Native Voices

two women standing on stage performing in a play

Native Voices is devoted to developing and producing new works for the stage by Native American, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, and First Nations playwrights.

Equity Productions

Native Voices has produced plays by a diverse group of Native writers, covering an array of subjects from satiric comedies to urban dramas and even radio plays. Please click on Past Productions for a full list of previous shows.

Annual Playwrights Retreat and Festival of New Plays

The retreat and festival provide emerging and established Native American authors a rigorous opportunity to shape their plays over the course of an entire week. Collaboration occurs in daily workshops with nationally recognized directors, dramaturgs, and an acting company largely composed of exceptional Native American actors. The week culminates with a festival of staged readings. Many works developed through this process have gone on to enjoy successful runs on the Autry’s main stage and elsewhere.

Selected playwrights receive an honorarium, roundtrip airfare to California, and lodging. Past retreats have been held at the Autry Museum, Occidental College, and UCLA, all in Los Angeles; as well as in San Diego County at San Diego State University and La Jolla Playhouse.

Annual Short Play Festival and the Award for Excellence in Playwriting

Occurring annually, the Short Play Festival presents professional staged readings of ten- to thirty-minute plays centered around a particular theme. Plays selected for the festival are considered for the Von Marie Atchley Excellence in Playwriting Award, a $1,000 cash prize based on the creative use of the competition theme, originality, theatricality, execution, and audience response.

First Look Series

The First Look Series is a script development process that brings playwrights together with professional directors, dramaturgs, and actors. Each spring and fall, plays are workshopped and prepared for a public staged reading and discussion, giving the playwright an opportunity to hear the play—often for the first time—with a live audience. Plays can be new works, works-in-progress, or material that has already been produced at another venue.


Native American, Alaska Native, and First Nations playwrights are invited to submit their plays for the Native Voices Annual Playwrights Retreat, Festival of New Plays, Festival of Short Plays, First Look Series, and Equity productions. We encourage beginning, emerging, and established Native playwrights to submit. Submissions are accepted on an ongoing basis; however, there are specific deadlines for particular development opportunities in an upcoming season. For information on how to submit and current deadlines, please visit our Call for Scripts.

Submissions are evaluated annually by our National Reading Panel, which is composed of nationally recognized theatre artists, directors, dramaturgs, and decision makers from professional theatre companies and universities across the United States—as well as by the Native Voices artistic and executive directors.


Actors Equity Foundation · Laura and Dean Beresford · Rafael Bruno and Cristian Hamilton · Tonantzín Carmelo · David Cartwright · Peter Chalk and Daniel Neal · Elena Finley Endlich · First Peoples Fund Native Arts Ecology Building Grant · Patty Glaser and Sam Mudie · Carole Goldberg and Duane Champagne · Greenberg Foundation · Shawn Imitates Dog · Helene Jacobs · Judy Jacobs · Shelby Jiggetts-Tivony · Diane Levine · Heidi Levine-Gonzalez · Peter Glenville Foundation · Brenda and Gary Ruttenberg · Seeley W. Mudd Foundation · The Sheri and Les Biller Family Foundation · Theater League of Kansas City · Cynthia Burstein Waldman and Vincent Waldman


Tonantzín Carmelo · Elena Finley Endlich · Carole Goldberg and Duane Champagne · Kimberly Guerrero · Shelby Jiggetts-Tivony · Diane Levine · Heidi Levine-Gonzalez · Daryl Roth · Gloria Steinem

Land Acknowledgment

The Autry Museum of the American West acknowledges the Gabrielino/Tongva peoples as the traditional land caretakers of Tovaangar (the Los Angeles basin and So. Channel Islands). We recognize that the Autry Museum and its campuses are located on the traditional lands of Gabrielino/Tongva peoples and we pay our respects to the Honuukvetam (Ancestors), ‘Ahiihirom (Elders) and ‘Eyoohiinkem (our relatives/relations) past, present and emerging.

The Autry Museum in Griffith Park

4700 Western Heritage Way

Los Angeles, CA 90027-1462
Located northeast of downtown, across from the Los Angeles Zoo.
Map and Directions

Free parking for Autry visitors.

Tuesday–Friday 10:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.
Saturday–Sunday 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

Food Trucks are available on select days, contact us for details at 323.495.4252.
The cafe is temporarily closed until further notice.