of Celilo Falls by The Dalles Dam in 1957 and was performed again in 2011.

The play went on to win a total of 11 PAMTA awards (Portland Area Musical Theatre Awards) including best production and best original song and script. Fourteen Native American actors were in the show.

Marv Ross is best known for the five Billboard top-40 songs he wrote in the 80’s that he and his wife, Rindy, sang with Quarterflash. “Harden My Heart” was their biggest hit and they received both gold and platinum albums during that decade and recorded 4 albums. He also wrote the musical “Voices From The Oregon Trail” for the sesquicentennial of the trail in ’93 and that work won an ASCAP award. (American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers).

Tickets for the dinner are $15, the program is free. The dinner menu is a Pasta Bar.