Spotlight on THE BIRD HOUSE

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It's that time of year again!  This week we will kick off another Playwrights Retreat, where we will be workshopping three plays and getting them ready for staged public readings at the 14th Festival of New Plays.  Here's a spotlight on the creative team for one of the plays: The Bird House by Diane Glancy (Cherokee).  Now you may be familiar with this one, as we first featured it at last year's Festival.  Since then the play has gone through many changes, most notably the addition of two new characters.  Though, at the core, the play still tells the dramatic story of an evangelical preacher and his timid sisters as they sort through the snarls of their past and face an uncertain future.  Scroll down and you'll see some familiar faces, including Native Voices Artistic Director as the actor playing Reverend Hawk, for whom the role was written for.  As well as the writer and performer of the latest Native Voices Equity productions of Walking on Turtle Island and Ghostlands of an Urban NDN, Robert Owens-Greygrass.  And Native Voices veterans Carla-Rae and Ellen Dostal reprise their roles in this reading as well, playing sisters forced to move into a fledgling church.

Don't forget to catch the staged reading on Saturday, June 2nd @ 2:00 p.m. and stay after for a riveting talkback with Diane and the rest of the team!  Make your reservations soon!

PLAYWRIGHT DIANE GLANCY (Cherokee) is professor emeritus at Macalester College. She will be professor at Azusa Pacific University near LA in 2012-13. A new books of poems, IT WAS THEN, is forthcoming from Mammoth Publishers.

DIRECTOR ROBERT CAISLEY is Associate Professor and Head of Dramatic Writing at the University of Idaho. He was named the 2011 Blaine Quarnstrom Visiting Playwright at the University of Southern Mississippi. His plays include Kissing (New Theatre, Coral Gables, FL), The Lake (Walnut Street Theatre, Philadelphia), Good Clean Fun (Montana Actors Theatre, Missoula), The 22-Day Adagio (Mill Mountain Theatre, Roanoke, VA), Front (Sundance Playwright’s Lab), Kite’s Book (6th Street Playhouse, Santa Rosa, CA), Letters to an Alien (Mad Horse Theatre, Portland, ME), Santa Fe (StageWorks/Hudson, New York, Finalist for the Heideman Award) and Winter which received its World Premiere at New Theatre in January, 2012. He directed the Los Angeles Premiere of The Frybread Queen by Carolyn Dunn. His latest play HAPPY was a Finalist this year for the O'Neill Theatre Center National Playwright's Conference, and his play Front will be released by Samuel French later this summer.

DRAMATURG JEAN BRUCE SCOTT is producing executive director and cocreator of Native Voices at the Autry. She has spent nineteen years developing new plays, including more than 150 by Native American playwrights. At Native Voices, she has produced 18 New Play Festivals, 8 Playwrights Retreats, more than 150 play readings, and nineteen new plays, including The Baby Blues, Jump Kiss, Stone Heart, The Red Road, The Buz’Gem Blues, The Berlin Blues, Please Do Not Touch the Indians, Kino & Teresa, SUPER INDIAN, Teaching Disco Square Dancing to Our Elders, Salvage, Carbon Black, Now Look What You Made Me Do, Urban TattooThe Frybread Queen, and Wings of Night Sky, Wings of Morning Light. She is cocreator of the Native Radio Theater Project, a collaboration between Native Voices and Native American Public Telecommunications (NAPT), which produces radio plays. These have include The Best Place to Grow Pumpkins, Melba’s Medicine, Why Opossum’s Tail Is Bare, The Peach Seed, SUPER INDIAN, The Red Road, and Raven’s Radio Hour. Her illustrious background includes extensive theatre credits and serving as president of Sine Bahn Productions, an independent production company noted for developing screenplays, teleplays, and stage plays. She is familiar for numerous lead and recurring acting roles on Days of Our Lives, Port Charles, Newhart, Matlock, Airwolf, St. Elsewhere, and Magnum, P.I., and guest-starred on a multitude of other series and television movies. She is a past member of the L.A. Board of Directors for AFTRA and is currently serving on the SAG Local Hollywood American Indian Committee.

ACTOR: MAJEL CARLA-RAE BESHAW (pronounced Bee Shaw) (Seneca/Mohawk), is a SAG, AFTRA and AEA, actress. Born in upstate New York Carla-Rae is of Seneca/Mohawk French Canadian heritage. Carla-Rae is THRILLED to work with Native Voices, this being her third time to have the privilege to work on a Playwrights retreat. "I love the whole process of a play being birthed, re-writes, put back together, to be read and so on, until the finished project. Native Voices (Jean Bruce Scott and Randy Reinholz) gives the playwright, and performer the liberty to be all we can be. You have to love that." Carla-Rae has had the pleasure of working with many television, film, theatre stars, directors and producers. For her complete Bio, Resume, and photos check out her IMDB page.

ACTOR: JUSTIN TYLER COOK has covered a range of genres: Stage, Improv, Film, TV, and Commercial as well as Dance, Equestrian, Climbing, Cycling, and Stuntwork – to name a few.  From Courferac in “Les Miserables” to independent film leads to comedy with the Upright Citizens Brigade. He has been training at Theatre Craft (Hollywood) and would like to thank his coach/mentor Rick Walters for his guidance and ability to get people to perform what they really know. Tyler anticipates a very exciting year.

ACTOR: CLOVIS ELLEN DOSTAL is thrilled to continue work on Diane Glancy’s The Bird House. For Native Voices, she has appeared in Jump Kiss (also by Glancy), Serra Springs, and The Berlin Blues, which toured NY and Washington D.C. 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), Sour Grapes (Copake Theatre, NY), Seesaw, Private Lives, Night Watch, Midsummer Night’s Dream. Her workshops of new musicals include Bonnie & Clyde, At Home in Mitford, Idaho the Musical, and The Water for ANMT’s reading series at The Colony Theatre. AEA/SAG/AFTRA.

ACTOR: ROPE ROBERT OWENS-GREYGRASS (Lakota) A published writer, actor, storyteller, comic storyteller, coach and inspirational speaker, Robert tours his two original solo shows Walking on Turtle Island, Ghostlands of an Urban NDN, a 3rd one Iron Bones is in the works. Robert has been on stage with Culture Clash at the Taper Forum, Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland Or. appeared as Wolfert in Native Voices production of Salvage, Caminante in Cherrie Moraga's New Fire at Brava Theater SF. A featured storyteller at festivals and venues all across U.S., England, Australia and Germany.

ACTOR: REVEREND HAWK RANDY REINHOLZ (Choctaw), the producing artistic director and cocreator of Native Voices at the Autry, has directed more than fifty plays across the United States and Canada, including The Rez Sisters, The Waiting Room, Hedda Gabler, The Cherry Orchard, Proof, Speed the Plow, The Glass Menagerie, Desire Under the Elms, and numerous productions of Shakespeare plays. For Native Voices at the Autry, he has directed and produced Urban Tattoo and the Equity productions of Jump Kiss, Stone Heart, The Red Road, The Buz’Gem Blues, The Berlin Blues, Carbon Black, Please Do Not Touch the Indians, and Wings of Night Sky, Wings of Morning Light. He also executive produced Kino & Teresa, SUPER INDIAN, Teaching Disco Square Dancing to Our Elders, Salvage, Tales of an Urban Indian, and The Frybread Queen. He is cofounder and producer for the Native Radio Theater Project, a collaboration between Native Voices and Native American Public Telecommunications (NAPT). He received a BA from William Jewell College and an MFA from Cornell University. In March 2009 he received the Citation of Achievement from William Jewell College in Liberty, Missouri, their highest honor for alumni. He is on the Advisory Committee for the Native Theater Festival at New York’s Public Theater and a member of the National Theatre Conference. He is a tenured professor at San Diego State University in the Department of Theater and on faculty for American Indian Studies. In 2007, after ten years as the Head of Acting, he was named the Director of the School of Theatre, Television, and Film at San Diego State University.

STAGE MANAGER DEIDRE WORKS Recent theater credits include The Closeness of the Horizon (CoffeeHouse Productions at The Odyssey Theatre, SM), The Boomerang Effect (Village Green Productions at The Odyssey Theatre, SM), No good Deed (Furious Theatre at [Inside] the Ford, ASM), The God of Isaac (West Coast Jewish Theater Company, SM), Trigger (Electric Footlights & 2nd Street Theater, ASM) Hothouse at the Playhouse Series (Furious Theatre & Pasadena Playhouse, SM) and boom (Furious Theatre, ASM). Film and television credits include Dropping the Soap (minewit entertainment, production coordinator), A.G.A.N.G (1st AD & Script Supervisor), and various programs at E! Entertainment (production coordinator).

PRODUCTION ASSISTANT KIERAN MULROY is an LA-born actor currently pursuing a BFA in acting from NYU's conservatory at the Atlantic Theatre School. He has acted in a few things during the year, from a small pilot titled "People You Know" to an original play titled "Snowball Battlefield." He has also held production roles, including assistant stage managing an Off-Broadway production of The Tempest and an electrician in his school's production of a series of Samuel Beckett Short Plays.


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