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Indigenous, First Nations, Native Theatre

In this section, content focuses on the work of Indigenous, First Nations, and Native theatremakers. Mary Kathryn Nagle’s series Native Voices is a great starting point, as are series specifically focusing on the performance practices of Kānaka Maoli, the Indigenous people of Hawai‘i, and on Alaska Native theatre.

The Latest

Freedom Talk @ Artistic Freedom Initiative
Video
Freedom Talk @ Artistic Freedom Initiative
Focusing on Indigenous People's Artistic Rights from a Legal Perspective
Tuesday 23 November 2021
United States
The Refusal to be Disappeared: Lukas Avendaño’s Xibalbay
Essay
The Refusal to be Disappeared: Lukas Avendaño’s Xibalbay
by María Regina Firmino-Castillo
28 October 2021
Prelude 2021: Start Making Sense!
Video
Prelude 2021: Start Making Sense!
An array of short performances, readings, and screenings, plus conversations with artists across the United States
Monday 25 October to Friday 29 October
United States
event poster for freedom talk at artistic freedom initiative.
Freedom Talk @ Artistic Freedom Initiative
Video

Freedom Talk @ Artistic Freedom Initiative

Focusing on Indigenous People's Artistic Rights from a Legal Perspective

Tuesday 23 November 2021
United States

Safe Havens Freedom Talks presented a conversation focusing on Indigenous people's artistic rights from a legal perspective livestreaming on the commons-based peer produced HowlRound TV network on Tuesday 23 November 2021.

event poster for shift freedom talk.
Conversation: Freedom Talk at House of Memory
Video

Conversation: Freedom Talk at House of Memory

A conversation on the importance of oral storytelling in indigenous societies

Friday 29 October 2021
India

Safe Havens Freedom Talks presented a conversation in collaboration with Gothenburg Book Fair livestreaming on the global, commons-based, peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Friday 29 October 2021.

A person wearing blue and red holding out a stick.
The Refusal to be Disappeared: Lukas Avendaño’s Xibalbay
Essay

The Refusal to be Disappeared: Lukas Avendaño’s Xibalbay

28 October 2021

María Regina Firmino-Castillo discusses the inspiration behind and implications of Lukas Avendaño’s Xibalbay, a multidisciplinary performance project that relates enduring stories of the Mayan underworld to contemporary forced disappearances of people in Mexico.

event poster for the prelude festival 2021.
Prelude 2021: Start Making Sense!
Video

Prelude 2021: Start Making Sense!

An array of short performances, readings, and screenings, plus conversations with artists across the United States

Monday 25 October to Friday 29 October
United States

The Martin E. Segal Theatre Center at the Graduate Center, CUNY presented its 2021 PRELUDE festival, "Prelude 2021: Start Making Sense!," livestreaming on the commons-based peer produced HowlRound TV network from Monday 25 October to Friday 29 October 2021.

Theatre Coalition Building panel poster.
Power in Theatre Coalition Building
Video

Power in Theatre Coalition Building

Featuring Real Alanis, Lyndsay Burch, CJ Ochoco, Leo Grierson, and Jaz Hall. Moderated by Whitney Reed

Wednesday 20 October 2021
United States

Power in Theatre Coalition Building focuses on the strength of theatres, art organizations, individuals and artists alike sharing resources, responsibility, goals, decisions, and leadership to work toward a common goal. In this discussion we listen from partners of In the Margin on strategies of coalition building moving forward in American Theatre. Livestreaming Wednesday 20 October 2021 at 3 p.m. HST (Honolulu, UTC -10) / 5 p.m. AKDT (Juneau, UTC -8) / 6 p.m. PDT (Los Angeles, UTC -7) / 7 p.m. MDT (Albuquerque, UTC -6) / 8 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC -5) / 9 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4).

Indigenous Peoples' Day Panel: Native Women Leading
Video

Indigenous Peoples' Day Panel: Native Women Leading

Featuring Lofanitani Aisea, Jeanette Harrison, Murielle Borst-Tarrant, Moderated by Amber Ball (Dakubetede, Shasta, Modoc, Klamath)

Monday 11 October 2021
Turtle Island (North America)

In this conversation we discuss artistic leadership, practices, and methodology from an Indigenous perspective. It is our goal to highlight and amplify the work these three Native women continue to contribute to the arts world. Livestreaming on the commons-based peer produced HowlRound TV network on Monday 11 October 2021 at 12 p.m. HST (Honolulu, UTC -10) / 2 p.m. AKDT (Juneau, UTC -8) / 3 p.m. PDT (Los Angeles, UTC -7) / 4 p.m. MDT (Albuquerque, UTC -6) / 5 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC -5) / 6 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4).

portraits of women in black and white with red handprints over their mouths.
The Living Presence of Our History: Part V
Video

The Living Presence of Our History: Part V

A Conversation with Indigenous Artists Making Art for Social Change

Sunday 19 September 2021
United States

The Ohketeau Cultural Center and Double Edge Theatre co-presented The Living Presence of Our History: Part V on the global, commons-based, peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Sunday 19 September 2021 at 10 a.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC -7) / 12 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC -5) / 1 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4).

event poster for deaf woke with sarah young bear brown.
Livestreaming a Conversation: #DeafWoke with Sarah Young Bear-Brown
Video

Livestreaming a Conversation: #DeafWoke with Sarah Young Bear-Brown

#DeafWoke is a Virtual Consciousness-Raising, Engaging Online Talk Show, Led by Black and Native American Deaf host Mr. Antoine Hunter PurpleFireCrow.

Thursday 16 September 2021
United States

Antoine Hunter presents #DeafWoke with Sarah Young Bear-Brown/tti-ka-mi-ge-a livestreaming on the commons-based, peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv Thursday 16 September 2021 at 4 p.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC -7) / 6 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC -5) / 7 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4).

artists sitting on a wooden stage in front of microphones.
The Living Presence of Our History: Part IV
Video

The Living Presence of Our History: Part IV

A Conversation with Indigenous Leaders Regarding Indigenous Peoples Day

Sunday 1 August 2021
United States

The Ohketeau Cultural Center and Double Edge Theatre co-presented The Living Presence of Our History: Part IV on the global, commons-based, peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Sunday 1 August 2021 at 10 a.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC -7) / 12 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC -5) / 1 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4).

Figure with bulbs of fire
Five Protocols of Theatrical Indigeneity
Essay

Five Protocols of Theatrical Indigeneity

An Audio Essay and Sound-Ceremony for Reciprocal Action

2 July 2021

Lisa Cooke Ravensbergen shares how new story bundles can “disrupt the noise of colonialism” through what she calls protocols of theatrical Indigeneity.

Illustration by Silent Fox, inspired by the essay.
Post-Apocalyptic Theatre on Native Land
Essay

Post-Apocalyptic Theatre on Native Land

28 May 2021

Vera Starbard wonders if the time of the American theatre has come to an end and imagines the future of the performing arts looking a lot like it did in the past, pre-colonization.

An Image of four panels. The first has a waste basket and crumbled paper in it it. The second have children looking at a stage with their backs to us. The third is a person in a green shirt with long black hair sitting at a desk in and office talking to a person who has their back to us. The fourth panel has a podium with a slot, and various rectangles and circles surrounding it.
Creating Theatre for Our Future, Together
Essay

Creating Theatre for Our Future, Together

29 April 2021

Mary Kathryn Nagle predicts four main ways the American theatre will devise a future where theatrical storytelling does not directly contribute to white supremacy.

artists sitting on chairs in a circle
The Living Presence of Our History: Part III
Video

The Living Presence of Our History: Part III

Healing and reparations through the Land Back movement: a conversation on Indigenous land tenure, stewardship, and access

Sunday 21 March 2021
United States

Double Edge Theatre presented The Living Presence of Our History: Part III livestreaming on the global, commons-based, peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Sunday 21 March 2021 at 10 a.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC -7) / 12 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC -5) / 1 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4).

safe havens freedom talks number 6 event poster.
Indigenous People's Rights and Freedom of Artistic Expression
Video

Indigenous People's Rights and Freedom of Artistic Expression

With Safe Havens Freedom Talks

Saturday 6 March 2021
Oslo, Norway

Safe Havens Freedom Talks presented the conversation Indigenous People's Rights and Freedom of Artistic Expression livestreaming on the global, commons-based, peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Saturday 6 March 2021 at 5 p.m. CET (Stockholm, UTC +1) / 4 p.m. GMT (London, UTC +0) / 11 a.m. EST (Boston, UTC -5) / 8 a.m. PST (San Francisco, UTC -8).

2021 Reflections of Native Voices Festival Closing Reflections
Video

2021 Reflections of Native Voices Festival Closing Reflections

In conversation with Reflections of Native Voices artists

Sunday 7 February 2021
United States

Safe Harbors presented the 2021 Reflections of Native Voices Festival Closing Reflections livestreaming on the global, commons-based, peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Sunday 7 February at 1:30 p.m. PST (San Francisco, UTC -8) / 3:30 p.m. CST (Chicago, UTC -6) / 4:30 p.m. EST (New York, UTC -5).

blue graphic of actor onstage against yellow background
(Re)Imagine Indigenous Theater (ASL interpreted and live captioned)
Video

(Re)Imagine Indigenous Theater (ASL interpreted and live captioned)

A series by Seattle Rep that brings artists and community leaders together

Thursday 19 November 2020
United States

Seattle Rep presented (Re)Imagine Indigenous Theater livestreaming on the global, commons-based, peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Thursday 19 November 2020 at 5 p.m. PDT (Seattle, UTC-7) / 6 p.m. MDT (Denver, UTC-6) / 7 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC-5) / 8 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC-4).

Collage of panelists' photos, with text displaying title of event and description.
Native Theatre: Where Are We Now?
Video

Native Theatre: Where Are We Now?

Examining diversity and equal equity in sovereign decolonized Indigenous spaces against White Supremacy

Monday 2 November 2020
United States

Safe Harbors NYC presented the conversation Native Theatre: Where Are We Now? livestreaming on the global, commons-based peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Monday 2 November 2020 at 4 p.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC -7) / 6 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC -5) / 7 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4).

event description text with photo of street in chile
Conversations on Playwriting and Social Unrest in Chile
Video

Conversations on Playwriting and Social Unrest in Chile

Discussing indigenous rights and social movements in Chile

Friday 2 October 2020
United States

The Theatre Arts and Latin American and Latinx Studies Programs at the University of Pennsylvania and Interdram, the Theatrical Platform for New Playwriting, presented the second of two Conversations on Playwriting and Social Unrest in Chile livestreamed on the global, commons-based, peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Friday 2 October 2020 at 9 a.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC -7) / 12 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC-4) / 1 p.m. CLST (Santiago, UTC -3).

Rhonda Anderson, Larry Spotted Crow Mann, and Lisa Brooks.
The Living Presence of Our History: Part I
Video

The Living Presence of Our History: Part I

A talk and workshop on the history and presence of the Nipmuc and other Tribes in Ashfield and the surrounding areas

Sunday 2 August 2020
Ashfield MA, United States

The Ohketeau Cultural Council and Double Edge Theatre presented The Living Presence of Our History livestreamed on the global, commons-based, peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Sunday 2 August 2020 at 9 a.m. AKDT (Juneau, UTC -8) / 10 a.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC -7) / 12 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC -5) / 1 p.m. EDT (Ashfield, UTC -4) / 18:00 BST (London, UTC +1) / 19:00 CEST (Berlin, UTC +2).

segal theatre center logo
SEGAL TALKS: Muriel Miguel and Gloria Miguel
Video

SEGAL TALKS: Muriel Miguel and Gloria Miguel

An update on the situation for theatre artists in the United States

Monday 22 June 2020
United States

The Martin E. Segal Theatre Center presented SEGAL TALKS: Muriel Miguel and Gloria Miguel livestreamed on the global, commons-based, peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Monday 22 June 2020 at 9 a.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC -7) / 11 a.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC -5) / 12 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4) / 17:00 BST (London, UTC +1) / 18:00 CEST (Berlin, UTC +2).

A person standing on a hill, partly pixelated and blurred.
I.F.: Indigenous Futurities: Dancing Earth in CyberSpace
Video

I.F.: Indigenous Futurities: Dancing Earth in CyberSpace

Collaborating artist visionaries reveal cyberspace as a realm of ritual, to reimagine the future

Thursday 18 / Friday 19 June 2020
Wellington, NZ

Toasterlab presented I.F. : Indigenous Futurities : Dancing Earth in CyberSpace livestreamed on the global, commons-based, peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Thursday 18 June 2020 at 3:30 p.m. HST (Honolulu, UTC-10) / 6:30 p.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC-7) / 8:30 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC-5) / 9:30 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC-6) / Friday 19 June at 10:30 JST (Tokyo, UTC+9) / 13:30 NZST (Wellington, UTC+12).

four actors onstage
Navigating Indigenous Storytelling with Mixed Company
Essay

Navigating Indigenous Storytelling with Mixed Company

20 May 2020

Keith Barker and Lindsay Lachance talk about the challenges and rewards of working in mixed company with Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists, including what it’s like to navigate work with sensitive subject matter, including Indigenous histories and colonization.

school of resistance conversation series graphic.
School of Resistance - Episode One: This Madness Has to Stop
Video

School of Resistance - Episode One: This Madness Has to Stop

Opening speech of Wiener Festwochen by Kay Sara. Followed by a debate with Tania Bruguera and Milo Rau, moderated by Lara Staal

Saturday 16 May 2020
Ghent, Belgium

NTGent presented School of Resistance - Episode One: This madness has to stop livestreamed on the global, commons-based, peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Saturday 16 May 2020 at 9 a.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC-7) / 12 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC-4) / 17:00 BEST (London, UTC+1) / 18:00 CEST (Belgium, UTC+2).

image of cracked land with text unsettling dramaturgy
Praxis Sessions for Virtual Collaboration: Irreconcilable Spaces
Video

Praxis Sessions for Virtual Collaboration: Irreconcilable Spaces

hosted by Unsettling Dramaturgy: Crip & Indigenous Dramaturgies

Friday 15 May 2020
United States

Unsettling Dramaturgy presented Praxis Sessions for Virtual Collaboration: Irreconcilable Spaces livestreamed on the global, commons-based, peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Friday 15 May 2020 at 3:15 p.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC-7) / 5:15 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC-5) / 6:15 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC-4) / 20:15 p.m. BST (London, UTC+1) / 21:15 p.m. CEST (Berlin, UTC+2).

Stylized event promotion.
Praxis Sessions for Virtual Collaboration: Prefigurative Spaces
Video

Praxis Sessions for Virtual Collaboration: Prefigurative Spaces

hosted by Unsettling Dramaturgy: Crip & Indigenous Dramaturgies.​

Thursday 30 April 2020
United States

Unsettling Dramaturgy presented Praxis Sessions for Virtual Collaboration: Prefigurative Spaces livestreaming on the global, commons-based, peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Thursday 30 April 2020 at 3:15 p.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC-7) / 5:15 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC-5) / 6:15 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC-4) / 20:15 p.m. BST (London, UTC+1) / 21:15 p.m. CEST (Berlin, UTC+2).