Rhiana Yazzie is a 2021 Lanford Wilson and 2020 Steinberg Award winning playwright, a director, a filmmaker, and the Artistic Director of New Native Theatre, which she started in 2009 as a response to the lack of connection and professional opportunities between Twin Cities theaters and the Native community. She is a 2018 Bush Foundation Leadership Fellow and was recognized with a 2017 Sally Ordway Award for Vision and has been a Playwrights’ Center fellow multiple times (McKnight 2016/17 & Jerome 2006 & 2010). A Navajo Nation citizen (Ta’neeszahnii bashishchiin dóó Táchii’nii dashinalí), she’s seen her plays on stages from Alaska to Mexico including in Carnegie Hall’s collaboration with American Indian Community House & Eagle Project. She has a new co-commissioned play in the works with Long Wharf Theatre and Rattlestick Theater and is currently developing her newest play Nancy, a Native bio-perspective on Nancy Reagan, a sequel to Queen Cleopatre and Princess Pocahontas, which was commissioned by Oregon Shakespeare Festival and the Public Theater for the American Revolutions cycle. Her first feature film, A Winter Love, (writer/dir/prod/actor) will premiere at festivals in 2021/22. She is a graduate of the University of Southern California’s Masters of Professional Writing where she produced events featuring Stephen Hawking, Madeleine Albright, Paula Vogel, Herbie Hancock, and Spalding Gray.
Artistic Associate, Focus on Directing and Coordinating
Sara Pillatzki-Warzeha (Dakota, enrolled Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate) is originally from South Dakota and currently lives and works in the Twin Cities as a director and theatre educator. She is pursuing a PhD in Theatre Historiography from the University of Minnesota with an emphasis in Indigenous performance. Her research is currently centered on issues of Indigenous/settler intercultural collaborations and Indigenous feminisms as a dramaturgical lens. She has worked with New Native Theatre on two prior occasions; during the NNT 10 Minute Play Festival in 2018 and as part of the directing team for Snow Bears, a joint NNT and Stages Theatre production in 2019. In her free time, Sara is happily learning the ways of new parenthood to son Bear alongside her husband Brian. She is thrilled to be part of the team at NNT!
Peter moved to the Twin Cities from Dublin, Ireland in August 2012. His first theatre job in Minnesota was with New Native Theatre as Music Director for 2012 The Musical! and he has been working with them in different capacities ever since. He has also worked as a designer with companies, theatres and artists including Exposed Brick, Pilsbury House, Stages Theatre, Daleko Arts, Red Eye Theatre, Tru Ruts, Yellow Tree, Interact, Mixed Blood, zAmya, Pangea World Theatre, Macalaster College, Augsburg University, Swandive Theatre, Threads Dance Company, Hiponymous, Ifrah Mansour, Akiko Ostlund, Artistry, Theatre Latte Da, Park Square and The Guthrie. He performs with the band Bella Yaga and as a solo artist. In Dublin he worked primarily with the award winning company Brokentalkers, devising new works as composer and sound designer. Peter has a Masters in Music and Media Technology from Trinity College Dublin.
Noreen Quadir is an actress, writer, and media specialist. She is the Communications Advisor for New Native Theatre. Noreen grew up in Connecticut, where she studied at Southern Connecticut State University and received her BA degree in Theatre. She also studied at the Circle in the Square Theatre School and Magnet Theater in New York City. Noreen has worked with a variety of theatre and arts organizations, where she developed communications plans and marketing strategies, created content, and managed online platforms. She has also performed in several theatrical productions, including The Vagina Monologues, A Muslim in the Midst, Sharum, and Pretty White Girl, as well as various children productions such as Magic, Moonlight, and Mardi Gras. Aside from her theatre and media work, she is also an advocate for various social causes including increasing diversity, representation, and equity in the arts, equality, animal welfare, and environmental sustainability. Noreen has also taught and tutored kids in drama and literature. Her favorite food is chocolate. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @NoreenZizzyQ.