Dessa Rose

An abandoned mother and a runaway slave come together to survive in the antebellum South.

Dessa Rose


Keyboard 1
Keyboard 2


An abandoned mother and a runaway slave come together to survive in the antebellum South.


This version is based on the Original 2005 Off-Broadway Production.

This show is orchestrated for 2 keyboards with the Conductor playing from the Keyboard 1 book. Both books have alot of programming so your players should be comfortable with lots of patch changes and fast transitions. The sounds in Keyboard 1 consist of lots of different pianos, Brass, Woodwinds, and percussion among others. Many of the songs don’t have the Keyboard 1 playing for large periods of time or the playing is sparse due to the amount of conducting that is required.

Keyboard 2 has about the same amount of instruments and patches with many of the sounds being the same. Keyboard 2 plays more consistently throughout the show because they are not conducting. Neither book is as difficult as many other shows but will still require an advanced player.


Music & Lyrics by: Stephen Flaherty & Lynn Ahrens
Book by: Lynn Ahrens
Musical Director: David Holcenberg
Orchestrations by: William David Brohn and Christopher Jahnke
Vocal Arrangements by: Stephen Flaherty


A powerful, moving story surrounding two incredible women, Dessa Rose is a uniquely stirring musical drama that is the perfect blend of history and fiction. The storytelling for which Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty are most well known is masterfully exhibited in this thrilling musical based on the novel of the same name by Sherley Anne Williams.

In a pre-Civil War America, passionate and innocent Dessa Rose is a young slave who is faced with a barrage of hardships because of her skin color. Ruth is a young, white mother who faces a barrage of hardships because of her gender. Through a series of inspiring turns ranging from comical to tragic, these two women become unlikely and lifelong friends.


MTI Access Code

If you have obtained the performance rights for this show, please enter the Access Code provided to your organization by MTI to automatically verify your license and proceed to payment. If you do not have this Access Code or have not yet obtained the rights, you can still proceed by choosing your programming and filling out the short form below. You will have an opportunity to upload your contract or have us manually verify your license prior to payment. Once that process is complete, you will receive an email with an invoice and link for payment before receiving download instructions for the programming.

Select Your Programming:

Our keyboard patches require the industry standard MainStage 3® application available only in the Apple App Store. This is only available for Mac computers running MacOS. MainStage® is NOT available for Mac iOS devices such as the iPad. We apologize that our programming is not available for Windows users at this time.

  • Select EACH part/book you would like to license programming for.
  • Each book selected requires a separate computer running MainStage 3®.
SKU: DSARSE2005OBW-01MTI Category: