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Luna Stage Presents World Premiere of Indian Head by Nikkole Salter

originally published: 01/16/2017

Luna Stage Presents World Premiere of Indian Head by Nikkole Salter

(WEST ORANGE, NJ) -- Obie Award winner Nikkole Salter dives headfirst into the controversial world of football mascots and appropriation of Native American culture in this new play commissioned in partnership with the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) Stage Exchange.  Indian Head opens to previews on Thursday February 2nd and runs Thursdays through Sundays until March 5th. 

When a Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape teen is caught vandalizing property in protest of the school's Indian mascot, her mother cuts a deal to help her atone with the school. But when their tribe's traditions clash with the championship bound high school football team's, the two worlds are left wondering how - or - if they can co-exist. Another story ripped from NJ headlines from the author of Lines in the Dust, Indian Head asks us to take a hard, honest look at how we appropriate culture and the ways in which we honor and exploit tradition.

Indian Head features Sydney Battle, Ollie Corchado, Carla-Rae, and Donavin Dain Scott. The design team includes Libby Stadstad and Tina Pfefferkorn (set design), Jorge Arroyo (light design), Mark Van Hare (sound design) and Deborah Caney (costume design).  The Production Stage Manager is Daniel Viola.  The production is directed by Kareem Fahmy.

Indian Head was commissioned in partnership with the NJPAC Stage Exchange, a program of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center.

Indian Head marks Nikkole Salter's third world premiere at Luna Stage, and her second commission. Previous premieres include Carnaval (2012) and Lines In The Dust (2014). Ms. Salter is an Obie-Award winning actress and writer for IN THE CONTINUUM (ITC) which received an Off-Broadway run at Primary Stages and the Perry Street Theatre. For ITC, Ms. Salter received an OBIE Award (2006), and the NY Outer Critics Circle's John Gassner Award for Best New American Play (2006), the Seldes-Kanin fellowship from the Theatre Hall of Fame, and the Global Tolerance Award from the Friends of the United Nations to name a few.

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As a dramatist, Ms. Salter has written 6 full-length plays, been commissioned for full-length work by 6 institutions, been produced on 3 continents in 5 countries, and been published in 12 international publications. Her work has appeared in over 20 Off-Broadway, regional and international theatres. Ms. Salter is a 2014 MAP Fund Grant recipient, a Eugene O'Neill Theater Center National Playwrights Conference semi-finalist, and a two time Playwright's of New York (PoNY) Fellowship nominee.

Director Kareem Fahmy is a Canadian-born director of Egyptian descent. He is currently a Resident Director at The Flea Theater, a member of The Civilians R&D Group, and was a 2015 Director-in-Residence at The New Museum. He's worked extensively in new play development with organizations including New York Theatre Workshop, The Public Theater, MCC, Second Stage, Soho Rep, New Dramatists, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Sundance Institute Theatre, Partial Comfort Productions, Noor Theatre, Fresh Ground Pepper, Ma-Yi, and Berkeley Rep. He is an alumnus of the Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab, Lincoln Center Directors Lab, the Van Lier Directing Fellowship, and NTYW's Emerging Artist Fellowship. Kareem is an NYTW Usual Suspect and holds an MFA in Theatre Directing from Columbia University.

Sydney Battle is a graduate of William & Mary. While she is primarily a stage actress, recent film work includes the webseries: Ghostburg, and the short films: Talk Funny To Me & Bad Girls.

Ollie Corchado's professional credits include appearances at Gallery Players, Milwaukee Repertory, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, New York City Downtown Urban Theatre Festival, Hampstead Stage Company, and the Berkshire Theatre Group.

Carla-Rae has appeared in the TV series New Amsterdam, directed by Lasse Hallström, the PBS docudrama We Shall Remain with director Chris Eyre, the indie feature film Imprint with director Michael Linn and the ABC TV series Scoundrels directed by Julie Ann Robinson.  She is a member of Native Voices at The Autry Theater Ensemble in Los Angeles, the country’s only Equity theatre company dedicated exclusively to producing new works by Native American, Alaska Native, and First Nations playwrights. Carla Rae also serves as the national spokesperson for Native Hoop Magazine.

Donavin Dain Scott has appeared off-Broadway and regionally at Soho Repertory Theatre, Lark Theatre, Crossroads Theatre, Pittsburgh Public Theatre, The Alliance Theatre, Court Theatre in Chicago, Freedom Theatre in Philadelphia, Alabama Shakespeare Festival and the Boston Court Theatre in LA.

Opening night is Friday, February 10th. Performances on February 4th and 16th will be followed by a Talkback. Tickets range from $27-$37 dollars.  Group sales available. $10 Student Rush tickets available one half-hour before curtain. Appropriate for ages 12 and up. Individual tickets can be purchased at, or at the box office Tues.-Fri. 10:30am-3pm (973-395-5551).

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Luna Stage is a small but mighty professional theatre company located in Essex County, NJ, just under 15 miles from New York City. Throughout the past 24 years, the company has earned a national reputation for developing and producing outstanding new plays and timely revivals and for taking on challenging and provocative subject matters in their work.

A proud member of Valley Arts, Luna Stage is located at 555 Valley Road, West Orange, NJ. The theatre is handicapped accessible and offers assistive listening devices.

The NJPAC Stage Exchange is where cutting edge, new play development meets insightful community dialogue. Now in its third year, Stage Exchange is an ongoing series of new-play readings held in partnership with the New Jersey Theatre Alliance. The program pairs three dramatists with three mentoring theaters, who guarantee each a full production of his or her play. In exchange, the playwrights establish residencies in classrooms to teach their craft and NJPAC hosts readings of the works, followed by a discussion.



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