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 the world premiere of THE BIRD HOUSE by DIANE GLANCY (Cherokee*). The play opens Friday, March 1 and closes Sunday, March 17, 2013, (previews begin February 27) at the Autry National Center's Wells Fargo Theater, Los Angeles.
Glancy, author of the hit play Salvage, has worked closely with Native Voices on The Bird House for more than two years, exemplifying the company's commitment to the ongoing development of a play over a long period of time. Directed by Robert Caisley, The Bird House was written for and stars Native Voices Co-Founder/Producing Artistic Director Randy Reinholz (Choctaw*), in his Native Voices acting debut. Reinholz, an accomplished producer, director and actor, has directed over fifty plays in the United States, Australia, Mexico and Canada.
The dramaturg is Native Voices Co-Founder/Producing Executive Director Jean Bruce Scott, who has spent nineteen years developing new plays, including more than 100 by Native American Playwrights. Native Voices at the Autry has been hailed by critics as "a virtual who's who of American Indian theatre artists," "a hotbed for contemporary Native Theatre," "deeply compelling" and "a powerful and eloquent voice." Founded in 1994, it was established as a resident company at the Autry National Center in 1999.
"We are proud to present the world premiere of Diane Glancy's The Bird House as part of our ongoing commitment to give expression to the histories, experiences and perspectives of Native peoples," says David Burton, senior director of the Autry Institute at the Autry National Center. "Diane's poetically heart-wrenching play, as well as all the creative work that grows out of Native Voices at the Autry, contributes enormously to our mission of fully exploring the stories of the diverse peoples of the American West."
Glancy's play tells the story of Reverend Logan (Reinholz), an evangelical preacher fighting to save his family, his church and his community during an economic crisis, when the promise of natural gas production from fracking seems to provide a lifeline to his small west Texas town. The cast also features Tyler Cook as Justin Lawrence, Carla-Rae (Seneca*, Mohawk*, French Canadian*) as Majel, Robert Owens-Greygrass (Lakota*) as Rope and Ellen Dostal as Clovis.
An early draft of The Bird House was featured at Native Voices at the Autry's 2011 Festival of New Plays, after which Glancy decided to add two characters, substantially altering the dramatic story. It has also been workshopped previously at the prestigious Missoula Writers Colony at the University of Montana.
Native Voices at the Autry, a constituent of Theatre Communications Group (TCG), is made possible in part by grants and support from Department of Cultural Affairs, City of Los Angeles; Los Angeles County Arts Commission; National Endowment for the Arts; Edison International; Nissan; San Manuel Band of Mission Indians; Wells Fargo; and the Judith Jacobs Foundation.
Tickets are $20 for general adult admission, $12 for students/military/seniors (55+) and $10 for Autry members. Previews are half-price and free for Autry members. The Wells Fargo Theater is located at the Autry National Center, 4700 Western Heritage Way, Los Angeles, Calif., 90027-1462. For reservations or additional information, call 323.495.4354 or visit www.NativeVoicesattheAutry.org.
Playwright DIANE GLANCY (Cherokee*) is a professor at Azusa Pacific University in Azusa, California. Native Voices at the Autry has previously produced three of her plays, Jump Kiss, Stone Heart and Salvage, which was featured in the Origins Festival, Riverside Studios, London, England. In 2010, Glancy made her first independent film, The Dome of Heaven, which won Best Native American Film at the 2011 Trail Dance Film Festival in Duncan, Oklahoma. A book of her essays, The Dream of a Broken Field, was published in 2011 by the University of Nebraska Press. Two collections of her poems, Stories of the Driven World and It Was Then, were published by Mammoth Press in 2010 and 2012.