University of Calgary

‘John Ware Reimagined’ digs deeper into iconic cowboy’s life

UToday HomeMarch 22, 2013

Author and historian Cheryl Foggo beside John Ware’s cabin in Dinosaur Provincial Park.Author and historian Cheryl Foggo beside John Ware’s cabin in Dinosaur Provincial Park.Can the life of a formerly enslaved cowboy who arrived in Alberta before it was Alberta tell us anything about our contemporary lives? What does the past have to do with the present?

These are some of the questions explored in John Ware Reimagined – Part 2, a staged reading being performed on Monday, March 25, 7:30 p.m. in the Matthews Theatre, Craigie Hall F101.

Written by author and historian Cheryl Foggo, the theatrical presentation John Ware Reimagined was first presented in February 2012 in conjunction with the University of Calgary’s Black History Month celebrations sponsored by the March 21st/Stop Racism Committee.

John Ware Reimagined – Part 2 expands the journey of discovery into the impact of the legendary cowboy, digging deeper into the life of this exemplary Albertan whose narrative played an important role in the establishment of Foggo's sense of identity as a Calgarian.

Gaining his freedom following the American Civil war, it is believed John Ware learned the skills of horsemanship and ranching in Texas. He came to southern Alberta in 1882 after joining a cattle drive that brought 3,000 head of cattle from Idaho to what would become the Bar U Ranch.

Working for several years at the Bar U, he established a reputation for skilled cattle handling and achieved fame as a cowboy.  Within a few years he owned his own ranch. By the end of the 19th century his strength, courage and horsemanship made him one of the best known and most respected ranchers in Western Canada.  It was said there wasn't a horse he couldn't ride, steer he couldn't rope or man who wasn't his friend. 

John Ware Reimagined Part 2 reunites Foggo with iconic Calgary-based, (now working in Los Angeles) director Margaret Bard (co-founder of Lunchbox Theatre with Bartley Bard) and features Jesse Lipscombe as John Ware, University of Calgary alumna Janelle Cooper as Mildred Ware, and Melanee Murray Hunt as "Cheryl". Musical direction and original music written and performed by Miranda Martini and Calgary's own poet laureate Kris Demeanor.

Free admission. Pre-registration is advised by emailing


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