Native Voices at the Autry continues its vital role as the country’s only equity theatre company dedicated exclusively to developing the work of Native American playwrights with a staged reading of HUNKA by award-winning playwright Larissa FastHorse (Sicangu Lakota Nation*) on Sunday, February 12, 2:30 pm, at the Wells Fargo Theater at The Autry National Center in Griffith Park. The reading is directed by Laurie Woolery, associate artistic director of the noted Cornerstone Theater Company. Gritty, funny and poignant, Hunka explores notions of family, teen pregnancy, adoption and responsibility, questioning if it’s possible to be redeemed from mistakes – and whether the characters really want to be. The reading is followed by an audience “Talk-Back” with FastHorse, Woolery and actors Elizabeth Frances (Cherokee*), Susan Wilder and Maxton Scott (Mohawk*). Admission is free.
The reading is part of Native Voices’ signature FIRST LOOK SERIES: Plays in Progress, which brings playwrights together with professional directors, dramaturgs, and actors for a workshop and public presentation at the Autry, providing an important next step in the play’s development.
LARISSA FASTHORSE (Sicangu Lakota Nation*) was awarded the 2010 National Endowment for the Arts Distinguished New Play Development Grant for Fancy Dancer with Children’s Theatre Company. Current commissions include Kennedy Center Theatre for Young Audiences, Cornerstone Theatre, and Cherokee Historical Association Mountainside Theatre. FastHorse is a member of the Center Theatre Group’s Writers Workshop and part of the inaugural Café Bohemia series at Arizona Theatre Company. Past productions include Teaching Disco Square Dancing to Our Elders: A Class Presentation for Native Voices at the Autry and Average Family for Children’s Theatre Company. Both titles were published in 2011. FastHorse also developed the musicals Serra Springs and Different Does Not Mean the Same with Native Voices. She is represented by Jonathan Mills at Paradigm–NY and lives in Santa Monica with her husband, sculptor Edd Hogan.www.hoganhorsestudio.com
LAURIE WOOLERY is the Associate Artistic Director of Cornerstone Theater Company. As a director and playwright, she has collaborated on many new works including A Man Comes to Fowler, Jason in Eureka, For All Time, A Holtville Night’s Dream, and 3/7/11: A Lincoln Heights Tale. Recently, Woolery directed The Language Archive by Julia Cho at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. She has also directed Amor Eterno—Six Lessons in Love (an anthology by six Latino playwrights) for the opening of the Ricardo Montalban Theatre, and Reflecting Back at the Los Angeles Central Library as part of the National Tour of the American Originals exhibition. As a director, playwright, educator, and actor, Woolery has worked at South Coast Repertory, Mark Taper Forum, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Inge Center for the Arts, Denver Center, Los Angeles Theatre Center, Ricardo Montalban Theatre, Deaf-West Theatre, fofo Theatre, Highways Performance Space, and Sundance Playwrights Lab, as well as the Sundance Children’s Theatre. Cornerstone Theater Company commissioned her solo play Salvadorian Moon/African Sky for its citywide Festival of Faith. Several of her plays — Scouting Reality, Bliss, The Hundred Dresses and Orphan Train: The Lost Children — have received world premieres at South Coast Repertory. Woolery is on faculty at Citrus College and California State University at Northridge and serves on the boards of the Latino Producers Action Network, Network of Ensemble Theaters, and the Children’s Theatre Foundation of America.
NATIVE VOICES AT THE AUTRY is the country’s only Equity theatre company dedicated exclusively to producing new works by Native American playwrights. The company has been hailed by critics as “a virtual who’s who of American Indian theatre artists,” “a hot bed for contemporary Native theatre,” “deeply compelling” and “a powerful and eloquent voice.” Native Voices, which provides a supportive, collaborative setting for Native theatre artists from across North America, was established as a resident company at The Autry National Center in 1999. It is widely respected in both the Native American and theatre communities for its breakthrough plays and diverse programming showcasing unique points of view within the more than 500 Native American nations in North America. Deeply committed to developing new works by beginning, emerging and established Native playwrights from across North America and seeing them fully realized, Native Voices has presented fully staged productions of 19 critically acclaimed new plays, including 14 world premieres, 8 Playwrights Retreats and 18 New Play Festivals, and more than 150 workshops and public staged readings of new plays. Native Voices is led by Founder/Producing Artistic Director Randy Reinholz (Choctaw*) and Founder/Producing Executive Director Jean Bruce Scott and maintains successful long-term relationships with New York’s The Public Theater, Native American Public Telecommunications (NAPT), Washington’s Kennedy Center, The National Museum of the American Indian and La Jolla Playhouse.
THE AUTRY NATIONAL CENTER, formed in 2003 by the merger of the Autry Museum of Western Heritage with the Southwest Museum of the American Indian and the Women of the West Museum, is an intercultural history center dedicated to exploring and sharing the stories, experiences, and perceptions of the diverse peoples of the American West. Located in Griffith Park, the Autry’s collection of over 500,000 pieces of art and artifacts, which includes the collection of the Southwest Museum of the American Indian, is one of the largest and most significant in the United States. The Autry Institute includes two research libraries: the Braun Research Library and the Autry Library. Exhibitions, public programs, K–12 educational services, and publications are designed to examine critical issues of society, offering insights into solutions and the contemporary human condition through the Western historical experience.
NATIVE VOICES AT THE AUTRY is located at The Autry National Center, 4700 Western Heritage Way, Los Angeles, CA, 90027-1462. For reservations or additional information, call 323 667-2000, ext. 299 or visitwww.NativeVoicesattheAutry.org.
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