Our Team

Rhiana Yazzie

Rhiana Yazzie

Artistic Director

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 directed the US premiere of Missing at the Anchorage Opera in 2023. She has a new co-commissioned play in the works with Long Wharf Theatre and Rattlestick Theater and her newest play Nancy, a Native bio-perspective on Nancy Reagan is premiering at Mosaic Theater Company in DC in April 2024. It is 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) has been in film festivals all over the the globe soon to be found streaming in the coming months. She has her Masters degree from the University of Southern California where she produced events featuring Stephen Hawking, Madeleine Albright, Paula Vogel, Herbie Hancock, and Spalding Gray.

Charli Fool Bear

Charli Fool Bear

Senior Artistic Producer

Charli Fool Bear (she/they) is a Two-Spirit and Yanktonai Dakota poet, storyteller, auntie, songwriter, multi- instrumentalist and vocalist from Cannon Ball & Porcupine, North Dakota on the Standing Rock Reservation. She was raised on the reservation by her relatives in a multi-generational home, which provided the foundation for her artistic philosophy of nurturing and strengthening community through the healing practice of storytelling. Her play, The Crickets Ate the Moon, was the runner-up of Yale Indigenous Performing Arts Program’s inaugural playwriting contest; it later received a staged reading at Dartmouth College. Charli won Dartmouth’s Susan Debevoise Wright award for her work on the play. She continues to write plays in collaboration with theatre companies like TruNorth Theatre and Sleepy Hollow Theatre in Bismarck, ND; and zAmya Theatre Project in Minneapolis, MN.
Charli is currently living her dream of bringing theatre and arts to Native community as Senior Artistic Producer for New Native Theatre. Outside of theatre, Charli has been independently studying, writing, and recording music for over 15 years. You can find her original solo music on SoundCloud under @charlialexandr, and her band Disco Lessons on all social media platforms under @discolessons.