Press Release: February 5, 2018
Native Voices at The Autry Presents Bingo Hall
Native Voices at the Autry Presents the World Premiere of
Bingo Hall A New Play by Dillon Chitto
Performances: March 9–25, 2018
Previews: March 7–8, 2018
At the Autry Museum of the American West in Griffith Park
Los Angeles, CA (February 5, 2018)—The only Equity theatre company dedicated exclusively to developing and producing new work by Native American artists, Native Voices presents the world premiere of Bingo Hall by Dillon Chitto (Mississippi Choctaw, Laguna, Isleta Pueblo).
Set in a pueblo community, Bingo Hall is a coming of age tale that focuses on the life of teenager Edward Anaya. His comfortable life as the senior center's bingo caller is challenged when college acceptance letters kick-start an identity crisis: Who will Edward be if he leaves home and bingo behind? Edward knows just what to say until romantic rejection, family antics, and community pressures leave him tongue-tied. New playwright Dillon Chitto brings the pueblo to the American theatre in this hilarious new play about tradition in a fast-changing world.
Jean Bruce Scott, Native Voices Producing Artistic Director, said "Bingo Hall is such a funny and heartwarming play. With the character of Edward Anaya, Chitto has given audiences a fresh-faced Ferris Bueler in a pueblo, struggling with teenage angst, familial embarrassment, and the fretful pangs of first love. In this fast-paced comedy, Chitto manages to tackle tribal politics, the loss of tradition and language, and waiting for college acceptance letters with keen insight and humor."
“Given our current climate of fear and unruly politics, it's rewarding to spend 90 minutes with this charming extended family and three teenagers ready to take on the world," said Randy Reinholz, Native Voices Producing Artistic Director. "Their optimism is infectious—by laughing and crying with them, you're apt to figure out your own troubles.”
Bingo Hall is Chitto's first play and is Native Voices' 25th Equity production and 22nd world premiere. Five-time Ovation Award nominee Jon Lawrence Rivera (Artistic Director, LA Playwrights Arena) directs with a design team that includes set designer Christopher Scott Murillo, video designer Tom Ontiveros, sound designer John Nobori (2016 Ovation Award winner for The Golden Dragon, The Theatre @ Boston Court), costume designer E.B. Brooks (2017 Ovation Award winner for The Legend of Georgia McBride, Geffen Theatre), and lighting designer Carla Linton. Lawrence has assembled an outstanding Native American cast led by Kholan Studi (Cherokee) and Duane Minard (Yurok, Paiute)—last seen in the rolling world premiere of Native Voices They Don't Talk Back at the Autry, La Jolla Playhouse, and Perseverance Theatre.
Friday, March 9, 8:00 p.m.
A reception with the cast and crew follows the Opening Night performance.
Conversation With the Playwright
Saturday, March 10
Following the 2:00 p.m. matinee, artistic director Randy Reinholz and playwright Dillon Chitto will discuss the impetus behind Bingo Hall and their processes for writing new plays.
Saturday, March 17
As a special treat, the Autry will host a round of bingo in the cafe before doors open for the 8:00 p.m. performance.
Tickets for Bingo Hall are $10 for Autry members; $25 for nonmembers; and $15 for students, seniors (60+), and military. Preview tickets are free for Autry Members; $15 for nonmembers; and $10 for students, seniors (60+), and military. A select number of Early Bird discount tickets are available for regular performances until March 1. See additional pricing information below. Performances take place at the Wells Fargo Theater, located at the Autry Museum of the American West, 4700 Western Heritage Way, Los Angeles, CA 90027. For reservations and additional information, please call 323.495.4354 or visit TheAutry.org/NativeVoices.
LEAD CAST AND CREATIVE TEAM
Randy Reinholz, (Choctaw*) (Founder and Producing Artistic Director of Native Voices at the Autry) is an accomplished producer, director, actor, and playwright. Off The Rails, his bawdy and irreverent adaptation of Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure, had its world premiere at Oregon Shakespeare Festival with Bill Rauch directing in 2017. He has produced more than 30 scripts and directed over 60 plays in the United States, Australia, England, and Canada. Reinholz is a Professor at San Diego State University, where he served as Head of Acting from 1997-2007, Director of the School of Theatre, Television, and Film from 2007-2012, and Director of Community Engagement and Innovation for the College of Professional Studies and Fine Arts at SDSU from 2012-2015.
Jean Bruce Scott (Founder and Producing Executive Director of Native Voices at the Autry) has spent over 20 years developing new plays, including more than 200 by Native American playwrights. For Native Voices, she has produced 35 plays (including 22 world premieres), 23 New Play Festivals, 7 Short Play Festivals, 14 Playwrights Retreats, 20 national and international tours, and over 235 play readings. In 2014 Scott was instrumental in formalizing the Native Voices Artists Ensemble to mentor and support outstanding and promising Native American actors, directors, writers, and producers. She has received a McKnight Fellowship, a MAP Grant, Playwrights Arena's Lee Melville Award, and serves on the Leadership Board of the Theatrical Producers League of Los Angeles, Large Theatres, and is a member of the National Theatre Conference, New York.
Playwright Dillon Chitto (Mississippi Choctaw, Laguna, and Isleta Pueblo*) is a is a young, emerging Native American writer from Santa Fe, New Mexico. Very much a product of his environment, he learned the importance of art, culture, and traditions from his parents, grandparents, brother, and members of his community. In his playwriting, he connects these ideas using storytelling techniques learned throughout his life. He presently resides in Chicago, Illinois.
Jon Lawrence Rivera (Director) has received the Inaugural Career Achievement Award from Stage Raw, a NY Fringe Festival Award, an LA Weekly Award, and is a five-time Ovation Award nominee. His work with Native Voices includes Fairly Traceable and Stand-Off at HWY #37 (Autry Museum and University of South Dakota). His recent Playwrights’ Arena productions includes: Bloodletting, The End Times, @thespeedofJake, Circus Ugly, Painting in Red, Cinnamon Girl (LA and Beijing), and Dallas Non-Stop. Rivera is the Founding Artistic Director of Playwrights’ Arena.
Kholan Studi (Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma*) / Edward Anaya was born and raised in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He was bitten by the acting bug early and after graduating high school attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. On completing his training in 2015, Studi was invited to join Native Voices at the Autry. Since then, he has been honored to work on such shows as They Don't Talk Back as well as the yearly Short Play Festival. Studi would like to thank Jean and Randy for giving him the chance to work with Native Voices as well as thank his friends and family for all of their support. He dedicates this performance to his grandmother, Wallace Albertson. “You dream a little dream or you could live a little dream, I'd rather live it, cause dreamers always chase but never get it.” —Aesop Rock
Kenny Ramos (Barona Band of Mission Indians—Diegueño Iipay/Kumeyaay*) / Raleigh (Ray) Rodriguez was raised on the Barona Indian Reservation in San Diego County and holds a BA in American Indian Studies from UCLA. Regional credits include Joseph . . . Dreamcoat, 42nd Street, Cats, Aida (Moonlight Stage Productions); Larissa Fasthorse’s Urban Rez (Cornerstone Theater Company); and Randy Reinholz’s Off the Rails (Oregon Shakespeare Festival). A proud company member of both Dancing Earth: Indigenous Contemporary Dance Creations and the Native Voices Artist Ensemble, Ramos’s next project is Mary Kathryn Nagle’s Return to Niobrara (Rose Theater/Kennedy Center).
Michaela Escarcega (Azteca*) / Dakota Zuni is a bi-coastal performer and stage director. She is a graduate of California State University, Northridge, where she received an honors BA in theatre arts. While at CSUN she also received the Irene Ryan award in performance for her role of Rosalind in As You Like It and had her co-directorial debut of Angels in America, Part I. Her directorial work has also been seen at the Tank and the Wild Project. When offstage, she works at the off-Broadway complex Theater Center and the Tank. Additional training and performance includes work with LAMDA and the Independent Shakespeare Co.
Duane Minard (Yurok, Paiute*) (Joe Anaya)
Rainy Fields (Muskogee Creek, Cherokee*) (Donna Anaya)
Allison Hicks (Prairie Band Potawatomi, Choctaw*) (Teresa)
Jennifer Bobiwash (Ojibway*) (Beverly)
LaVonne Rae Andrews (Tlingit – Raven clan*) (Mrs. Zuni)
*Refers to tribal affiliation.
Native Voices Is Sponsored by
The Actors’ Equity Foundation, Department of Cultural Affairs (City of Los Angeles), Edison International, Los Angeles County Arts Commission, National Endowment for the Arts, The Nissan Foundation, San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, Shubert Foundation, SoCal Gas, Sony Pictures Entertainment, The Walt Disney Company, and Wells Fargo.
About Native Voices at the Autry
Native Voices at the Autry is the only Equity theatre company devoted exclusively to developing and producing new works for the stage by Native American, Alaska Native, and First Nations playwrights. The theatre company is committed to putting Native narratives at the center of the American story in order to facilitate a more inclusive dialog on what it means to be American. Founded in 1994 by Producing Artistic Director Randy Reinholz (Choctaw) and Producing Executive Director Jean Bruce Scott, Native Voices became the resident theatre company at the Autry Museum of the American West in 1999. The company provides a supportive, collaborative setting for Native theatre artists from across North America. In 2014 the company established the Native Voices Artists Ensemble to more fully support the extraordinary talents of its Native actors, writers, musicians, and directors. The Ensemble is devoted to developing new work in a collaborative process as well as supporting Native Voices’ ongoing focus on the work of individual playwrights. Native Voices is pleased to return for a second year as the resident theatre company at the Tony award winning La Jolla Playhouse through the 2017/2018 season. Native Voices at the Autry is a member of Actors’ Equity Association, LA Stage Alliance, and the Dramatists Guild, an associate member of the National New Play Network and is a Constituent Theatre of Theatre Communications Group (TCG), the national organization for the American theatre. Visit TheAutry.org/NativeVoices for more information.
About the Autry Museum of the American West
The Autry is a museum dedicated to exploring and sharing the stories, experiences, and perceptions of the diverse peoples of the American West, connecting the past to the present to inspire our shared future. The museum presents a wide range of exhibitions and public programs—including lectures, film, theatre, festivals, family events, and music—and performs scholarship, research, and educational outreach. The Autry’s collection of more than 500,000 pieces of art and artifacts includes the Southwest Museum of the American Indian Collection, one of the largest and most significant collections of Native American materials in the United States.
EDITORS, PLEASE NOTE: CALENDAR LISTING
WHO: Native Voices at the Autry, America’s leading Native American theatre company
WHAT: Bingo Hall by Dillon Chitto
PREVIEWS: Wednesday, March 7, 8:00 p.m. and Thursday March 8, 8:00 p.m.
OPENS: Friday, March 9, 8:00 p.m. A reception with the cast and crew to follow the Opening Night performance.
Saturday, March 10, 2:00 p.m. Conversation with the Playwright: Following the 2:00 p.m. matinee, artistic director Randy Reinholz and playwright Dillon Chitto will discuss the impetus behind Bingo Hall and their processes for writing new plays.
Saturday, March 10, 8:00 p.m.
Sunday, March 11, 2:00 p.m.
Thursday, March 15, 8:00 p.m.
Friday, March 16, 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, March 17, 2:00 p.m.
Saturday, March 17, 8:00 p.m. Bingo!: The Autry will host a round of bingo in the cafe before doors open for the 8:00 p.m. performance.
Sunday, March 18, 2:00 p.m.
Thursday, March 22, 8:00 p.m.
Friday, March 23, 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, March 24, 2:00 p.m.
Saturday, March 24, 8:00 p.m.
Sunday, March 25, 2:00 p.m.
Wells Fargo Theater
Autry Museum of the American West
4700 Western Heritage Way
Los Angeles, CA 90027-1462
$25 General Admission
$15 Students/Seniors (60+)/Military
$10 Autry Members
Early Bird (limited number to regular performances available until March 1):
$15 General Admission
$10 Students/Seniors (60+)/Military
$8 Autry Members
$15 General Admission
$10 Students/Seniors (60+)/Military
Free for Autry Members
Bingo Hall tickets include museum admission to the Autry during the month of March. Present your Eventbrite ticket for complimentary admission. Offer valid March 1-31, 2018, for general museum admission only (no special events) during regular museum hours.
The Autry's Crossroads West Cafe will offer a limited menu before and after matinee performances, and from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. prior to evening performances. Beer, wine, and light dinner fare will be available for purchase.
Image: Photo © 2017 Craig Schwartz Photography.