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.
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. www.tcarmelo.com. SAG/ AEA/ AFTRA
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
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