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Recent Projects & News

In June 2023, my sister and I piled into my van and embarked on a research trip for my new play The Poisoner's Daughter. We drove over 3,000 kilometers along an old Red River cart trail retracing the steps of our great-great grandfather and searching for old family roots in the abandoned town of Joliette, North Dakota. It didn't take long for word to spread about the two LaRose girls poking around town, and it seemed like everyone wanted to share what they knew about the LaRose murder of February 1880.

Life's current, like the lightning, cannot be stopped or stemmed-

but it can be channelled.

What veiled Promethean revelations crackle in the ether, then?

Waiting to ignite our magnetic blood with divine insight?


My powers can facilitate the strike, but the rapture is yours to inherit.

-from The Poisoner's Daughter

a new play by Danielle LaRose

in development with Catalyst Theatre's Confluence Fellowship

and Punctuate! Theatre & Pemmican Collective Creators' Cohort


We spent a few days in the county records office where we connected with a local historian who had collected files upon files about our family whilst researching for his book about Pembina murders. We befriended a farmer who led us through the bush to the site of an old ferry which had been operated by our family before the turn of the 19th century. We got stuck in a field looking for the graves of our relatives (which we eventually did find), only to learn later from locals that the lady we'd spoken to was notorious for giving bad directions. 


Joliette was an eerie place. The graveyard was incredibly small and inconspicuous on the flat prairie (hence the getting lost...and stuck). The Catholic church where our relatives had worshipped with their community had long since collapsed. The family land which was once a bustling farm, guesthouse, and home to twelve children, now sloped sleepily into a crook of the Red River, home only to a monocrop of soybeans.


Finally connecting with the land that houses the bones of my ancestors was deeply moving. Our family had somehow remained in the bosom of their Métis community through the Red River resistance, yet they would not be able to withstand the events of winter 1880. The only LaRoses left in the area are in the ground. And yet, there I was; a descendant born thousand of miles away standing in ruins of a town that we had once called home; a town and an entire branch of the family tree that both seem to have died along with my great-great-great grandmother Hélène LaRose née Bouvette. It feels all the more important now to resurrect her name and memory in my new piece The Poisoner's Daughter.

Artists Pictured: Valerie Planche, Kat Evans, Sheldon Stockdale, Brittany Hinse, Kaeley Jade Weibe, Brann Munro, Jesse Gervais

I am extremely honoured to be exploring Hélène's story and my family history in my new play The Poisoner's Daughter. I'm so grateful to the Canada Council for the Arts for their financial support of my research trip to North Dakota, which as been foundational to every aspect of the story. The first draft of the script was workshopped in June 2023 with the Pemmican Collective, bringing together Métis, Indigenous, and settler artists under the direction of Valerie Planche and in collaboration with production design consultant Kat Evans.


I am excited to continue developing The Poisoner's Daughter as member of the Punctuate! Theatre & Pemmican Collective Creatives' Cohort and through Catalyst Theatre's Confluence Artistic Fellowship, so stay tuned for more including upcoming public sharings of the play!

To my Métis Relatives past, present, and future, to my Elders, Knowledge Keepers, Aunties and fellow Artists, especially Kara LaRose, Richard LaRose, Matthew MacKenzie, Natalie Pepin, and Valerie Planche: kinanâskomitinawâw and kischii maarsi for your continued love, support and guidance.

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