Native Voices at the Autry

Native Voices Sixth Annual Short Play Festival: Take Back the Land

Sunday, November 13, 1:30 p.m. at the Autry (Free With Marketplace Admission)

Monday, November 14, 7:30 p.m. at La Jolla Playhouse in San Diego

Free Admission / Space Is Limited
Early Arrival Is Suggested

Native American playwrights from across the United States explore environmental issues such as climate change and pollution, legal debates surrounding borders and resources, and personal and spiritual connections to land. Are we doing enough to preserve the homelands of the First Peoples? To preserve our planet? One of these plays will receive the Von Marie Atchley Excellence in Playwriting Award, a $1,000 cash prize!

Dance by Jay Muskett (Navajo)

Three generations of Navajo women confront climate change in their drought-stricken community.

Jay B. Muskett (Navajo) is a writer, director, and occasional thespian from Nakaibito, New Mexico, located on the Navajo Nation. He is a graduate of Pima Community College in Tucson, Arizona, and the University of New Mexico, where he earned two BAs, one in theatre and one in media arts. Among numerous performances on stage, Muskett co-directed the short film Yes Is Better Than No, which was an AIFF selection in 2008. He is currently an adjunct faculty member at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Bear in Stream by Frank Henry Kaash Katasse (Tlingit)

An uncle teaches his nephew to appreciate the resilience of salmon.

Frank Henry Kaash Katasse (Tlingit) is an Alaska Native actor, director, producer, improviser, and playwright. Katasse received his BA in theatre arts from the University of Hawaii, Mānoa, in 2008. While in Hawaii he worked with Kennedy Theatre, Kumu Kahua Theatre, and the Cruel Theatre. In 2008 Katasse moved back to Juneau, Alaska, and was involved with Perseverance Theatre’s production of The Government Inspector. His body of work as an actor also includes world premieres of the Alaska Native–themed plays Battles of Fire and Water, Reincarnation of Stories, Cedar House, and Our Voices Will Be Heard. In Juneau, Katasse has performed with Theatre in the Rough, Juneau Symphony, and Morally Improvrished, and is currently the board president of Juneau-Douglas Little Theatre. He is the proud recipient of the 2015 Von Marie Atchley Excellence in Playwriting Award from Native Voices at the Autry for his short play Reeling. During 2016/2017, Perseverance Theatre, Native Voices at the Autry, and La Jolla Playhouse co-produced the world premiere of Katasse’s play They Don’t Talk Back.

Waiting for H20 by Claude Jackson (Gila River Indian Community)

Two young boys from the Gila River band are amazed to learn that there actually was a Gila River.

Claude Jackson, Jr. (Gila River Indian Community) has been writing creatively for more than twenty years as a hobby. During the past five years, Jackson has also been producing film projects and entering writing competitions. He and his brother, Roberto Jackson, wrote, produced, and directed the full-length film In Circles, which was showcased at various 2015 film festivals. A licensed attorney, Jackson is currently the director of his tribe’s Defense Services Office, working in criminal public defense. 

Snooky is a Terrorist by Vickie Ramirez (Tuscarora)

A brother suspects his sister of plotting drastic measures against the local dam project.

Vickie Ramirez (Tuscarora) is an alumna of the Public Theater’s Emerging Writer’s Group 2009 and a founding member of Chuka Lokoli Native Theater Ensemble and Amerinda Theater. Her work has been previously developed and/or presented at Labyrinth Theater Company, Native Voices at the Autry, The Public Theater, The Flea, Missoula Writer’s Colony, Roundabout Theater’s Different Voices Program, and The 52nd Street Project. Recent productions include Glenburn 12 WP for Summer Shorts at 59E59 Theaters, and Standoff at Hwy #37 for Native Voices at the Autry in Los Angeles and South Dakota. Honors include NYC Urban Artists Fellowship (2009/2010) and the NYSCA Individual Artist Award (2010).

Porcupine by Diane Glancy (Cherokee)

A group of men examine their ​culpability in the destruction of their ​own ​land by the​ ​natural gas industry​ and fracking.

Diane Glancy (Cherokee) is professor emerita at Macalester College. She received the 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award from Native Writers Circle of the Americas. Her latest books are Fort Marion Prisoners and the Trauma of Native Education, Report to the Department of the Interior, One of Us, Uprising of Goats, and Ironic Witness. Glancy has a forthcoming poetry collection titled The Collector of Bodies: Concern for Syria and the Middle East and is co-editing an anthology titled The World Is One Place: Native American Writers Visit the Middle East. In July 2016 she gave a workshop and reading at Institute of the American Indian.

Article 13: Or How Manhattan Was Sold by Alan Kilpatrick (Cherokee)

A Lenape chief trades land with the Dutch– but first, he insists on observing the appropriate "customs."

Alan Kilpatrick (Cherokee) has authored some thirty plays, which have received readings or performances from theatre groups in San Diego, Portland, Albuquerque, New York, and London. He is also the author of the nonfiction book The Night Has a Naked Soul: Witchcraft and Sorcery Among the Western Cherokee. He was Professor of American Indian Studies and Anthropology at San Diego State University and is currently on the psychology faculty at the Pacifica Graduate Institute. He has won numerous awards, including a Beinecke Fellowship (Yale), an Irvine Teaching Fellowship (Stanford), and two Fulbright fellowships.

Backstage, Blue Moon by Ed Bourgeois (Mohawk)

North, East, South, and West are killing it at the afterlife comedy club known as the Blue Moon. But why isn't Mother Earth getting the love she deserves?

Ed Bourgeois (Mohawk) is the managing director of PA'I Foundation, a Honolulu-based hālau hula. He served as executive/general director of Anchorage Opera (2001–2007) and director of programs at the Alaska Native Heritage Center (2007–2013), where he directed Growing Up Native in Alaska, Raven’s Radio Hour, and Echoes at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian. Bourgeois is co-creator of the Raven’s Radio Hour comedy show. He established the Alaska Native Playwrights Project, which trained 32 emerging Alaska Native playwrights, and recently facilitated a playwriting workshop for indigenous writers on Oahu.