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. www.Spirit-on-Wheels.org. 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 it...so 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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