Hosanna (play)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Hosanna is a 1973 play by French-Canadian writer Michel Tremblay. The story takes place in the Montreal, Quebec apartment of Hosanna, a drag queen dressed as Elizabeth Taylor's Cleopatra, and centres on the relationship between her and Cuirette, an aging "stud" and homosexual biker after they have returned from a Halloween party.[1]

The play deals with several issues including gender identity, sexual identity, the ignorance and acceptance of ageing, and social expressions of homosexuality. Hosanna discusses her relationship with her mother and shows her anxieties over her knowledge of who she really is. The scholar and activist Viviane Namaste has criticized Hosanna, which ends with its protagonist identifying as a gay man after a series of humiliations, as reinforcing a patriarchal, transphobic ideology in which a "reliance on the ideas of illusion, deception, and betrayal presupposes that we as transgendered people do not know who we are. [...] It is through such a violently anti-transgendered discourse that Tremblay enables gay male subject-positions."[2]

The play was translated into English by John Van Burek and Bill Glassco.

Hosanna was first performed at le Théâtre de Quat'sous in Montreal, Quebec, on 10 May 1973. Hosanna was first performed in English at Tarragon Theatre in Toronto, Ontario, on 15 May 1974. Hosanna then appeared on Broadway in New York City at the Bijou Theatre on 14 October 1974.


  1. ^ Tremblay, Michel. Hosanna Trans. Van Burek, John; Glassco, Bill (Vancouver: Talon Books, 1974) 7.
  2. ^ Namaste, Viviane K. Invisible Lives: The Erasure of Transsexual and Transgendered People. Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 2000) 115