New Jersey Theatre Alliance (“The Alliance”), one of the state’s largest arts service organizations, invites the public to join them virtually on Monday, June 28, 2021 at 7:00pm for Indigenous Theatre Makers in Conversation: A Virtual Panel Discussion, sponsored by the New Jersey Historical Commission. This event will be a candid and collegial conversation among Indigenous theatre makers based in our local area of Lenapehoking (colonially known as New Jersey and New York) and beyond.
"New Jersey Theatre Alliance is thrilled to partner once again with the New Jersey Historical Commission to offer a panel discussion featuring exceptional Theatre makers in our region," said Erica Nagel, deputy Director of the Alliance. "The voices and leadership of Indigenous artists are critical to the future of theatre in our region and beyond. We are grateful to these visionary artists for gathering with us to share their expertise and insight."
The discussion will touch on the greatest challenges and joys of making theatre as an Indigenous artist, the panelists' visions for the future of theatre and performance, and how Indigenous arts leadership can, should, and will be part of the future of the field.
“We are so pleased to continue our partnership with the NJ Theatre Alliance in support of programs that explore the intersection of history and theatre,” said Sara Cureton, Executive Director of the New Jersey Historical Commission. “This panel discussion will be a central contribution to the Historical Commission’s 2021 year of programming, which is focused on spreading awareness of Native American history and life to a wider audience by elevating the voices of Indigenous peoples and tribal communities.”
Panelists include Ryan Pierce (The Eagle Project), whose work is currently being developed in partnership with Rattlestick Theatre and Lincoln Center; Madeline Sayet (Red Eagle Soaring), whose one-woman play Where we Belong is currently available to stream from Woolly Mammoth Theatre in Washington DC; and DeLanna Studi (Native Voices at the Autry) who is currently producing her theatre’s 27th Annual New Play Festival, also available to watch online.
Moderating the discussion will be Rev. Dr. John Norwood, a citizen of the Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape Tribal Nation, for which he served as the Principal Justice of the Tribal Supreme Court, as a Councilman, and as the senior minister to the Nanticoke-Lenape Tribal Christian Prayer Circle Ministry. “The power of theater in sharing experiences, providing commentary, and educating on important issues is that it is a vital tool in presenting and preserving the history and culture of Indigenous Peoples and raising awareness of our communal and individual worldviews. I am honored and humbled to moderate this panel focusing on the work of Indigenous performing artists,” said Rev. Dr. Norwood.
The discussion is free and open to the public but requires registration. Interested participants can register to attend here.
Founded in 1981, New Jersey Theatre Alliance was the first statewide service organization for professional, not-for-profit theatre companies in the United States, and is a leader in developing model programs that unite, promote, strengthen, and cultivate professional theatre in New Jersey. Funding for the New Jersey Theatre Alliance, a not-for-profit organization, is provided in part by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, New Jersey Division of Travel and Tourism, and contributions from individuals, corporations, and foundations including Amazon, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, The Grunin Foundation, The Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey, The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey, Bank of America, City National Bank, The Shubert Foundation, The Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation, Investors Bank, The Hyde and Watson Foundation, Kessler Foundation, The F.M. Kirby Foundation, E.J. Grassmann Trust, and The Union Foundation.
The New Jersey Historical Commission (NJHC) is a state agency dedicated to the advancement of public knowledge and preservation of New Jersey history. Established by law in 1967, its work is founded on the fundamental belief that an understanding of our shared heritage is essential to sustaining a cohesive and robust democracy.