Tuesday, September 16, 2008
'Salvage' Native play premieres at the Autry
Native Voices at the Autry Presents the World Premiere of Salvage by Diane Glancy, directed by Sheila Tousey
October 31 through November 23
Fridays & Saturdays at 8 pm
Saturdays & Sundays at 2 pm
General Admission $20 / Autry Members $12
LOS ANGELES — Native Voices at the Autry proudly presents the world premiere of Salvage by Diane Glancy (Cherokee), a taut, suspenseful drama about a hard-working family whose lives are turned upside down by a deadly accident. The play was developed and is being produced with funding from the Multi-Arts Production Fund ( MAP ).
Native Voices’ play development for Salvage spans two years and includes Ms. Glancy’s participation in the 2007 & 2008 Playwright Retreats and several play readings (some with the play’s title as Plymouth Dodge DeSoto). Salvage was also selected for the Public Theater’s Native Play Festival last year and had a reading at the La Jolla Playhouse in 2008.
An award-winning playwright and poet, Diane Glancy is a professor at Macalester College in St. Paul , Minnesota , and is currently on a four-year sabbatical/early retirement program. She also holds the Richard Thomas Chair at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio , in the spring semesters of 2008 and 2009. This is Glancy’s third play produced by Native Voices. The first was Jump Kiss in 2001, followed by Stone Heart: Everyone Loves a Journey West in 2006.
The play is directed by Sheila Tousey (Menominee, Stockbridge Munsee), hailed as one of Sam Shepard’s top actors, who returns to Native Voices after having directed in the very first Native Voices Festival in Illinois in 1994. Tousey, a highly acclaimed actor and director, has recently added playwright to her list of credits with her adaptation of Sam Shepard’s The Bottle House, workshopped last year at the Public Theater.
Cut Bank, Montana . Blackfeet country. Here, a hard-working family scratches out a life running a salvage yard. A deadly accident throws them into a turbulent world of doubt, recrimination, and vengeance, pushing their lives into horrific new territory. Can traditional ways pull them back to safety or will their lives be torn apart forever?
Director: Sheila Tousey (Menominee, Stockbridge Munsee)
Dramaturg: Bryan Davidson
Executive Producers: Randy Reinholz (Choctaw) and Jean Bruce Scott
Cast (headshots available upon request):
Elena Finney (Mescalero Apache) plays “Memela,” a 32-year-old mixed-blood Indian. She’s an elementary school teacher, married to Wolf. She’s known trouble; came from a poor family led by a father who was an alcoholic. She’s found solace in her marriage, her sons, and the church. Very religious.
Robert Owens-Greygrass (Lakota) plays “Wolfert,” the ailing and aged patriarch. This 67-year-old Blackfeet Indian lost Phoebe, his wife and the love of his life, to a fever last year. He has buried four children, lost to accidents and fevers before that, and hasn’t gotten over it. He co-owns and runs Blackfeet Salvage Yard with his only living son, Wolf, although he spends most of his time in the cemetery visiting his dead wife. He’s come to live with Wolf, Memela, and their two young boys in a small house in the salvage yard. He still believes in traditional Blackfeet ways.
Noah Watts (Crow) plays “Wolf,” a 33-year-old Blackfeet Indian who co-owns and runs Blackfeet Salvage Yard in Cut Bank, Montana . The youngest of five children, he is Wolfert’s last living child. Married to Memela, his high school sweetheart, he has two young sons of his own. Wolf is hardworking and strong— but bone weary.
General Admission $20 / Autry Members $12
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About the Playwright
Diane Glancy (Cherokee) is a professor at Macalester College in St. Paul , Minnesota , and is currently on a four-year sabbatical/early retirement program. She also holds the Richard Thomas Chair at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio , in the spring semesters of 2008 and 2009. She has received numerous awards, including a National Endowment for the Arts, the Native American Prose Award, a Minnesota Book Award, an Oklahoma Book Award, the Juniper Poetry Prize from the University of Massachusetts Press , and an Envision Retreat Fellowship from the Voice & Vision Theatre Company in New York . She works in several genres including poetry, scripts, fiction, and essays. Native Voices at the Autry has produced two of her plays: Jump Kiss in 2002 and Stone Heart: Everyone Loves a Journey West in 2006. She has an MFA from the Iowa Writer’s Workshop.
About the Director
Sheila Tousey (Menominee, Stockbridge Munsee) has acted in film, television, Broadway, off-Broadway, and in regional theaters across the country. Some favorite directors she has worked with include Michael Apted, Sam Shepard, Joe Chaikin, Dan Sackheim, Lisa Peterson, David Esbjornson, Betsy Theobald, Livieu Ciulei, Tony Taccone, Maria Vail, JoAnn Akalitis, and Robert Woodruff. She was Artist-in-Residence at the Public Theater in NYC in 2006 and 2007 where she, along with Maria Vail, and in collaboration with Sam Shepard, adapted The Bottle House, a play based on the short stories and poetry of Sam Shepard. She has an MFA from the New York University Graduate Acting Program.
About the DramaturgBryan Davidson is a Los Angeles–based playwright, dramaturg, and arts educator. As a playwright, he has received commissions from Cornerstone Theatre Company, the Greenway Court Theatre , and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. His play War Music won four Ovation Awards, including Best World Premiere Play. It was subsequently produced at the Geffen Playhouse in 2004. His latest play, Yellow Wallpaper, was written while he was Playwright-in-Residence at the William Inge Festival in Independence , Kansas . That play has received readings at Angels Gate Cultural Center , the Theatre @ Boston Court, and the Last Frontier Theatre Conference in Valdez , Alaska . More recently, he was Literary Manager at the Theatre @ Boston Court and National Coordinator for the Young Native Voices Theatre Education Project.
About the Cast
Elena Finney (Mescalero-Apache/Tarascan) / MEMELA 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 of Kino & Teresa. Well versed in comedy, she has performed at the Second City and the Upright Citizen’s Brigade in Los Angeles . She also can 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 The Wedding Planner, PowWow Dreams, and the upcoming 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
Robert Owens-Greygrass (Lakota) / WOLFERT is a writer, storyteller, actor, and wellness consultant, working throughout Turtle Island (the U.S. ), Canada , England , Germany , and Australia . He spent three years with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and twelve years with D’White Dog Productions LLC, touring, performing, and bringing his unique performance style and “wellness through the arts” to countless festivals, universities, reservations, public and private schools, the UN, prisons, and theaters. He continues to perform and tour his two original one-man plays, Walking on Turtle Island and Ghostlands of an Urban NDN , which both received critical acclaim in 2005 in L.A. . “I am happy, inspired, and making good medicine with Native Voices at the Autry.” Represented by Brick Entertainment and Lynda Mccarol at Daniel Hoff agency. SAG
Noah Watts (Crow) / WOLF received a scholarship to the Los Angeles Academy of Dramatic Arts in 2001 and has been working ever since. Film credits include Skinwalkers, Skins, The Slaughter Rule, North Star, Montana 1933, Pinko’s Place, Monster Mountain , and Last Call Before Sunset. Theater credits include The Indolent Boys, The Dining Room, Kino & Teresa, Teaching Disco Square Dancing to Our Elders: A Class Presentation, The Good Doctor, Ring Around the Moon, and The Actor’s Nightmare. Represented by N.A.S.S. Talent Management. SAG
Image by Susan & Michael Conway, copyright 2008 - Iron Age Images
About Native Voices at the Autry
Native Voices at the Autry is devoted to developing and producing new works for the stage by Native American playwrights. Established in 1999, Native Voices provides a supportive and collaborative setting for Native American playwrights, actors, and theater artists from across the U.S. and Canada to develop their work and see it fully realized. Since 1999, Native Voices has produced Urban Tattoo, Jump Kiss, The Buz’Gem Blues, Please Do Not Touch the Indians, Kino & Teresa, Stone Heart, The Red Road , The Berlin Blues, SUPER INDIAN, and Teaching Disco Square Dancing to Our Elders: A Class Presentation. In addition, Native Voices has held over 70 workshops and public staged readings of new plays by Native American playwrights featuring Native American actors. Through its Young Native Voices Theater Education Project, Native Voices provides workshops and residencies for young Native writers, actors, and musicians, resulting in public staged readings of 5-to-10-minute plays, public events featuring young writers and musicians, and student/community productions of traditional stories performed for community and tribal audiences.
Native Voices at the Autry produces under an Equity contract and is a member of LA Stage Alliance; a member theater of TYA/USA, the national organization for Theater for Young Audiences; and a Constituent of Theatre Communications Group (TCG), the national organization for the American theater.
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