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 protected] Visit www.newnativetheatre.org for details.