Don't miss your chance to catch CARBON in LA!

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There are only five more performances left and we surely hope to see you in our audience! Use the coupon code YELLOWTREE while making your reservation to receive two tickets for the price of one! $20 for two people to catch the world premiere of a spectacular new play - now that's a deal! 

Select from one of the performances below and call 323-667-2000, ext. 354 or email us today!* 

Thursday, Nov 19 @ 8:00 p.m.
Friday, Nov 20 @ 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, Nov 21 @ 2:00 p.m. & 8:00 p.m.
Sunday, Nov 22 @ 2:00 p.m.

* Be sure to use the coupon code and tell us the number of tickets you need as well as the date and time of the performance you'd like to attend. 

And here's a bit more of what our critics have had to say:
"We can ignore violence, let it paralyze us with fear, or we can do something about it."
-LA Stage Blog

"Tousey and Drummond... are standouts..."
-LA Times 

"The play certainly delivers drama and suspense in a succession of disturbing scenes that tear at the heart and quicken the pulse."
-California Chronicle  

And if you catch Sunday's performance on November 22nd, feel free to stick around for LA SkinsFest's celebration of Native American cinema and theater at 7 p.m. honoring Native Voices Tenth Anniversary. Admission is FREE! Reception, live music, and films from local Native filmmakers will be featured. Please visit for more information. The event will be held at the Autry National Center.

We hope to see you soon!
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A few words from the LA Times...

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"...ravaging parable about the terrible weight that too many modern-day children are forced to shoulder before their time." 

" a deft staging, director Randy Reinholz ferrets out the humor in Gomez’s drama, particularly the playful interaction between Sylvie and Carbon – a loving but onerous bond that Carbon must break to survive." 

"Tousey and Drummond [Sylvie and Carbon]... are standouts, as pitiable as they are ultimately heroic."

Click here for the full review: 'Carbon Black' at the Autry.
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CARBON BLACK bursts open its doors...

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Photo courtesy of Tony Dontscheff 

...and here's what audience members are saying:
"Carbon Black has not one, but two masterful performances- you shouldn't miss it..."
"Sheila Tousey is spectacular in this play- what a journey she takes us on!"
"Young Michael Drummond's 'Inky' is a revelation." 
"Amazingly strong characters; totally absorbing- bravo!" 
"Great story- great acting- great performances."

Don't miss your chance to see the world premiere of this remarkable play by Terry Gomez. The show runs until Sunday, November 22nd at the Autry National Center across from the LA Zoo. Performances are at 8p on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays and at 2p on Saturdays and Sundays.

General admission is $20 but you can take advantage of our 2-for-1 offer by calling 323-667-2000, ext 354 or emailing Use the code YELLOWTREE and let us know which performance you'd like to attend. 

In the meantime, take a look at Evan Henerson's article on Native Voices in the Examiner and Ashley Steed's story on Terry and CARBON BLACK in LA Stage. 

And as Carbon Black is enjoying its time in the theatre, arrangements are already being made for our 2010 Playwrights Retreat and Festival of New Plays. November's turning into a very busy month for Native Voices so be sure to keep checking back here for updates! 

Till next time!

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A note from Jean...

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Hello Dear Friends,

We need your help to keep Native Voices at the Autry alive and well through these tough economic times!

We hope you have already made your plans to come out to see our latest production, the world premiere of Carbon Black, by Terry Gomez (Comanche) on opening weekend. It's an astounding play with a great cast, and we’re particularly proud to be bringing it to you this season, our Tenth Anniversary as Native Voices at the Autry! (click for full press release)

Those of you who attend the play OPENING WEEKEND will find a coupon in your playbill for FREE ENTRY to the Autry's INTERTIBAL ARTS MARKETPLACE on November 7th & 8th from 10am - 5pm. What a great way to kick off Native American Heritage Month!

As you know, now, more than ever before, we need your help at the Autry supporting Native programing and Native Voices at the Autry - America's leading Native American theater company. And we need your help to bring in new audience members and keep attendance at our events as high as possible. Like many arts organizations we're struggling to get through these tough economic times and by coming out to our events and productions (and bringing your friends) you help so much! And this allows us to continue to bring you the best in Native American theater despite shrinking budgets.

So, please show your support by buying your tickets today and share the flyer below with friends with an interest in theater, especially with those who are paying customers! Our annual productions are the only opportunity you get to actually help fund Native Voices by buying tickets as all of our other events are free.

Half Price Previews are this Thursday at 8pm and Saturday at 2pm. OPENING NIGHT is Saturday, November 7th at 8pm. Performances run Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 8pm and Saturdays and Sundays at 2pm November 7-22, but we’re particularly anxious to have you all come out and see the show its OPENING WEEKEND, Saturday, November 7th at 8pm and Sunday, November 8th at 2pm, to show your support of Native Voices and to help spread word of mouth...

Due to the generosity of some wonderful individuals and businesses, several Native community organizations and schools will be able to see the show at no cost to them!

What we're doing!
This year we're pleased to be able to offer particularly deserving and interested groups with financial limitations the opportunity to see our plays. If you know of such a group who would otherwise miss this wonderful show -- Please let us know - ASAP - so we can arrange to get them sponsored tickets. Contact Rich Deely at as soon as possible with the name of the organization and full contact information.

If you or your business is interested in sponsoring a performance for a group (large or small) or underwriting a performance or event, please be sure to let me know by contacting me directly at -- we have groups waiting for sponsors -- And we have numerous events planned for 2010 that we will offer FREE to Los Angeles and San Diego audiences -- Events you can underwrite!

Sponsor a group - $100 will purchase 10 tickets for deserving Native community organizations or school groups -- $1,900 buys an entire house. My mom and I are both sponsors!

Underwrite an event in 2010 - $5,000 - $50,000

On behalf of myself, Randy and the entire Native Voices team (more than 150 Native theater artists each year), thanks for everything you do. If you, or a friend can afford to buy a ticket please go to CARBON BLACK to purchase your tickets NOW!

If you can sponsor group tickets or underwrite an event in 2010 contact me! I'd love to talk to you about funding opportunities you can help us with!

Thank you. We’ll see you at the theater - and, with your continued support we'll keep Native Voices on stage at the Autry National Center!

Many blessings,
Jean Bruce Scott, Producing Executive Director
Native Voices at the Autry
4700 Western Heritage Way
Los Angeles, CA 90027

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Friday's Give-Away!

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Round three of our Carbon Black give-away series!

Visit our production website for Carbon Black. Peruse the site to find answers to the following:

1. What is playwright Terry Gomez's tribal affiliation?
2. Name three theatres actor Michael Drummond has worked with.
3. Locate the image labeled "Director's Inspirational Image." Which production is this image from?
4. Which disorder does character Sylvie Black suffer from?

The first two people to email me at with the correct answers will win free tickets to a performance of their choice to Carbon Black which opens next Saturday, November 7th.

And congratulations to the first winner of our "Autry website contest" - Erin Scott!
There are still two more opportunities to win with the "follow us" contest and one more with the "Autry website contest" so keep your comments comin'!

Thank you so much for your continued support of Native theatre and Native Voices at the Autry. We hope you all have a happy and safe Halloween and we hope to see you at the theatre soon!!
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Ticket Give-Away Continues for CARBON BLACK

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First, we'd like to extend our sincere congratulations to the first three winners of our "follow us" contest:

Karina Rain D.
Christopher Goodwin

I will be in touch with each of you soon to take your reservation for Carbon Black. If you haven't already done so, please send me a message with your email address (otherwise I won't have a way of contacting you). You may leave me a comment here or contact me at

**This contest is still open to two more followers so sign up now and send me your email address to win free tickets! See our previous post for more details.**

Now for our second round of give-aways:
Visit our Autry website. On the left-hand menu, click on the section titled "About Us" and search for answers to the following:

1. When was Native Voices at the Autry established?
2. Name two reservations where Young Native Voices has been in residence.
3. Where is the Annual Playwrights Retreat and Festival of New Plays held and how long does it last?

The first two people to email me at with the correct responses will win free tickets to a performance of their choice for Carbon Black.

Good luck to you all and I hope to hear from you soon!
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Ticket Give-Aways for CARBON BLACK


In conjunction with our upcoming world premiere production of Terry Gomez's Carbon Black, we will be giving away free tickets to the first five new people who sign up to follow our blog and who post a comment with their email addresses*. Simply click on the button to your right to follow us and I will be in touch with our lucky winners personally to take their reservations. 

*Email addresses will not be published or added to any mailing lists. They will only be used to contact the winners.

Although this offer is only good for new followers to our blog, more opportunities for free tickets will be introduced on:

Wednesday, October 28
Friday, October 30
Monday, November 2
Wednesday, November 4, and
Friday, November 6

There are plenty of chances to win so check back on the above dates for more info.
(Hint: you may want to start following us on Myspace, Facebook, and Twitter to increase your chances of winning)

Good luck to you all and I'll be in touch!
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Reporting from Carbon Black's First Day of Rehearsal

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On October 15th, our stellar cast and crew gathered at San Diego State University to begin rehearsals for the world premiere of Carbon Black. As Literary Manager, I really wanted to be there for the first day to listen in on the changes that have been made since I last saw the show. I know Terry, Doug, and Randy have been working together since the retreat to further strengthen the script and tighten up any loose ends and, as I told Randy, "it's much more fun to hear the actors read the script then to read it myself and have to make up the voices." And actually, "more fun" turned out to be a gross understatement. Sometimes, actors will be a bit conservative during read-throughs and table work opting to conserve their energy for blocking rehearsals. Now, I'm not all too familiar with Sheila, Michael, Tonantzin, and Stephan's individual work ethics but if this was them holding back, then wow, we're all in for a wild ride! Even with the stop and go structure that goes hand-in-hand with table work, this was one of the most dynamic read-throughs I've had the pleasure of being a witness to. The changes that Terry's made really bolster what was already a very compelling story. I think everyone's prime to get this play on the stage and I highly encourage everyone to buy their tickets now because this is definitely a show you won't want to miss.

For more rehearsal updates, be sure to check Carbon Black's production website:

On a completely separate note, we're currently assembling our 2010 National Reading Panel so keep an eye out for an announcement about that soon. The convening of this panel is one of the first steps towards planning our annual Playwrights Retreat and Festival of New Plays (yes, we're already planning for next summer).

So stay tuned and I'll be in touch!

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Celebrate National Native American Awareness Month with a trip to the Autry!

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Native Voices at the Autry is pleased to announce that it will feature Carbon Black by Terry Gomez (Comanche) and directed by Randy Reinholz (Choctaw) as its main stage Fall 2009 production.

Half-Price Previews on November 4 and 5 at 8pm; November 7 at 2pm
Opening Night November 7 at 8pm
Show Runs through November 22
Showtimes: Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays at 8pm; Saturdays and Sundays at 2pm

All shows at The Autry National Center in Griffith Park across from the LA Zoo where the 5 and 134 freeways meet. Parking is free and plentiful.

40% off for groups of 10 or more. Purchase tickets for your group at only $12 per ticket! Raise awareness and money: plan a charity benefit or themed event during National Native American Awareness Month in November!
Group leaders: To reserve tickets or for more info contact or at 323-466-5830.

General Admission $20
Previews $10
Autry Members $12 ($6 for previews)
Autry Box Office 323-667-2000 x354 or TicketWeb 866-468-3399 or

**Show your ticket stub and get FREE entry into the 2009 Intertribal Arts Marketplace on November 7 and 8 plus a complimentary gift at the Autry Museum Store! Ask Christi for details.**

This taut psychological drama focuses on the relationship between an agoraphobic mother and her precocious son, Carbon "Inky" Black. When Inky claims to have witnessed a horrific murder, his mother's refusal to acknowledge the tale and her crippling dependence on sensationalized media coverage of violence in their city, serve to isolate them both even further. Dejected and often truant from school, Inky turns to young and well-meaning guidance counselor, Lisa YellowTree, who must fight her own battles with Mr. Tucker, a gruff and seemingly uncaring Vice Principal.

Inspired by an outbreak of crime in the playwright's own neighborhood, as well as the lingering culture of fear that has grown up in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks, Carbon Black illustrates what happens when life is distorted through the lens of local television news and what the ramifications for individuals and society at large can be when the reaction to crime and violence, real or perceived, is denial and solitary confinement.

Gripping, suspenseful psychological drama. PG-13.

Christi Crowe
FLAG Marketing
Fight Like A Girl!
(323) 466-5830
Representing Native Voices at The Autry
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Check out our website for Carbon Black...

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... and say hello to our new Literary Assistant, Pamela Sevilla!

It is with great pleasure and much excitement that I introduce you to the newest addition to our Native Voices' family, Miss Pamela Sevilla. Actually, Pam isn't a stranger to Native Voices: she's stage managed two of our playwrights retreats in San Diego and has been instrumental in the success of both of those events. Her tenacity, inexplicable attention to detail, and overall awesomeness make her an ideal collaborator and I couldn't be more delighted to have her on board. As Literary Assistant, Pam's main duties will be to provide coverage on a majority of the submissions we receive as well as to help coordinate next year's retreat (which, believe it or not, we're in the process of doing as we speak).

In addition, Pam is also serving as the Assistant Director and Website Manager for our production of Carbon Black. She has been working diligently alongside director Randy Reinholz making sure everything's in place for our first day of rehearsal, which is a week from today. For the inside scoop on all things "inky," check out Pam's website for the production. There you'll find info on all our actors, our production team, and you can even sign up to receive updates from the rehearsal room!

Of course, we've got a lot more surprises in store for Miss Sevilla so be sure to keep your eyes out for her because you'll be seeing her a lot! Welcome to the family Pam! We're glad to have ya!

For more info on Pam, please visit our previous blog post: "my backbone"
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From Sundance's Native Lab

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How do you get personal on the big screen? The '09 Native Filmmakers Lab Fellows gathered in the homelands of the Mescalero Apache Tribe to work on sharing the stories of their cultures with the world at large. 

From the Official YouTube Channel of the Sundance Film Festival, presented by Sundance Institute.
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Announcing our 10th Anniversary Season

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November 7 - 22, 2009 
Native Voices launches the 2009-2010 play series with the world premiere of Carbon Black, a humor-tinged suspenseful psychological drama by Terry Gomez (Comanche) and directed by Native Voices Founder/Producing Artistic Director Randy Reinholz (Choctaw). Gripping and enigmatic, the play vividly portrays a mother-son relationship held hostage by agoraphobia and media-inspired fear.

March 13 - 28, 2010
The second main-stage offering this season is the critically applauded one-man show Tales of an Urban Indian by noted Canadian playwright/actor Darrell Dennis (Shuswap), who stars in the dark comedy directed by Herbie Barnes (Ojibway). Darrell tells a tale of a life observed through the lens of a contemporary urban Indian making his way from the reservation to the city and experiencing his own unique (and often devastatingly hilarious) brand of culture shock. Sad, funny and always entertaining, Darrell invites us to a world where overcoming the odds is just the beginning. Tales is produced in association with New York’s The Public Theater, which premiered the play last spring.

June 2010
Established in 2004, Native Voices' highly regarded Playwrights Retreat and Festival of New Plays provides the opportunity for beginning, emerging and established Native American playwrights to work closely with nationally recognized directors, dramaturgs and an acting company comprised of exceptional Native American actors during an 8- to 10-day retreat at San Diego State University. The week's work culminates in staged readings for public audiences at La Jolla Playhouse and the Autry National Center. Many works developed during this project, including Carbon Black, have gone on to enjoy successful runs on the Autry stage and international festivals as well as regional theatres in the US and Canada. 

August 2010
Concluding the season is the ground-breaking Young Native Voices Theatre Education Project (YNVTEP), which is designed specifically to help identify and train the next generation of leading theater artists and provide a unique opportunity for Native youths to explore their culture and heritage through theater. Middle- and high-school-age Native youths are paired with professional mentors for intensive playwriting and theater workshops, culminating in public staged readings of their plays. The project is a collaboration with the Southern California Indian Center’s (SCIC) InterTribal Entertainment. To date, dozens of new plays have been written as part of this project. 

Sign up to stay tuned for more! Up next: a cast announcement for Carbon Black!
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Announcing the Alaska Native Playwrights Project (ANPP)

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Alaska Native Playwrights Project (ANPP) seeks to identify, teach and nurture Alaska Native playwrights and to establish a repertoire of uniquely Alaska Native plays derived from the rich oral tradition of Alaska’s eleven indigenous cultures and the artists’ own personal narratives. The Alaska Native Heritage Center is currently looking for writers from across the state for this year-long mentorship.

Please see the call below for more information. The application is also available online at (under Calendar of Events is a hyperlink to the Alaska Native Playwrights Project). You may also contact Ed Bourgeois, Director of Public Programs, at or call (907) 330-8057.

The deadline for artist applications is October 5, 2009.

Best of luck to you all!
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Celebrating ten years with a beloved friend

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Native Voices at the Autry is proud to kick off its Tenth Anniversary Season with the return of Marie Clements' Tombs of the Vanishing Indian. Marie's one-woman play, Urban Tattoo, was Native Voices' first production at the Autry (1999) and Tombs was the company's first commissioned play (2003). The play has received three workshops and staged readings with Native Voices (2004, 2005) as well as a recent workshop and reading this past February with Native Earth Performing Arts.

Tombs of the Vanishing Indian was inspired by Marie's visit to the Southwest Museum of the American Indian, an entity of the Autry National Center. That visit, coupled with stories of those who were sent to Los Angeles in the 1950s and the ways Indians are made to vanish in society gave rise to this powerfully compelling play. Tombs weaves together the stories of three sisters who, along with their mother, were made to relocate to LA from Oklahoma only to find themselves lost down three very different tunnels. We follow each of the women as they struggle with the choices they have to make and the choices that have been forced upon them.

September's presentation of Tombs is part of Native Voices' First Look Series which brings playwrights together with professional directors, dramaturgs, and actors for an eight-hour workshop and public presentation at the Autry. A chat with Marie, director Luis Alfaro, and the actors will follow the reading so you'll have a chance to offer your thoughts about the play. Details are below, admission is free, and we can't wait to see you there!

Tombs of the Vanishing Indian
Written by Marie Clements (Metis)

Direction and Dramaturgy by Luis Alfaro

Wednesday, September 2nd @ 7:30p
Wells Fargo Theatre, Autry National Center
Across from the LA Zoo in Griffith Park

About the Playwright

Marie Clements (Metis) is an award-winning performer, playwright, director, producer, screenwriter, and a partner with Evan Adams on their newly formed film company Frog Girl Films. As a writer, she has worked in a variety of mediums including theatre, film, new media, radio, and television garnering numerous awards including the 2004 Canada-Japan Literary Award for Burning Vision which was also shortlisted for the 2004 Governor General’s Literary Award; a shortlisted nomination for the 2008 Governor General’s Literary Award (Copper Thunderbird); and a Leo Award Nomination for her film Unnatural and Accidental Women. She is currently working on The Edward Curtis Project, a commission from the Presentation House in North Vancouver to premiere January 2010 as a part of the Cultural Olympiad. She is founding artistic director of urban ink productions and has produced and toured twelve original productions to national and international showcases, directed ten original productions, written twelve original plays and acted in over 50 theatre productions.

About the Director and Dramaturg
Luis Alfaro is a Chicano writer and performer known for his work in poetry, theatre, short stories, performance, and journalism. He is also a producer and director who spent ten years at the Mark Taper Forum as Associate Producer, Director of New Play Development and co-director of the Latino Theatre Initiative. His plays include: Electricidad, Downtown, No Holds Barrio, Body of Faith, Straight As A Line, Bitter Homes and Gardens, Ladybird, Black Butterfly, and Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner. He is the recipient of a MacArthur Foundation fellowship, popularly known as a “genius grant,” awarded to people who have demonstrated expertise and exceptional creativity in their respective fields. A Rockefeller Fellow and University of California Regents Chair Fellow, he is the only artist to have won two awards in the same year from The Kennedy Center's Fund for New American Plays. He is also the recipient of awards from the NEA, TCG, and PEN USA, among others and currently teaches at the University of Southern California.

About the Cast

Playing Dr. Hansen

Kevin Ashworth is new to Los Angeles and pleased to be participating in this reading. Favorite credits include A Streetcar Named Desire and The Musical of Musicals: The Musical! (Foothills Theatre), Miracle on 34th Street (Stoneham Theatre), Hamlet (Shakespeare Now), 1776 (Lyric Stage), How I Learned to Drive (Devanaughn Theatre), Our Country’s Good (Theatre Cooperative), and Pygmalion (Longwood Players). He also appeared in Brotherhood on Showtime.

Playing Janey
Tonantzin Carmelo (Tongva, Kumeyaay) was previously seen in Native Voices at the Autry's world premiere productions of Teaching Disco Square Dancing to Our Elders, Please Do Not Touch the Indians, and Jump Kiss and has been a participant in their Playwrights Retreat and Festival of New Plays (2006, 2007, 2009) and First Look Series (2008). Film credits: Thunder Heart Woman in Into the West; and the lead in the feature films Imprint, Unearthed, Periphery, and Shadow Heart. She is the voice and image of Kendra Daniels in the EA Game Dead Space and the voice announcer for eight national Nintendo DS commercials. She was also a guest star on CSI: Miami and the new hit show Dark Blue on TNT. SAG/ AEA/ AFTRA

Playing Jessie
Elena Finney (Mescalero-Apache/ Tarascan) has performed with several multi-ethnic theater companies and was awarded a 2006 "First Americans in the Arts" award for her outstanding performance as Teresa in the Native Voices production Kino and Teresa. She recently returned from the well-received London debut of Diane Glancy's Salvage. Well versed in comedy, she has performed at the Second City and The Upright Citizen's Brigade in Los Angeles. She can also be heard as the voices of several characters in comedian Mike Hollingsworth's animated short films. TV credits include: Love Inc., Charmed, Mind of Mencia, Medical Investigation, and Popular. Film credits include: PowWow Dreams and Cantina. She developed her craft while earning her degree at UCLA's School of Theater, Film and TV. Represented by Tom Parziale, Visionary Talent Management. SAG/ AFTRA/ AEA

Playing Miranda

Happy Frejo (Seminole, Pawnee) is a performer and independent filmmaker. She travels to reservations teaching dance and youth theatre workshops and is the female dance captain for Kevin Locke Dance Ensemble and an instructor for NVISION (a Native non-profit organization). She was featured in the documentary 4 Real which aired on MTV/Canada, National Geographic, and the CW in 2008. She resides in Los Angeles pursuing a career in acting while promoting the film she wrote and directed, My Darkest Hour, based on the effects of a broken home. Her upcoming projects are finishing her first CD, publishing a book of her original poetry, and shooting her second project - a documentary film on Native youth and solutions for a better life.

Playing The Mother, The Lone Woman, Ruth, and Sarah

Lidia Pires (Guarani) has worked in most areas of the entertainment business but her first love will always be acting. She has hosted shows and appeared in numerous commercials as well as in film and TV. Look for her in the soon to be released feature, Lean Like a Cholo as well as Flights of Fancy, based on a true story, written by Diana Lesmez; Walking on Turtle Island, a series on Iktomi (the trickster) in the Lakota world, directed by Ian Skorodin and starring Robert Greygrass; and Rollout!: A Handball Story. She is delighted to return to Native Voices where she reunites with friends and feels very much at home.

Playing Bob Stills

Larry Reinhardt-Meyer Theatre credits: Gruppenfuhrer Reinhard Heydrich, All Steps Necessary (Inkwell Theatre); Edmund in Chuck Mee's Summertime (The Theatre at Boston Court); Peter/ Phil, Patience (Spotlight Theatre Company); Lee, True West (Civic Arts Rep) for which he received a Shellie Award nomination for Best Actor. Other favorites: Andrew Rodman in Lillian Hellman's Days to Come; John Landis, Fifth of July; Roscoe Dexter, Singin' in the Rain; Col. Pickering, My Fair Lady; Tristram, Taking Steps. Film: Thomas Edison in Nick and Michael Regalbuto's La Premiere; Officer MacReady in Will Eisner's: The Spirit, directed by Frank Miller; leads in The Catharsis of Foster Penski, Punching Hitler (Winner of the 'Reel' Choice- People's Choice Award at the Valley International Film Festival as "Best in Festival" and featured in 'The Short's Corner' at The Cannes Film Festival, 2004.); Genuine Magic; narration for A Walk of Wisdom: The Mae Chee Sansanee Story. TV: All My Children, Swift Justice, Feds, and numerous commercials. He is thrilled to be making his debut with Native Voices!

Playing the Narrative Voice
Adeye Sahran (Wampanaag) Regional Tours: The Berlin Blues (Native Voives at the Autry). Regional: Stage Door, The Rover, Medea (Antaeus Theater Company); Coriolanus, Richard III Redux, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Veterans Center for the Performing Arts); Pera Palas (The Boston Court); A Dangerous Descent, Macbeth (Will & Company); Peer Gynt (Sacred Fools Theater Company); A Midsummer Night's Dream, Lysistrata (Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum); And Then There Was Nun (Long Beach Playhouse). Television: Days of our Lives, Depth Charge. Thanks to Mom, Dad, and Annie for their continued support. AEA

Playing Detective Fullen

Stephan Wolfert left a career in the military for a life in the theatre after seeing Richard III. Since leaving the Army as an Infantry officer, he has received his MFA degree in Theatre from Trinity Rep Conservatory; created and directed the military segments for Twyla Tharp/Billy Joel’s Tony-award winning Broadway musical Movin’ Out; created the largest touring Shakespeare Company in New England; and taught acting and Shakespeare at Cornell University. He currently teaches and directs at the Antelope Valley College, performs with three theatre companies in Los Angeles, and is the founding director of the Veterans Center for the Performing Arts. He was first seen in Native Voices at the Autry's Please Do Not Touch the Indians and is elated to be back. SAG/ AEA
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Reminder: Submissions due September 15th

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Just a friendly reminder that submissions to Native Voices 2010 Playwrights Retreat and Festival of New Plays are due on September 15, 2009. If you have any new stories to share or any former ones you're still tinkering with - we'd love to hear them.

Submissions can be e-mailed directly to or snail mailed to:

Native Voices at the Autry
4700 Western Heritage Way
Los Angeles, CA 90027

Please note that all submissions need to be accompanied by the following:
- tribal affiliation
- contact info (mailing address, phone number, email address)
- biography
- CV/ resume
- production history

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to get in touch with me directly.

Happy writing!

carlenne lacosta
literary manager, native voices at the autry

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Auditions/ Open Call for CARBON BLACK

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...this also serves as an open call for future productions...

As an Equity HAT-A Theater, Native Voices is offering an Open Call for actors wishing to try out for the main roles in Comanche playwright Terry Gomez's incredible new play, Carbon Black. If we've worked together in the past but we haven't seen you in a while, please plan on joining us, as we'd like to see how you've continued to grow professionally.

Please note that we are reading both Native and non-Native actors as part of this audition. Read on for a character breakdown of the main characters in the play. Actors of Native heritage are encouraged to try out for as many of the roles (Native and non-Native characters) as they feel right for.

* Please note that we will also be looking for talent for our First Look staged reading series, including Tombs of the Vanishing Indian, by Marie Clements (Metis) on Wednesday, September 2nd at 7:30pm, and other future productions!

Saturday, August 22nd - Sunday, August 23rd
10a - 12p and 1p - 5p

Autry National Center Education Wing (directly beneath the tower)
4700 Western Heritage Way Los Angeles, CA 90027
In Griffith Park, across from the LA Zoo

Please contact Rich Deely, Production Manager
Call 323.667.2000, x299


INKY, male, Native or non-Native, early teens. A smart, lonely young teenager who spends much of his time out of school tending to his agoraphobic mother. He is quick, funny, and very sarcastic. He tends to be unkempt and messy. He is also unable to sleep, and afraid that he has witnessed a terrible crime from the fire escape of his apartment building, something that his mother denies.

SYLVIE, female, Native or non-Native, mid-to-late 40s. A middle-aged woman and Inky's mother. An agoraphobic, she has not left her apartment in over four years, and is constantly made more afraid by the deluge of sensationalized crime and violence reported on the local television news. She has frequent mood swings, rarely changes out of her moo-moos, and is unwilling to accept Inky's stories about the crime he may have witnessed. She lives in constant fear of something happening to her or to Inky.

LISA, female, Native, late 20s or early 30s. She is kind, compassionate, and perhaps a bit naïve about the students in her care at the local middle school, where she works as a guidance counselor. She tries to be professional in her appearance, and is careful in reaching out to Inky and Sylvie, who initially rebuff her. She is a parent of a mentally disabled young girl.

TUCKER, male, Native or non-Native, late 40s. He is a disciplinarian, and is often in physical pain, which makes him dark, sardonic, and bitter. He is the Vice-Principal of the school that Inky attends. He has a back injury that causes him to lean over. He is angry at Inky's trunancy, and determined to punish him. He views Lisa's methods as 'soft' and is openly dismissive of her.

- Please prepare a 2-min contemporary monologue
- Bring a headshot and resume

Rehearsal will begin in San Diego on October 15, 2009. Previews will be held at the Autry National Center in LA on November 4th, 5th, and 7th. Show opens on November 7th and runs until November 22, 2009.

$325/ wk
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A writing invitation...

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From Jackie Goldfinger who served as one of our dramaturg's during the 2008 Playwrights Retreat:


I am thrilled to be teaching a one-day playwriting workshop at UCSD on Saturday, August 29 from 10a.m. - 4p.m. If you know anyone who's interested in playwriting, or a playwright looking to sharpen their skills, please have them visit our website.

Although this workshop has a similar title to last year's class, it is different; this workshop will focus on writing exercises and practical writing tips. Playwrights will leave the workshop with a Tool Kit to write a new play or rewrite an existing piece.

Talk soon,

If you're in the area and you can make this class, GO! It's highly recommended and Jackie's a great playwright/ dramaturg/ general all-around person to be around! Happy writing!
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Now that's very interesting...

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From Gary Garrison at The Loop:

I have a theory – not the least bit scientific – that if you calculate how long you’ve seriously been pursuing your craft in years, you can discover your artistic age and with that, your temperament for growth as an artist. So, let’s say, you’ve been writing for five years. It’s been my experience (especially with my playwriting students), that they have all the markings of a five-year old: struggling to understand that unwieldy body they’re in, wildly imaginative, precocious, energetic, daring, fierce, unafraid, questioning and at times, boldly defiant. Enter into your preening teens and you’re rebellious, tempestuous, a little arrogant, desperately searching for an identity (and a home away from home) and equal parts pessimistic and optimistic. If your artistic age is in the twenties, like I am, you’ve settled a bit into who you are – good or bad, right or wrong. You know what you like and what you don’t like; opinions are the order of the day. You definitely know what you’re willing to tolerate or not. You have a sense of the order of the world beyond you, and, that order makes sense to you.

So how old are you? And what does that say to you about your writing? Your career? Your artistic temperament? Want to grow up? Or do you want to grow out? It's never too late to have a happy childhood.
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Regarding plans to expand the Autry National Center

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From an e-mail message written by Native Voices Managing Diretor, David Burton.

I want to share with you the ... letter [below] from our CEO John Gray reflecting an important decision made yesterday by our Board of Trustees. The Trustees decided to end plans to expand our facilities in Griffith Park. As you will see from the letter, we are excited to refocus our energies on creating and delivering quality programming to our constituent communities. This includes Native Voices at the Autry. (And now that we are no longer expanding, I do not anticipate any interruptions performing in the Wells Fargo Theater.) We will undertake new plans to redesign our current exhibit galleries within the existing structure, as well as continue the work of saving the collections of the Southwest Museum of the American Indian and its historic building.

You can find additional information about this decision by visiting the Autry National Center web site at Click on "Letter to Board of Referred Powers" and/or "Resolution."

Thank you for your ongoing support of Native Voices at the Autry, as well as the larger Autry mission. Please feel free to forward this to friends and colleagues if you feel it appropriate. And please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or concerns.

Best always, David

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Summer waves

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This summer, instead of experiencing heat waves, Native Voices has taken to the airwaves. As you may recall, Randy, Jean, and Miss Arigon Starr spent July in Lincoln, Nebraska adapting and recording the radio version of The Red Road with legendary director, Dirk Maggs.

For August, Randy and Jean have traveled all the way to Anchorage, Alaska to record Raven's Radio Hour with playwrights Ed Bourgeois and Jack Dalton (check out their profiles below). The show is being produced by Brian Price of Great Northern Audio Theatre and directed by our very own Randy Reinholz.

Both of these recordings will be aired in November 2009 over Native Voice One. For info on how to get Native Radio Theatre on the air in your community please contact NAPT's Georgiana Lee at 402-472-0497 or

About the playwrights

Ed Bourgeois, Director of Public Programs at the Alaska Native Heritage Center, earned a Theater degree from the Catholic University of America and began his career as an actor. He has performed professionally at Ford’s Theatre, Olney Theatre and Alaska Repertory Theatre, as well as in film, television and radio. At Anchorage Opera (1996-2007) he developed the Studio Theatre young artist program, stage directed multiple mainstage and education program productions, and served as the company’s General Director from 2003 to 2007. He has directed productions for Cedar Rapids Opera, Alaska Center for the Performing Arts, and the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI). At the Alaska Native Heritage Center he has co-written and directed productions of Panik’s Revenge, Growing Up Native in Alaska and Raven’s Radio Hour, and most recently collaborated with Tsimshian master artist David Boxley to create a play from his story, The Three Enemies.

Growing up between two worlds, Jack Dalton is ambassador of both his Yup'ik Inuit and European heritages. Raised in Alaska, he has traveled the world sharing his Yup'ik culture through the art of storytelling. He is also a writer, teacher, playwright, and mentor. Recently, his play, Time Immemorial, (co-written with and co-starring Allison Warden) received audience and critical acclaim in Alaska. His recent travels found him performing in France, Denmark, Scotland, Australia and New Zealand. He currently resides in Anchorage, Alaska.
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Are there any writers in the house?

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If so, then I highly suggest you get in THE LOOP.

The Loop is an online community of playwrights, et al. that posts helpful tips, theatre-related news, submission opportunities, and much, mch more onto their website. I've been a member of this community for a few years now and I've learned a great deal about new play development and literary management from their various offerings. Also, a majority of the submission opportunities I've forwarded to our playwrights have come directly from The Loop.

Just launched is a social networking site that links Loopers to each other much like Facebook does. Here you'll find some incredible opportunities to connect with other writers and subscribe to the musings of Loop's creator, Gary Garrison (who's also the Executive Director for Creative Affairs of the Dramatists Guild of America and the Artistic Director and Division Head of Playwriting for the Goldberg Department of Dramatic Writing at the Tisch School of the Arts).

Gary's recent postings have been so enlightening that I asked him if I could re-post them and he kindly obliged (what a great guy!). Below are two I'd like to share with you today:

Ever seen this?


That translates, dramatically, into this: if a character desperately/ intensely/ relentlessly NEEDS something (love, power, companionship, revenge) they will behave in such a way that will undoubtedly put them into conflict.

Put two people in the same room that have the same need (to be the center of attention) and you have automatic conflict.

Put two people in the same room that have completely opposing needs (the need to be alone; the need for companionship), and you have automatic conflict.

Now, then, that wasn't so hard, was it?

Simple exercise for a complicated dramaturgical problem:
  • Take a page of dialogue from one of your plays that has three characters or more speaking to one another.
  • Using liquid white-out, blank out all the names.
  • Make a Xerox copy of that page.
  • Hand it to a fellow playwright, director or actor – someone who reads a lot of plays.
  • Ask: how many people are speaking on this page?
If they can’t tell you the number of people speaking, there’s a problem, no? The complexities of language, and our choice of wording, phrasing, syntax, etc., is informed by our education, religion, age, culture, politics, familial hierarchy, gender, sexuality, ancestry, etc.

In short, our personal use of language is as unique to each of us as our fingerprints. No two people speak the same. Why should they appear the same, then, on paper?

The answer to that is simple: they shouldn't.

Simple and to the point. Messages that remind you of the basics of playwriting when things begin to feel too complicated.

And there's more where that came from! Join THE LOOP - you won't regret it.

Visit The Loop Online
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Annual Pow Wow Cancelled

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Click here for more information.
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Call for Scripts : 2010 Retreat and Festival

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I know what you're thinking: didn't the retreat just end?

Why yes it did which is why we're now looking forward to next year's retreat! Crazy huh?

Below is a copy of our most recent Call for Scripts. Please feel free to forward it to any and all interested parties. Any questions or concerns can come straight to me.

Looking forward to hearing from you!!

DEADLINE 9/15/09
Based on all work received by this deadline, up to ten playwrights will be invited to submit Formal Proposals in order to apply to the Playwrights Retreat and Festival of New Plays. Application to this event is by invitation only; invitations will be sent mid-October. Scripts will then be sent to a committee of nationally recognized theatre artists for further evaluation. With their help, we will select the three-four playwrights who will be invited to attend a weeklong retreat in June 2010 at San Diego State University, the La Jolla Playhouse, and the Autry National Center where they will work with professional directors, dramaturgs, actors, and designers. Selected playwrights will receive an honorarium, round trip airfare to San Diego, plus lodging in San Diego. Selected playwrights will be notified by December 11, 2009.

Who should submit: All emerging or experienced playwrights writing from the indigenous experience in North America are encouraged to submit their work for consideration.

What to send: Native Voices at the Autry will only consider completed full-length plays, plays for young audiences or one-person shows that are text based. Solo performance artists whose work is text based should send full text in manuscript form. Please use a standard play-script format, number all pages and include a cast breakdown. Scripts will not be returned.

Please do not send: one acts, ten minute plays or outlines. Also, previously submitted plays should only be submitted if the play has undergone significant dramatic changes. Plays that have not been selected are kept on file for consideration for future development opportunities. To inquire about the status of a previously submitted play, please contact Carlenne Lacosta, Native Voices Literary Manager, at

All submissions must include:
Tribal affiliation
Full contact information
75-100 word biography
C.V. or resume
Workshop and Production History

Where to send your submission:
Randy Reinholz, Artistic Director, Native Voices at the Autry
4700 Western Heritage Way, Los Angeles, CA 90027-1462

Electronic submissions: will be accepted in Word or PDF format. Type SUBMISSION in the subject line and send email to or

For more information:
Email - Carlenne Lacosta at or
Phone – Rich Deely at 323.667.2000, ext. 299.
Online - or

Plays workshopped at Native Voices at the Autry have gone on to productions and/or additional readings at The Public Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse, Trinity Repertory Company, the VSA North Fourth Art Center, Workshop West in Canada, Pennsylvania Center Stage; and have been featured at the Kennedy Center's New Visions/New Voices Theatre for Young Audiences in Washington D.C.; the Two Worlds Native American Theater and Film Festival in New Mexico; the City University of New York Indigenous World Theatre Reading Series; Idyllwild Native Arts Week; the Originals Festival in Brisbane, Australia; the ASSITEJ 16th World Congress and Performing Arts Festival; the Origins Festival in London; among others.
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...and I quote...

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This year we asked each of our retreat participants to share their favorite quotes with us. Some were quite funny, some incredibly insightful, all are worth sharing. I thought posting them here would be an appropriate way to say goodbye to a wonderful week. Happy reading!

Submitted by LaVonne Rae Andrews (Actor):
"There is a power in the Universe greater than you and you can use it!" - Ernest Holmes
Why is it my favorite? Because it's true and I use it!

Submitted by David Armstrong (Actor):
"The distance between genius and insanity is measured only by success." - Tomorrow Never Dies

Submitted by Dani Bedau (Director):
"The weight of this sad time we must obey, say what we feel not what we ought to say." - Shakespeare, King Lear

"Mother, still your tears, for remember the soul of the universe willed a world and it appeared." Bruce Springsteen, Jesus was an Only Son

The Shakespeare cuts to the core of my life's philosophy: in all times- sad, hard, good, meaningful- speak what we feel, what must be said. It may not always be what we 'ought to say' or how we are expected to behave, but sometimes it is necessary. The Springsteen reminds me that all things are possible. When things are really hard there is something larger to tap into. We are not alone. Infinite possibilities.

Submitted by Jennifer Bobiwash (Directing Intern):
"Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties." - Erich Fromm
I like this quote because of the simplicity of it. It reminds me to not think so much and to trust in myself; that I've done my work and to just be.

Submitted by Tonantzin Carmelo (Actor):
"We think in generalities, but we live in detail." - Alfred North Whitehead (1861 - 1947)
Always a good reminder when acting.

Submitted by Michael Drummond (Actor):
"The purpose of life is a life of purpose.” - Robert Byrne
This quote inspires me to have a meaningful life.

Submitted by Elena Finney (Actor):
“In Europe an actor is an artist. In Hollywood, if he isn't working, he's a bum.” - A. Quinn

Submitted by Sofia Gardenswartz (Actor):

"Courage, sacrifice, determination, commitment, toughness, heart, talent, guts. That's what little girls are made of; the heck with sugar and spice." - Bethany Hamilton, the greatest female surfer of our time

Submitted by Scott Horstein (Director):

“Look what is done cannot be now amended.” – Richard in Shakespeare’s Richard III
This is my current favorite quote, probably because I recently worked on a production of this play. Richard is Shakespeare’s famously disabled (or, in Shakespeare’s words, deformed) villain, who slaughters as many family members as it takes to get the crown. In a climactic scene with his sister-in-law Queen Elizabeth (not the famous Queen Elizabeth), that signals the waning of Richard’s power, he tries to persuade her to woo her daughter for him. Because of the complicated family tree dynamics, if Richard marries Elizabeth’s daughter, he’ll be able to retain the crown forever. She resists his overture: hasn’t he just killed her husband, brother-in-law, and two small sons? Richard’s reply is the quote above. It’s darkly hilarious in its bravado, bracingly modern in its plainspokenness, insane in its logic, and desperate enough to let us know that the powerful Richard is finally on the ropes. The cultural politics of this play’s attitude toward disability are difficult, but a lot of the writing is terrific.

Submitted by Joan Hurwit (Stage Manager)
"Live. Laugh. Love."
These are the three things I try to balance in my life. I weigh all three equally, they are all necessary, and a large part of who I am. No matter how, I feel you must embrace them, especially when it is particularly hard. They are the best remedies.

Submitted by Carlenne Lacosta (me!):
"If you enter this world knowing you are loved and you leave this world knowing the same, then everything that happens in between can be dealt with." - the late great Michael Jackson, may he rest in peace

Submitted by Douglas Langworthy (Dramaturg):
“I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.” - Mark Twain
As a dramaturg I am constantly learning with each new play I try to unpack. Life is a never ending process of discovery.

Submitted by Krysti Litt (Actor):
"Just keep swimming." - Finding Nemo
It may sound silly to have my favorite quote come from a Disney movie, but it epitomizes my way of looking at life. No matter how rough or bleak things may become, if I "just keep swimming" and doing what I love, I will be happy.

Submitted by Patricia Loughrey (Writing Workshop Leader):
“If you wish to be a writer, write.” - Epictatus.
I love this quote: it reminds me that writing is learned by doing, and relearned with each new project.

Submitted by Stephen McCormick (Dramaturg):
“The future has several names. For the weak it is the impossible. For the fainthearted it is the unknown. For the thoughtful and valiant it is the ideal.” – Victor Hugo
This quote is important to me because it reminds us to keep looking forward to the next big opportunity. Optimism never goes out of style.

Submitted by Yvette Nolan (Director):
"I don't think writers are sacred, but words are. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones in the right order, you can nudge the world a little or make a poem which children will speak for you when you are dead." - Henry, in Tom Stoppard's The Real Thing
Why is it important to me? Because I do believe that we can nudge the world a little.

Submitted by Ian O'Meara (Actor):
"Just do it!" - my mom
My mom always encourages me to believe in myself and go for it. When I go on auditions, she always tells me, "Ian just do it, go for it, believe in yourself. You will do great."

Submitted by Tony Palermo (Sound Effects Artist):
“Reality is not what it’s cracked up to be!” - I coined this quote myself
Why is it my favorite? In sound effects work, reality often isn’t real enough for listeners to “get it.” So we must use fakery—to make reality more real!

Submitted by Kalani Queypo (Directing Intern):
"Do what you can, with what you have, where you are." - Theodore Roosevelt
I like it because it is simple and immediate. It doesn't speak on wishes and dreams but of what is happening right now.

Submitted by Pamela Sevilla (Stage Manager):
"It's about one moment. It's about hitting the wall and having to make a choice, or take a stand, or turn around and go back." - Jason Robert Brown

Submitted by Jay Sheehan (Directing Workshop Leader):
"It is all about relationships."
Because we wont get anywhere in this world without human kindness and taking care of one another.

Submitted by Derek Smith (Actor):
"I feel infinite." - The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

Submitted by Arigon Starr (Playwright and Actor):
“I know who I am! I’m a dude, playing the dude disguised as another dude!” - Kirk Lazarus in Tropic Thunder
I am absolutely in love with the ridiculousness of acting. Robert Downey Jr.’s character in Tropic Thunder made me laugh the “laugh of recognition” as he went through his paces, justifying his character’s motivations and actions. There’s a lot of “funny” to be poked at the Hollywood entertainment machine’s expense — and much more Native American humor and humanity to mine and showcase. What a joy to be part of an elite group of artists who have the opportunity to do all this and more.

Submitted by Sheila Tousey (Actor):
"Every man blames himself." - John Steinbeck

"When seen as a whole, art derives from a person's desire to communicate himself to another. I do not believe in an art which is not forced into existence by a human being's desire to open his heart. All art, literature, and music must be born in your heart's blood. Art is your heart's blood." - Edvard Munch, 1890

Why do I love this quote? The best acting and writing is when it's personal and brave. What is more courageous than showing your heart with all its attending loneliness, melancholy, agitation, and love? It reminds us we are penetrable and gloriously human.

Submitted by Jonathan Tsang (Production Assistant):
"I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can't accept not trying." - Michael Jordan I didn't have a favorite quote, so I just looked for one from my favorite person and I liked this one. This is also the reason I went back to school. I could live with myself if I failed at making it in the film industry, but I couldn't live with myself if I never tired.

Submitted by Kateri Walker (Actor):
"Love one another."

Submitted by Stephan Wolfert (Actor):
“Art washes from the soul the dust of everyday life.” –Pablo Picasso
This quote epitomizes my transition from military service back into civilian life. Theatre changed my life for the better. It caused me to create an organization (modeled after Native Voices) which uses the arts to help veterans with their life-long process of transitioning from the military back into the civilian community.

Submitted by Christina Wright (Design Advisor):
"To use Brecht without criticizing him is to betray him..." - Heiner Muller

Submitted by Rayanna Zaragoza (Actor):
"All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances; And one man in his time plays many parts; His acts being seven ages." - Shakespeare, As You Like It
This is my favorite quote because it shows that every person's life is like a play, so we best not hold back and we best make it interesting!
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my backbone

Although the retreat and festival have come and gone, I still have a few acknowledgments I'd like to make. As you may have guessed, I'm primarily responsible for coordinating the retreat. My work for this year's event began as last year's retreat was concluding just as my planning for next year's retreat has already begun. During the week of the retreat, I place all my trust in my stage managers and production assistant who keep things running smoothly as I continue to run around behind the scenes tinkering with the schedule, resolving individual matters, etc.

This year I am particularly indebted to my team who not only managed to overcome all pitfalls and keep everyone on track but helped me retain at least a small portion of my sanity. To Crystal, Pam, Joan, and Jonathan: thank you for everything.

Crystal Mercado, Stage Manager for The Red Road and Different Doesn't Mean the Same

Crystal is a 2008 graduate of Arizona State University's Theatre for Youth MFA program. She has taught theatre, creative drama, puppetry, and theatre for social change with students of all ages, including her thesis project, an inter-generational visual art and theatre performance involving teenagers and elderly women in Guadalupe, AZ. She was a full-time intern at Inside Out Community Arts in Venice, CA, a socially based theatre arts program for middle school students. Her work in San Diego includes being a stage manager and teaching artist for the Old Globe's trans-border, bilingual touring production of Romeo y Juliet/a. In her first year at Young Audiences she has helped establish a free professional development series for teaching artists in San Diego. She also co-coordinates field trips, and teaches theatre at Hoover High and Kearny High Educational Complex.

Pamela Sevilla, Stage Manager for Carbon Black and Fancy Dancer

Pam graduated from SDSU in the Spring of 2008 with a BA in Theatre Arts Performance and has continued at SDSU as an MA candidate in Theatre Arts. Performance credits include: Desire Under the Elms, Songs for a New World, The Jungle Book, The Grapes of Wrath, In the Beginning, and Lord Derby's Giant Eland. Previous projects: Bunbury: A Serious Play for Trivial People (Director, Skull and Dagger), Kiss of the Spider Woman (Director, SDSU Juries), The Glass Menagerie (Assistant Director), Stone Cold Dead Serious (Stage Manager, Skull and Dagger).

Joan Hurwit, Stage Manager for The Frybread Queen

Joan is currently earning her MA in Theatre Arts at San Diego State University. At the 2008 Student Research Symposium, she won the only undergraduate Presidential Award for a directorial/creative production proposal. She recently served as the assistant director/assistant dramaturg/blog manager for Native Voices at the Autry's production of Wings of Night Sky, Wings of Morning Light and is currently the Dramaturgy Intern at La Jolla Playhouse.

Jonathan Tsang, Production Assistant

Jonathan is currently a student at SDSU majoring in Television, Film and New Media; Production emphasis. Prior to SDSU, he was a financial analyst for various companies.
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Spotlight on the casts of THE FRYBREAD QUEEN and FANCY DANCER

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The Frybread Queen by Carolyn Dunn (Muskogee Creek, Seminole, Cherokee)
Saturday, June 27, 1p @ Autry National Center
* Frybread reception occurs immediately after the reading *

For Carlisle Emmanuel Burns:
Kateri Walker (Saginaw Chippewa) has a B.A. in Theater & Drama from the University of Michigan. Theater credits include: Black Elk Speaks (original cast member, Denver Center; Mark Taper Forum); As You Like It; Deathsongs: The Conquest of Paradise; Kimosabe; Dust Eaters; Wakikna Unkinknabe; Antigone; and Native Voices at the Autry's reading of Please Do Not Touch the Indians. Television credits include: ARLISS, As the World Turns, Stolen Women: Captured Hearts, and The Talking Stick. Film credits include: Jericho, Diamond Men, K-PAX, The Scarlet Letter, North Star, Outside Ozona, Home, The Strange Case of Bunny Weequod, Renegade, and Missionary Man. She is managed by Milt Suchin, represented by House of Representatives and Cunningham-Escott-Slevin-Doherty. SAG/AEA/AFTRA

For Lily Savanah Santiago Burns:

Rayanna Zaragoza (Pima), a "Native" New Yorker, is an incoming junior and former Dance Company member at Beverly Hills High School. Recent Native Voices credits include: Native Skin (Mary Harjo) and Serra Springs (Moar). Television credits include: Third Watch, Sesame Street, and New York Undercover. In addition, Rayanna recently starred in the films Crista's Hours (Crista) and Biscuit (Biscuit). In New York she performed Off-Broadway and, as a vocalist/guitarist, played at various venues such as Nirvana. Rayanna's agent is Jackie Lewis at Diverse Talent and her manager is Annet McCroskey at ArtisticEndeavors. She thanks her family for their love and support. SAG
Native Voices: What drew you to the profession of theatre?
Rayanna Zaragoza: I grew up sitting at the side of the stage of my father's Broadway shows, so I guess you could say I was born into it. It's just a coincidence that I am OBSESSED with it!

NV: What are some of your favorite projects you've worked on?
RZ: Doing Serra Springs at the Autry was one of my favorites because it was a fun challenge to do a musical in two weeks!

NV: Which plays or playwrights have you been influenced by?
RZ: I absolutely love plays I can relate to and plays that have characters that interest me. I recently read a play called Way Deep by Katherine Burger and fell in love!

NV: If you could sit down and interview anyone from the past, who would that be?
RZ: I would probably interview Audrey Hepburn, she is my inspiration!

NV: What's the longest standing item on your "To Do" list?
RZ: That would probably be either to clean my room or write a song on my guitar that is actually good.

NV: What is your greatest indulgence?
RZ: I have a sweet tooth. I'm always up for a bag of candy and a book and a bench!

NV: Fill in the blank: It's not theatre if it's not ___________.
RZ: It's not theatre if it's not dramatic on stage and off.

NV: As you may know, our 2009-2010 Season marks Native Voices' Tenth Anniversary at the Autry. Where do you think theatre will be in the next ten years?
RZ: As the generations change, I believe that in ten years the theatre will move away from the commercial ways and head towards plays and musicals that depict life as it actually is, without all of the extravagance.

For Jessie Burns:LaVonne Rae Andrews (Tlingit Raven Clan) has two commercials running: CareMore and AARP. She played a “crazed woman” in the recently released feature film Dark World starring Michael Paré, Theresa Russell, and James Russo. The role of Grandma Two Hawks in Native Voices at the Autry's World Premiere of Teaching Disco Square Dancing to Our Elders is one of her favorites. She is also an ordained minister for the Centers of Spiritual Living. SAG/ AEA/ AFTRA

Native Voices: What drew you to the profession of theatre?
LaVonne Andrews: When I was only three years old, a producer who lived across the street in Seattle, Washington used me on his TV show. I was to play a "baby" who still sucked her thumb. Although in real life I still DID suck my thumb, I didn't want to admit it to an adult. The director explained that it was just for the scene...and it was called "acting." I realized that I could do something I wasn't "supposed" to do and get away with I liked this thing called "acting!"

NV: What are some of your favorite projects you've worked on?
LA: I feel honored to be a part of the Autry presentations (of course) and loved doing Dust Eaters by Julie Jensen in Salt Lake City.

NV: Which plays or playwrights have you been influenced by?
LA: New playwrights and unknown talent hold a special place in my heart. How blessed it is to experience such genius.

NV: If you could sit down and interview anyone from the past, who would that be?
LA: I'd love to talk to Helen Hayes. Years ago (in junior high school) I wrote a report on her and she still fascinates me.

NV: What's the longest standing item on your "To Do" list?
LA: Organize all my hard copy photos in albums.

NV: What is your greatest indulgence?
LA: Chai lattes at Starbucks (vente, nine pumps, low fat milk, no water, extra hot) and playing "BananaGram" while drinking my indulgence!

NV: Fill in the blank: It's not theatre if it's not ____________.
LA: It's not theatre if it's not fulfilling.

NV: As you may know, our 2009-2010 Season marks Native Voices' Tenth Anniversary at the Autry. Where do you think theatre will be in the next ten years?LA: Congrats on the ten years! Theatre will continue to serve the "cultural creatives," those who love to communicate and those who just have to express theatrically.

For information on Arigon Starr (Annalee Walker Hayne), please click here to view our previous post.
Fancy Dancer by Dawn Dumont (Cree, Metis)
Saturday, June 27, 4p @ Autry National Center

Elena Finney (Mescalero-Apache/ Tarascan) has performed with several multi-ethnic theater companies and was awarded a 2006 "First American's in the Arts" award for her outstanding performance as Teresa in the Native Voices production Kino and Teresa. Well versed in comedy, she has performed at the Second City and The Upright Citizen's Brigade in Los Angeles. She can also be heard as the voices of several characters in comedian Mike Hollingsworth's animated short films. TV credits include: Love Inc., Charmed, Mind of Mencia, Medical Investigation, and Popular. Film credits include: PowWow Dreams and Cantina. She developed her craft while earning her degree at UCLA's School of Theater, Film and TV. Represented by Tom Parziale, Visionary Talent Management. SAG/ AFTRA/ AEA

Native Voices: What drew you to the profession of theatre?
Elena Finney: I grew up in a very small, narrow-minded town and the theater saved me. If I hadn’t found theater I would probably have gotten pregnant in high school, be living in a van in my grandparents backyard in Norco, and be married to the kind of guy who wears three wolf moon t-shirts.

NV: What are some of your favorite projects you've worked on?
EF: My favorite projects are ones when I can lose myself in the work. I’d rather work with a close-knit ensemble, where trust is implicit and we push each other creatively and play a minor character than be the lead and not have that sense of trust and ensemble. That's my favorite thing about working with Native Voices. I also absolutely love working in foreign languages that I don't speak fluently.

NV: Who have you been influenced by?
EF: I took a class from Hanay Geigomah in college that changed everything for me in terms of my understanding of Indian people in theater. I love, love, love Pirandello. I had a deep infatuation with Sam Shepard in college. Who doesn’t appreciate Pinter, Beckett, Shanley, O’Neil? And, I'm deeply indebted to Diane Glancy, who has kept me creatively challenged for the past many years.

NV: If you could sit down and interview anyone from the past, who would that be?
EF: I’d love to have a conversation with my maternal great-grandmother who left her family as a teenager. I’m really very curious about the circumstances surrounding her first husband’s death. All I know is that he died during the Spanish flu epidemic, but not of the flu.

NV: What's the longest standing item on your "To Do" list?
EF: Become fluent in Spanish. I have been fudging it for a long time and it would be lovely to actually understand why I am making them laugh in Latin market commercial auditions. I have a creeping suspicion that they are not laughing with me.

NV: What is your greatest indulgence?
EF: When my husband-to-be is away I indulge in chocolate truffles, velvety red wine, and the charming voice of Ira Glass coming through my radio. Oh Ira!

NV: Fill in the blank: It's not theatre if it's not _________.
EF: It's not theatre if it's not been spelled with a final “re.” Then, its just theater and it’s generally pronounced with less flourish.

NV: As you may know, our 2009-2010 Season marks Native Voices' Tenth Anniversary at the Autry. Where do you think theatre will be in the next ten years?
EF: I don’t know, but I hope to see us continuing to engage in dialogue with other international indigenous tribal cultures. I had the lucky experience of participating in the Origins Festival and it was so exciting to see the works coming from Maori Theater, Canadian Theater and Aboriginal Theater.

For information on Kateri Walker, please see above.
For information on Tonantzin Carmelo and Stephan Wolfert, please click here.
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