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NATIVE VOICES AT THE AUTRY ANNOUNCES 2010-11 SEASON

October 11, 2010

A local treasure. If you haven’t experienced it, please do this season.

from the release:  Native Voices at the Autry, America’s leading Native American theatre company, announces its 2010-11 season that spotlights its mission to develop new plays and foster emerging and established Native playwrights.  The season’s world premiere of Carolyn Dunn’s (Muskogee Creek*) haunting and poetic The Frybread Queen, presented during the fall as a reading in the FIRST LOOK SERIES: PLAYS IN PROGRESS, and then fully staged in a spring mainstage Equity production, illustrates Native Voices’ deep commitment to nurturing new works and seeing them fully realized.  The production is the culmination of a pivotal, five-year development process shepherded by the company, including a developmental co-production in September with Montana Rep and The University of Montana School of Theatre and Dance.  Also featured during the season is an additional reading in Native Voices’ FIRST LOOK SERIES: PLAYS IN PROGRESS and the annual PLAYWRIGHTS RETREAT AND FESTIVAL OF NEW PLAYS showcasing works selected in a national playwrights competition.  Additionally, the company presents more than a dozen readings, workshops and developmental productions of stage and radio plays in various stages of development in collaboration with such leading organizations as The Public Theater, La Jolla Playhouse, Montana Rep, The Alaska Native Playwrights Project, San Diego State University and Native Radio Theater Project. 
 
Native Voices is the country’s only Equity theatre company dedicated exclusively to producing new works by Native American playwrights, and it has been acclaimed by critics as “a hot bed for contemporary Native theatre,” “deeply compelling” and “a powerful and eloquent voice.”
 
“Native Voices at the Autry helps new and established Native American playwrights transform their ideas into plays that can reach wide ranging audiences around the globe,” says Native Voices at the Autry Co-Founder/Producing Executive Director Jean Bruce Scott, an accomplished producer whose name and face are remarkably familiar from her acting roles in countless 1980s and 1990s television series ranging from Days of Our Lives to Magnum P.I., Airwolf and St. Elsewhere among many others.  “Nurturing talent is our purpose.”
 
Adds Co-Founder/Producing Artistic Director Randy Reinholz (Choctaw*), whose extensive directing resume includes a vast number of productions throughout the United States and Canada, “At Native Voices at the Autry, we understand the tremendous amount of time, effort and artistic support it takes for a play to go from the page to the stage, so we work side-by-side with playwrights throughout the development process.  We help guide plays on multiple levels, bringing in leading dramaturgs, directors, actors and even ‘test’ audiences, who provide invaluable feedback, to work closely with playwrights over an extended period of time – even years – as they hone their plays in multiple workshops, readings and developmental productions all produced or co-produced by Native Voices.  There is no set blueprint for shaping a play, but we do know that constructive input from outside experts in a measured fashion is an invaluable tool at all stages of development, which few theatre companies provide on the scope that we do.  So our approach is distinctive among theatre companies.”
 
Native Voices, established as a resident company at the Autry National Center in 1999, provides a supportive, collaborative setting for Native writers, actors and theatre artists from across North America to develop new works for the stage.  The company is widely respected in both the Native American and theatre communities for its breakthrough plays and diverse programming highlighting unique points of view within the more than 500 Native American nations in North America.  Native Voices has presented fully staged productions of 18 critically acclaimed new plays, including 13 world premieres, 13 dynamic New Play Festivals and 7 Playwright Retreats, and more than 100 workshops and public staged readings of new plays.  The company’s main stage productions are performed at the Wells Fargo Theater at the Autry National Center.
SEASON DETAILED
LOS ANGELES EVENTS
 
November 4 and 7, 2010
Wells Fargo Theater at The Autry National Center, Los Angeles
As part of its on-going development process, The Frybread Queen by Carolyn Dunn (Muskogee Creek*) is presented for two public readings as part of Native Voices’ FIRST LOOK SERIES: PLAYS IN PROGRESS, which brings playwrights together with professional directors, dramaturgs and actors for an extended workshop and public presentation.  A haunting and poetic drama, The Frybread Queen is the spirited story of three generations of Native women bound by marriage and family ties, who come together at Lake Powell for the funeral of a beloved son, and in their grief, confront long-simmering tensions and family secrets that threaten to tear them apart.  Directed by Jere Hodgin at The Autry National Center’s Wells Fargo Theater, the readings are staged in conjunction with The Autry’s popular annual American Indian Arts Marketplace at the Autry.  A chat with the playwright and director follows the reading.
 
March 5-27, 2011
Wells Fargo Theater at The Autry National Center, Los Angeles
The cornerstone of Native Voices’ season is the world premiere Equity production of The Frybread Queen by Carolyn Dunn (Muskogee Creek*), described as “one of the most celebrated new Native American theatre pieces in the country,” which runs March 5-27, 2011 (previews begin March 3) at The Autry National Center’s Wells Fargo Theater.  The mainstage production, directed by Jere Hodgin, follows on the heels of a developmental production in Montana in September and readings of the work, as part of Native Voices’ noted FIRST LOOK SERIES: PLAYS IN PROGRESS in November.  Illustrating Native Voices’ deep commitment to nurturing new works and seeing them fully realized, this Equity production is the culmination of a pivotal, five-year development process shepherded by the company that has included long-term dramaturgical support, extensive workshop opportunities and invaluable collaboration with a team of theatre professionals.  The production team includes Susan Scharpf, set designer; R. Craig Wolf, lighting designer; and Christina Wright, costume designer. 
 
June 3-5, 2011, La Jolla Playhouse
June 16-19, 2011, Wells Fargo Theater at The Autry National Center
In conjunction with its PLAYWRIGHTS RETREAT AND FESTIVAL OF NEW PLAYS, Native Voices at the Autry presents a developmental production of Time Immemorial, written by Jack Dalton (Yup’ik*) and Allison Warden (Inupiaq*), a clever retelling of how the world was made.  The play was initially workshopped at the 2010 Playwright’s Retreat. 
 
June 4-6, 2011, La Jolla Playhouse
June 18-19, 2011, Wells Fargo Theater at The Autry National Center
Native Voices at the Autry presents several new plays selected by a panel of eminent playwrights, dramaturgs and directors from across the country for the prestigious PLAYWRIGHTS RETREAT AND FESTIVAL OF NEW PLAYS this summer.  The festival culminates with readings of the works in progress at both the La Jolla Playhouse (June 4-6, 2011), and the Wells Fargo Theater at The Autry National Center (June 18-19, 2011).  The PLAYWRIGHTS RETREAT AND FESTIVAL OF NEW PLAYS, established in 2004, provides the opportunity during an 8- to 10-day retreat for beginning, emerging and established Native American playwrights to work closely in shaping their plays with nationally recognized directors, dramaturgs and an acting company comprised of exceptional Native American actors, culminating in public readings.  This project is hosted by Native Voices in conjunction with La Jolla Playhouse and San Diego State University.  Many works developed during the Retreat, including Native Voices’ 2009-10 season opener Carbon Black, have gone on to enjoy successful runs on the Autry main stage and elsewhere.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Jean Bruce Scott permalink
    October 11, 2010 11:28 am

    Be part of Native Voices developmental process! Please join us for “The Frybread Queen” readings November 4 at 7pm and November 7 at 2pm. These will be the last two workshop/readings before Native Voices World Premiere of the play in March 2011.

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