Spotlighting our Actors for BIRD HOUSE and THE WOMAN WHO WAS CAPTURED BY GHOSTS

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The Bird House
By Diane Glancy
 
Randy Reinholz (Choctaw) is the Producing Artistic Director and Co- creator of Native Voices at the Autry as well as the Director of the School of Theatre, Television, and Film at San Diego State University. He has directed over fifty plays in the US, Australia, Mexico and Canada. As an actor, his theater credits include roles at Pennsylvania Centre Stage, Illinois Shakespeare Festival, Heartland Theatre Company, The Hanger Theatre in New York, and numerous roles at The Old Globe Theatre. He was a series regular on Days of Our Lives, and had roles on Pensacola, China Beach, and Tour of Duty, and the sci-fi film Dead Space.
 
Ellen Dostal is thrilled to be part of Diane Glancy’s new play The Bird House. For Native Voices, she has appeared in productions of Jump Kiss (also by Diane), Serra Springs, and The Berlin Blues, which toured NY and Washington D.C., plus a number of developmental workshop readings. Other L.A. credits include Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (Interact Theatre Co.), City of Angels (NoHo Arts Center) and Eastern Standard (Coast Playhouse). Regional/ Tours: The Big Deal (Theatre Museum, London in collaboration with Mercury Musicals), Sour Grapes (Copake Theatre, NY), Seesaw, Private Lives, Night Watch, Midsummer Night’s Dream. As a founding member of the Academy Repertory Company she has workshopped and performed roles in many new musicals like Bonnie & Clyde, At Home in Mitford, Idaho the Musical, and The Water, all part of ANMT’s reading series at The Colony Theatre. AEA/SAG/AFTRA.
 
Carla- Rae (Seneca, Mohawk) has done some form of acting for many years, though only during the past six years has she has focused entirely on her acting career. Her most recent theatre work has been in staged readings of Tombs of the Vanishing Indian by Marie Clements and The Bird House by Diane Glancy at Native Voices at the Autry. She also has had the privilege of working with the NYC off-B’way theatre group the Liguorian Players, founded and directed by Lenny Delgado. She played Angustias in The House of Bernarda Alba by Frederico Garcia Lorca and Hannah in Edith Stein by Arthur Giron. Her indie film feature role of Rebecca Stonefeather in the award-winning film Imprint won her a Best Supporting Actress Award from the American Indian Film Institute. Her most recent TV episodic guest star roles are in the ABC network series Scoundrels with Virginia Madsen and David James Elliot, PBS’s docudrama We Shall Remain: Trail of Tears, HBO’s Taking Chance, and the FOX series pilot of New Amsterdam, directed by Lasse Halstrom. More recently she and her husband have been creating web videos of her storytelling and children's story reading, with another web series soon coming, of her Quiet Time Words by Carla-Rae, a compilation of daily devotional words of encouragement. Originally from upstate New York, she now resides in L.A.

The Woman Who Was Captured by Ghosts
By Julie Pearson- Little Thunder
 
Kimberly Norris Guerrero (Colville, Salish-Kootenai, Cherokee) is a native Oklahoman and graduate of UCLA who has appeared on stage in Steel Magnolias (Circle Players/Nashville), Canticle of the Plains (Tapestry/Wichita), and in August: Osage County which she performed in Chicago, on Broadway, at the National Theatre in London, the Sydney Theatre Company in Australia and The Old Globe in San Diego. She recently joined Native Voices in the World Premiere of The Frybread Queen at the Autry in Los Angeles. Her film/TV credits include Grey’s Anatomy, Taking Chances, The Sopranos, Naturally Native, Hidalgo, and Seinfeld to name a few. In addition, she works with youth in tribal communities across North America utilizing creative expression as a tool to promote personal and community development.
 
Mary Mora Cordova (P'urhepecha, Yaqui, Luiseno) is a cancer survivor who has enjoyed performing in Native Voices' productions of Buz'Gem Blues and Teaching Disco Dancing To Our Elders; staged readings of Kino and Teresa; and various metaphoric characters for their Young Native Playwrights project. She has also performed leads in original works on stage such as  Katsina, based on the autobiography Sunchief (Herberger Theatre, AZ); St. Augustine's Confessions (PerrisChief Theatre); End Town (Hollywood Moguls Theatre). She played the matriarchal Senora Morena and years earlier played the flirtatious Margarita in California's Official State Outdoor play Ramona (Hemet, CA). Her favorite TV credits include recurring roles on Unsolved Mysteries. Her recent film credit is with writer/ director/ actor Charles S. Dutton in The Obama Effect. She would like to thank her husband Art, family, and her Autry friends for their continued support. Blessings!
 
Carla Nell (Chickasaw) has over 16 years experience acting and directing in the San Diego theatre community and is the artistic director of InnerMission Productions. She is an SDSU graduate with a BA in Theatre Arts. While at SDSU she was featured in the KPBS special documentary: Trial by Fire, The Making of a Theatre Professional. She is also a member of the Pasadena Playhouse Directors Lab West.
 
Michael Drummond is honored to return to Native Voices, where he was last seen as Carbon in Carbon Black. Other favorite roles include Puck in A Midsummer Night's Dream (Old Globe Theatre), Young Macduff in Macbeth (Old Globe Theatre), Randolph in Bye Bye Birdie (Welk Resort Theatre), and Orson in An American Christmas over the past six holiday seasons (Lambs Players Theatre). Television credits include Victorious, iCarly, America's Most Wanted, Everybody Hates Chris, Veronica Mars, and several commercials. In addition to acting, he enjoys photography, surfing, and scuba diving. 

Patrick J. Duffy is a performer, sound designer, and as an avid life learner - he is very excited for his first experience with Native Voices. Performance credits include Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde (Ion Theatre), Smoke on the Mountain, Joyful Noise, Fantasticks, Angel's Arms, Voysey Inheritance, An Ideal Husband, Rehearsal for Murder, Cold Comfort Farm, and South Pacific (Lamb's Players Theatre); Good Doctor, West Side Story (Moonlight/Avo), West Side Story (Limon Carr Prod.), Can Can, Guys & Dolls, West Side Story (Welk Resort Theatre); Scarlet Pimpernel, Good News (Starlight Theatre); Death and the Maiden (Stone Soup Theatre).  Sound Design credits include Smoke on the Mountain, Pump Boys and Dinettes, Godspell, Fantasticks, Boomers, Light in the Piazza, Secret Garden, American Rhythm (Lamb's Players Theatre). "The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool."
 
Huma Ahmed-Ghosh is a professor in the Department of Women's Studies at San Diego State University. She is also on the Advisory Committees of the Asian-Pacific Studies Program, Center for Islamic and Arabic Studies, and the International Security and Conflict Resolution Program. She has done extensive research in Afghanistan having visited the country six times since 2003. Her research in Afghanistan focuses on how Afghan women-run NGOs strategize women's rights within an Islamic state. She has published on immigrant Muslim women to the USA, women in Afghanistan, gender and Islam in Asia, Islamic and secular feminisms in the Middle East, and on issues of ageing and widowhood in India. She has also conducted Study Abroad Programs for SDSU students to India, China and Turkey. Some of the courses she teaches are on feminist theory, women in cross-cultural perspective, gender and Islam, and gender, war and peace.
 
Javier Guerrero is a native San Diegan who has been performing professionally since 1998. He studied acting under Randy Reinholz at San Diego State University for two years and then under Jim Wise for one year at Penn State Graduate School of Acting. He has worked for many professional theatre companies in San Diego and Los Angeles including Playwrights Project and Native Voices. He appears in many industrial videos, web ads, and commercials as well as the bad guy in a re-enactment on America's Most Wanted. He also performed the lead in the Station Master which debuted at Cygnet Theatre in Old Town San Diego. Represented by the Shamon Freitas Agency in San Diego.
 
The Playwrights Retreat kicks off in San Diego this Saturday, May 28 with the Festival of New Plays beginning next Thursday, June 2 at La Jolla Playhouse. For more information about our events or to purchase your tickets now, please visit our website.
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Spotlighting our Actors for CIKIUTEKLLUKU and UNGIPAMSUUKA

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Cikiuteklluku (Giving Something Away)
By Holly Christine Stanton
 
Thirza Defoe (Giizhiigoquay) is a Grammy Award winning artist widely known for hoop dancing, storytelling and cultural education. Her interest is laid in bridging an integral approach to artistic projects pulling in messages rooted through music, literature, video, and theatre. Her dedication and passion have been awarded in both the Native American and artists’ circles throughout the world. Her most recent award includes the National Endowments for the Arts for writing, compositions, and reconstructed choreography in Drum is Thunder, Flute is Wind. Her writing can be viewed in the Pitkin Review, Woody Guthrie Anthology, and the Thorny Locust Magazine. Acting roles: Dome of HeavenRoad Reps, and The Only Good Indian which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. She received a BFA at California Institute of the Arts and MFA from Goddard College in writing. Recently she received a Masters Fellowship to NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts Fall 2011.
 
Maxton Scott (Mohawk) is from Northern NY, all over the St. Lawrence River Valley. He is a veteran of OEF and OIF, serving 5 years with the 82nd Airborne Division as a Mechanic. A Sundancer and a member of Native American Church, he's also currently pursuing a degree in Acting at the New York Film Academy.
 
Rose- Yvonne Colletta (Lipan-Mescalero Apache) is delighted to return to the Playwrights Retreat. Raised in the U.S. and Brazil, she embraces the cultures she’s been honored to weave through. Acting credits include: Onion Skins & Angels, and The Origin of Corn (USA and Mexico bilingual TYA tours), American Rhythm at Lamb’s Players Theatre, Collected Shadows Edgefest Los Angeles, Luis Valdez's Bandido! at San Diego Repertory, and Jane Eyre at La Jolla Playhouse. With Native Voices at the Autry: Urban Tattoo, SUPER INDIAN, and Kino & Teresa. Behind the scenes, she has been a director, producer, stage manager, production manager, and writer. Her radio play, Melba's Medicine, was selected for production at the National Audio Theatre Festivals and imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival in Toronto, Canada. She holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in Musical Theatre from San Diego State University and is a proud member of Actors' Equity.
 
Jennifer Bobiwash (Ojibway) is an actor and writer from Canada. She has worked in film, television, and theatre and is currently in pre-production for a documentary and is working on a webseries, as well as writing and starring in another. Her one- person show There is No I in Indian will be premiering in the summer of 2011. You can find her on her Youtube Channel learning her native language. Represented by Redrock Entertainment Development. SAG 
 
Jacob Bruce graduated from the conservatory program at the University of Illinois with a BFA in acting. He appeared in plays around the city of Chicago including Orlando in As You Like It, Jed Rowan in The Kentucky Cycle, and The Creature in Playing With Fire. He then moved to Los Angeles and landed recurring roles on the shows Crossing Jordan and Roswell, as well as episodes of shows including ER, Las Vegas, Standoff, and American Dreams. He was also in the award-winning films Donut Run and Night of the Dog, the Hallmark movie Prairie Fever, and the horror feature The Rig. As a member of the Knightsbridge Theatre in Los Angeles, he played Randle P. McMurphy in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, a "Critics Pick" in Backstage West and co-created The $5 Only Improv Show. He was most recently seen in Yellow Face with Mo’olelo Performing Arts Company in San Diego.
 
Maggie Carney's credits include: Yellow Face (Mo'olelo), A Midsummer Night's Dream, Peter and the Starcatchers, Salsalandia! (La Jolla Playhouse), The Tempest and Bill Irwin’s Largely/NY (Seattle Repertory), Bad Dates- Thespie Award, Wilde Award Nomination for Haley Walker (BoarsHead), Bedroom Farce- Jeff Citation for Kate, Into the Woods- Jeff Citation Nomination for The Baker’s Wife (Touchstone), Smash- Jeff Citation for Hetty (Bailiwick), Almighty Bob (Theater at the Center), The Book of Liz (Roadworks), What the Butler Saw (Noble Fool), Ghetto (Famous Door), The Gamester (Northlight), Spite for Spite, A Phoenix Too Frequent (Writers’ Theatre). Other companies: WBEZ’s Stories on Stage, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, the Poetry Foundation, The Second City, Creede Repertory Theatre,  Peninsula Players and the Wisconsin Shakespeare Festival.

Ungipamsuuka: My Story
By Susie Silook
 
Dawn Stern was born in Japan on a military base outside of Tokyo. Her father, a Vietnam veteran, was Creole (French, African, and Native American; tribal affiliation unknown), and her mother is Norwegian/ Scottish. She holds a BS in theatre performance from SIU-E and is honored to work with Native Voices at the Autry. Her Los Angeles credits include series regular roles on Viper, 413 Hope Street, Starhunter, and Nobody; a recurring role on The Young and the Restless; and more than twenty-five guest star appearances. She was last seen as a lawyer on NCIS–Los Angeles. Her favorite stage roles are by Shakespeare; she has played Kate, Lady Macbeth, Olivia, Paulina, and Goneril.
 
Jason Grasl (Blackfeet) is a veteran of stage, film, and commercial. His Native Voices acting credits include Teaching Disco Square Dancing to Our Elders and The Further Adventures of Super Indian, as well as an assistant director credit for Salvage. In 2010, he helped found the Fuller Theatre Company at Fuller Theological Seminary (where he attended grad school). Other stage credits include The Blame of Love (which he also co-wrote), From Little Seeds, Be the Hunter, Boomtown 1925, Tony n Tina’s Wedding, and Smell of the Kill. Film credits include Fantasy Football: The Movie, The Seminarian, April’s Fools, and Banking. Most recently, he had a recurring role in the webseries End Result. Represented theatrically by Kathleen Schultz and Associates. SAG/ AFTRA
 
Rob Guzzo's credits can be accessed through this link.
 
Elizabeth Frances (Cherokee) is truly excited and honored to be working with Native Voices again. Recent projects include The Frybread Queen (Native Voices World Premiere), The Lunacy Commission (Kirk Douglas Theater), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Shakespeare Santa Cruz), Julius Caesar (Shakespeare Santa Cruz), Detained in the Desert (Casa 0101), Tombs of the Vanishing Indian (reading with Native Voices at the Autry), Hamlet (Dir. Lenka Udovicki), Songs and Dances of Imaginary Lands (Dir. O-Lan Jones), and the Soltanoff/ Findlay Project (Center Theater Group). She holds a BFA from CalArts.
 
Shyla Marlin (Choctaw) Theatre credits include: The Frybread Queen, Native Voices at the Autry; Last Days of Judas Iscariot, UTM/Company of Angels; I Stand Before You Naked, Complex; On The Brink, 68 Cent Theatre; The Elephant and The Mayfly, Berkshire Theatre Festival; The Frontier, USC/DRC; Alphabet Play, USC/DRC; and Birdbath, Annex Theatre. Film and TV credits include Whatever It Takes (Sony); Lies and Alibis (Warner Bros.); Woo (New Line); Fashion House (MY TV); Saints & Sinners (MY TV); Minding the Store (TBS); Grace (32/12 Films); Spiritual Warriors (Gilgamesh Prods.); and A Starbuck’s Story (Anatomy Entertainment). Writing and producing credits include Still Standing (Theatre Asylum) and A Starbuck’s Story (“Best Short” FAIF Film Festival). A graduate of the University of Southern California, she studied Theatre and French.

Check back next week to meet the casts of The Bird House and The Woman Who Was Captured by Ghosts!
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The Woman Who Was Captured by Ghosts

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Our last Retreat and Festival play is The Woman Who Was Captured by Ghosts by Julie Pearson- Little Thunder which was featured during our 2008 Playwrights Retreat and Festival of New Plays. This story follows a Cheyenne woman as she faces her own mortality on a metaphysical journey to a place where tradition is the best medicine. Aiding Julie along her journey are Jere Hodgin, Julie Jensen, and Waylon Lenk.

Julie Pearson- Little Thunder, Playwright
Julie Pearson-Little Thunder (Creek) was raised in Denver, Colorado in a mixed-blood Creek family and discovered theater for the first time while she was in college. She moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1980 to work with an American Indian Theater Company of Oklahoma (ATICO). After AITCO folded, she co-founded Tulsa Indian Actors’ Workshop which is now known as Thunder Road Theater. Besides working with Thunder Road Theater, she's taught theater at Haskell Indian Nations University and Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. She's currently employed by the Oral Histories Department at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater.

Jere Hodgin, Director
Jere Hodgin has produced over 200 productions, many of which were new and premiere works, and his directing career includes more than 175 plays, operas, and musicals. For 20 years he was the Producing Artistic Director of Mill Mountain Theatre, where he founded the nationally recognized Norfolk Southern New Play Festival. He served as Artistic Director and Coproducer of Highlands Playhouse and has directed at numerous theatres, including Fulton Theatre, Pennsylvania Center Stage, Theatre Artists Studio, Walnut Street Theatre, the Barter Theatre, the Phoenix Theatre, and Wayside Theatre. He has directed new works at the Shenandoah Playwrights Retreat, the Missoula Writers Colony, the Phoenix Theatre's New Works Festival, and Native Voices at the Autry's Playwrights Retreat and Festival of New Plays. He has been a reader and judge for numerous national new play contests and competitions and chaired Native Voices' 2010 National Reading Panel. He recently directed the Native Voices/ Montana Repertory Theatre coproduction of The Frybread Queen in Missoula, Montana. He is a member of the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers, Actors' Equity Association, Theatre Communications Group, and the National Theatre Conference.

Julie Jensen, Dramaturg
Julie Jensen is the recipient of the Kennedy Center Award for New American Plays for White Money, the Joseph Jefferson Award for Best New Work for The Lost Vegas Series, and the LA Weekly Award for Best New Play for Two-Headed. She has received the McKnight National Playwriting Fellowship for Wait!, the TCG/NEA Playwriting Residency for Wait!, a major grant from the Pew Charitable Trusts for Dust Eaters, and the Edgerton Foundation Grant for Billion Dollar Baby. Her work has been produced in London and at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival as well as in this country in New York and theatres nationwide. She has been commissioned by Mark Taper Forum, ASK Theatre Projects, Kennedy Center, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Salt Lake Acting Company, Geva Theatre, Philadelphia Theatre Company, Penn State University, and Dramatic Publishing. Her work is published by Dramatic Publishing, Dramatists Play Service, and Playscripts, Inc. Her book Playwriting: Brief and Brilliant has just been published by Smith and Kraus. Her play She Was My Brother premiered in Tucson, AZ, at Borderlands Theatre, and was produced last fall by Plan-B Theatre in Salt Lake City. She is currently the Resident Playwright at Salt Lake Acting Company.

Waylon Lenk, Assistant Dramaturg
Waylon Lenk (Karuk) is a dramaturg and performer currently working at SUNY Stony Brook. He holds a B.A. in Theater and German Studies from Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon. He has worked as a dramaturg at Lewis & Clark, Camelot Theater in Talent, Oregon, and at Stony Brook. He has performed in everything from musical theater in Talent to Absurdist theater in Portland to traditional Karuk storytelling in New York and all over California. Notable credits include appearing as an “Emerging Storyteller” for the California Indian Storytelling Association back in 2003; A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Prince of Homburg, and The Balcony at Lewis & Clark; Brigadoon and Cabaret at Camelot Theater; and a new storytelling piece Stories of Our People at the Consortia of Administrators for Native American Rehabilitation’s conference in San Diego.

The Woman Who Was Captured by Ghosts will be presented at La Jolla Playhouse on Saturday, June 4 and at the Autry National Center on Saturday, June 18 at 4:00p. For tickets, please click here.

For a full listing of this year's Retreat and Festival participants, please click here and check back next week for some info on our fabulous actors.
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Bird House

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Our next two Retreat and Festival plays may sound familiar to Native Voices patrons. Playwright Diane Glancy is a long- time friend of Native Voices and we're proud to begin a new journey with her as we continue to develop her latest play, The Bird House. This play was featured during our 2010 First Look Series with Stephan Wolfert and Bryan Davidson at the helm. For the 2011 Retreat and Festival, direction will be led by Robert Caisley with dramaturgy by Shirley Fishman.


Diane Glancy (Cherokee) is professor emeritus at Macalester College. She lives in Shawnee Mission, Kansas. Native Voices has produced three of her plays, Jump Kiss, Stone Heart, and Salvage. In 2010, she made an independent film, The Dome of Heaven, which won the Native American Film Award at the Trail Dance Film Festival in Duncan, Oklahoma. A new collection of essays, The Dream of a Broken Field, is forthcoming in 2011 from the University of Nebraska Press. In 2010, Mammoth Publishers in Lawrence, Kansas, published her latest collection of poems, Stories of the Driven World. Her novels include The Reason for Crows, the story of Kateri Tekakwitha, a 17th century Mohawk converted to Christianity by the Jesuits; Pushing the Bear, a story about the 1838-39 Cherokee Trail of Tears.
 
Rob Caisley will be pulling double duty during this year's Retreat and Festival. In addition to directing Bird House, he will be serving as dramaturg for Susie Silook's play Ungipamsuuka (My Story). For information on Rob, please click here.
 
Shirley Fishman is the Director of Play Development at La Jolla Playhouse where she oversees commissions and projects in development. Dramaturgy credits at Native Voices: Wings of the Night Sky by Joy Harjo; Fancy Dancer by Dawn Dumont. At the Playhouse: John Leguizamo's Diary of a Madman, A Midsummer Night's DreamThe Night Watcher, 33 Variations, Zorro in Hell, The Wiz, among others. At The Public Theater: Jessica Hagedorn's Dogeaters; Two Sisters and a Piano by Nilo Cruz; Tina Landau's Space; Arthur Miller's The Ride Down Mt. Morgan; Tony Kushner's A Dybbuk: Or Between Two Worlds; David Henry Hwang's Golden Child; readings, workshops and co-curator of New Work Now! Festival. Also Sundance Theatre Lab (I Am My Own Wife; 36 Views; and The Laramie Project), Ojai Playwrights Festival, UC San Diego Baldwin Festival, USC Under Construction New Play Festival. M.F.A. Columbia University. Member LMDA.  

The Bird House will be presented at La Jolla Playhouse on Saturday, June 4 and at the Autry National Center on Saturday, June 18 at 1:00p. For tickets, please click here.

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