The Three Snow Bears
New Native Theatre And Stages Theatre Company Produce A Heroic Journey Through The Arctic
New Native Theatre kicks off 2019 in collaboration with Stages Theatre Company. In “The Three Snow Bears,” ride along with us through the magnificent Arctic landscape as a young Yup’ik girl embarks on a heroic sled-dog journey to save her village. On the search for the reasons of the widening river she meets a raven, a hare, a baby seal, and, finally, three snow bears. Join us as an endearing Baby Bear and a determined Yup’ik girl meet center stage in the world premiere production. Performances run from Friday, January 18th, to Monday, February 18th, at Stages Theatre Company, 1111 Mainstreet, Hopkins, MN 55343.
“The Three Snow Bears,” directed by Sandy Boren-Barrett and Sara Pillatzki-Warzeha with music composed by P. Ossie Kairaiuak, is inspired by THE THREE SNOW BEARS by Jan Brett. The script was written by New Native Theatre Artistic Director and Founder Rhiana Yazzie in collaboration with Alicia Smith and Grace Smith. Alicia and Grace are Yupik from Pitka’s Point Tribal Village in Alaska. Alicia says she and her mother are very involved in the play, from being writers/consultants to acting in the production itself.
“My mom and I helped write the storyline of the play,” Alicia says. “[We] offered some feedback and dialogue to New Native Theatre[‘s] Rhiana Yazzie, who wrote the play. [Stages Theatre Company] hosted us three to share more about American Indians as a learning opportunity for Stages Theatre staff. There is not much taught about us in mainstream society.” The play is very personal for the Smiths, with Alicia adding, “My mom shared her story of growing up in Alaska in the boarding school and we shared how we returned to Alaska for a visit, after over 50 years since my mom left Alaska and moved to Minnesota.”
The themes are rooted in Indigenous storytelling and ways of knowing and, as is common with Indigenous knowledge, presents a narrative that is crucial and timely. Alicia says the message of the play is important “because we only have one earth. We need to take care of the earth.” Furthermore, she says, “Stages Theatre provides a great platform with a broad audience to share our cultural ways and [how] we have used them to survive. Because of our traditional ways, we are still here. It is through our cultural ways that we are all interconnected. Interconnected as humans, plants, animals and earth – we are all interdependent. We saw an opportunity to share these teachings… We all can do our part to take care of the earth.”
The performance dates and times are as follows:
- Friday, January 18 – 7 PM
- Saturday, January 19 – 1 PM
- Sunday, January 20 – 1 PM & 4 PM
- Monday, January 21 – 10 AM
- Wednesday, January 23 – 10 AM & 12:30 PM
- Thursday, January 24 – 10 AM & 12:30 PM
- Friday, January 25 – 7 PM
- Saturday, January 26 – 10 AM & 1PM
- Sunday, January 27 – 1 PM & 4 PM
- Wednesday, January 30 – 10 AM & 12:30 PM
- Thursday, January 31 – 10 AM & 12:30 PM
- Friday, February 1 – 7 PM
- Saturday, February 2 – 10 AM* & 1PM
- Sunday, February 3 – 1 PM & 4 PM
- Wednesday, February 6 – 10 AM & 12:30 PM
- Thursday, February 7 – 10 AM & 12:30 PM
- Friday, February 8 – 7 PM
- Saturday, February 9 – 10 AM** & 1 PM
- Sunday, February 10 – 1 PM & 4 PM
- Wednesday, February 13 – 10 AM & 12:30 PM
- Thursday, February 14 – 10 AM & 12:30 PM
- Friday, February 15 – 7 PM
- Saturday, February 16 – 10 AM & 1 PM
- Sunday, February 17 – 1 PM & 4 PM
- Monday, February 18 – 10 AM
* = Sensory Friendly performance
** = ASL performance
Pay What You Can Performance: Sunday, January 20, 1 PM
Sensory Friendly Public Performance: Saturday, February 2, 10 AM
ASL Interpreted Performance: Saturday, February 9, 1 PM
Audio Described Performance: Saturday, February 9, 1 PM
To purchase tickets or to read more details on performances, visit www.stagestheatre.org.
New Native Theatre is a new way of thinking about, looking at, and creating authentic Native American stories for the stage. Based in the Twin Cities, it is the only and longest running professional Native American theatre company in the Upper Midwest focusing exclusively on Native American playwrights, actors, and directors. For more details or questions, please contact New Native Theatre at (612) 367-7639 or through email at email@example.com. Visit www.newnativetheatre.org for details.
PR – The Three Snow Bears – New Native Theatre – PDF Press Release
Red Running Into Water
New Native Theatre Produces Navajo Play of Hope and Resilience
Minneapolis & Saint Paul (November 7, 2018) — New Native Theatre kicks-off its tenth anniversary season with the world premier of Red Running into Water. Written by Navajo playwright, Blossom Johnson and directed by Navajo director, Rhiana Yazzie, the Artistic Director and founder of New Native Theatre. Red Running into Water is the English translation of the Navajo clan, Tachii’nii.
Red Running into Water follows the story of Nana Blackrock, a 22 year old Navajo woman who refuses to be a statistic. Nana and the women of her family in the Red Running in the Water clan reclaim their humanity and learn the meaning of Walking in Beauty, the core to the Navajo belief system. Performances take place in multiple community venues in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota from November 7th through November 18th, 2018.
The play highlights a number of issues including sexual assault and indigenous land rights. Playwright, Blossom Johnson says the Navajo family in the play “is struggling to find themselves as the world continues to tell them who they should be. They are beautifully flawed Indigenous people. When I wrote this play I never thought it would be seen, and I did not understand how heavy and deep the content would be, because it felt normal, and it shouldn’t be. If you are a survivor I want you to know you are not alone. The structure of this play is inspired by my grandmother who would weave rugs, and she would leave flaws in her designs to reflect human nature.” Johnson who grew up on the Navajo reservation brings pieces impressions of life growing up in boarding schools on the Navajo reservation to create a play that gives an authentic glimpse into that world.
“I was moved by the brilliant words and situations that Blossom brought to life,” says Artistic Director, Yazzie who first read Blossom’s play when she was a judge on the Yale Indigenous Performing Arts youth new play contest. “I immediately asked if I could contact the writer to see if she would be interested in developing this new work at New Native Theatre.” Two years later, Red Runing into Water opens New Native Theatre’s tenth anniversary season in more than one venue touring across Minneapolis and Saint Paul.
Playwright Blossom Johnson, an MFA candidate in dramaturgy at Columbia University worked with New Native Theatre this past summer during their Third Annual National Native American Ten Minute Play Festival, and is happy to be returning this season as a playwright along with other new and classic plays that are part of this tenth anniversary including, Alex Hesbrook’s Wounspe Wanktya – A College Education premiering at Dreamland Arts in February, Tomson Highway’s Rez Sisters in May, and Yazzie’s own new play Nancy among others.
It will be performed in the round at community venues such as East Side Freedom Library Wednesday, November 7th at 7:30pm as well as The All My Relations Gallery, Public Functionary, Minneapolis American Indian Center, Minnesota Indian Women’s Resource Center, Takoda Institute-AIOIC, All Nations Church, the MN Chippewa Tribe Urban Office, and the Indigenous Roots Cultural Arts Center.
Performances of Red Running into Water begin this Wednesday, November 7th at 10:30 AM and go through Sunday, November 18th at 2:00 PM. Full dates, times, and locations are listed below:
- Wed, Nov 7th, 10:30 AM @ Minneapolis American Indian Center, 1530 E Franklin Ave, Mpls, 55404
- Wed, Nov 7th, 7:30 PM @ East Side Freedom Library, 1105 Greenbrier St, St. Paul, 55106
- Thur, Nov 8th, 10:30 AM @ Minneapolis American Indian Center, 1530 E Franklin Ave, Mpls, 55404
- Thur, Nov 8th, 7:30 PM @ MN Indian Women’s Resource Center, 2300 S 15th Ave, Mpls, 55404
- Fri, Nov 9th, 7:30 PM @ Takoda Institute – AIOIC, 1845 E Franklin Ave, Mpls, 55404
- Sat, Nov 10th, 7:30 PM @ All My Relations Gallery, 1414 E Franklin Ave, Mpls, 55404
- Sun, Nov 11th, 2:00 PM @ Public Functionary, 1400 12th Ave NE, Mpls, 55413
- Wed, Nov 14th, 7:30 PM @ All Nations Church, 1515 E 23rd St, Mpls, 55404
- Thur, Nov 15th, 10:30 AM @ Takoda Institute – AIOIC, 1845 E Franklin Ave, Mpls, 55404
- Thur, Nov 15th, 7:30 PM @ MN Chippewa Tribe Urban Office, 1308 E Franklin Ave, Mpls, 55404
- Fri, Nov 16th, 7:30 PM @ Minneapolis American Indian Center, 1530 E Franklin Ave, Mpls, 55404
- Sat, Nov 17th, 7:30 PM @ All My Relations Gallery, 1414 E Franklin Ave, Mpls, 55404
- Sun, Nov 18th, 2:00 PM @ Indigenous Roots Cultural Arts Center, 788 E 7th St, St. Paul, 55106
All tickets are Pay-What-You-Can at the door and are available at www.BrownPaperTickets.com.
The cast features includes Tara Lyn Dejolie, Ira Dixon, Lorne Maxwell Duquette, Delinda Oogie Pushonequa, Shawna Sunrise, and Lini Wilkins.
New Native Theatre is a new way of thinking about, looking at, and devising authentic Native American stories for the stage. Based in the Twin Cities, it is the only and longest running professional Native American theatre company in the Upper Midwest focusing exclusively on featuring professional adult Native American actors, designers, directors, and playwrights. For more details or questions, please contact New Native Theatre at (612) 367-7639 or through email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit www.newnativetheatre.org for details.
PR- Red Running into Water – New Native Theatre – PDF Press Release
Native Woman the Musical
New Native Theatre Premieres Native Woman the Musical
New Native Theatre’s devised play featuring Native women from throughout Minnesota, is the bookend to the breakout hit Native Man the Musical from the 2014 Fringe Festival.
Minneapolis (May 4, 2018) — 2018 Bush Fellow and 2018/17 Sally Ordway Award winner for Vision, Rhiana Yazzie, leads New Native Theatre’s next production, Native Woman the Musical.
Native Woman the Musical, a devised, community created play tells stories by Native American women with a musical twist in this follow-up play to New Native Theatre’s breakout success Native Man the Musical that debuted at the 2014 Minnesota Fringe Festival garnering five star accolades from audiences and press reviewers closing as the seventh best selling play per capita out of 169 shows that year.
Native Woman the Musical promises to be as compelling and multi dimensional. Taking a multi media approach featuring live performance, recorded music, projected video, and trademark Native comedy, the play features Native women throughout Minnesota daring to speak truth to the world in which they live.
The plays has performances by Rebekah Crisanta de Ybarra, Benay Child, Inez Decoteau, Andrea Fairbanks, Fawn Grauman, Oogie Pushetonequa, Tammey Skinaway, Grace & Alicia Smith, Deanna Standingcloud, and Toni Stillday. Some are on the stage for the first time and others have been NNT ensemble members since New Native Theatre started in 2009.
The stories range from reliving the break dancing days of Little Earth United Tribes residents, to a heartbreaking real boarding school story from the cast’s eldest member, Grace Smith who hails from Pitka’s Point Alaska, to showcasing Electric Machete Studios founder, Rebekah Cristanta de Ybarra’s musical side as a singer-songwriter, to parodies of popular music like Deanna Standingcloud’s, Wiigwas, an Ojibwe take on the Notorious B.I.G.’s Juicy.
Artistic director, Rhiana Yazzie has been guiding the process for the group and finding ways to bring into life compelling performances that many of the New Native Theatre ensemble members were surprised to find hidden within. “This experience has unleashed hidden talents and passions that were sleeping for too long. It’s given me confidence, to be encouraged by Rhiana, I’m making things I’ve always thought about but never had the support or encouragement to explore.” Says ensemble member, Tammey Skinaway whose play, Breakin Little Earth, relives a moment in 1984 when residents of Little Earth United Tribes and the Phillips neighborhood used to lay down cardboard and break dance in East Phillips park, affectionately known as Cockroach Park. NNT partnered with House of Dance Twin Cities, Jake Riley who choreographed a break dancing for the show.
The performances begin Wednesday, May 9th and go through May 12th at 7:30 P.M. plus a matinee performance on Mother’s Day, May 13th at 2:00 P.M. Park Square Theatre hosts New Native Theatre in their Andy Boss Thrust Stage located beneath Park Square’s main venue at 20 W. 7th Place, Saint Paul, MN 55102. This will be the first time New Native Theatre will be performing there. All tickets are Pay-What-You-Can at the door and are also available in advance for full price, $25, at www.BrownPaperTickets.com.
New Native Theatre is a new way of thinking about, looking at, and staging Native American stories for the stage. Based in the Twin Cities, it is the only and longest running professional Native American theatre company in the Upper Midwest. For more details or questions, please contact New Native Theatre at (612) 367-7639, or email at email@example.com. Visit www.newnativetheatre.org for details.
PR – Native Woman the Musical – PDF Press Release