America’s Leading Native American Theatre Company Presents the World Premiere of
Directed by Olivia Espinosa (Azteca) and Arigon Starr (Kickapoo Tribe of Oklahoma) April 14–May 5, 2021
Written by Arigon Starr (Kickapoo Tribe of Oklahoma) Directed by Olivia Espinosa (Azteca) and Arigon Starr (Kickapoo Tribe of Oklahoma)
Artistic Director DeLanna Studi (Cherokee) Managing Producer Elisa Blandford Executive Producer for Wacky Productions Unlimited Janet Miner Technical Advisor and Script Consultant Dirk Maggs
Sound Design Thomas Maggs Stage Manager Luisa Rodriguez Tech Support César Reyes Assistant Yanira Loera
y brain since I was a kid readi ng comic
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ics I read had Native America types. When something make g or write a song. In 2006, Super Indian
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was one of
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d for the annual National Aud cted with the audience. The n ith the Native Radio Theater P
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the process of drawing and c oloring digitally. Most ebcomic. Super Indian
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nded starting the series as a w ing year, there was enough m , Volume One) and another ed
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ition (Volume Two)
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Author of The New Adventures of Super
When I think of humor and resiliency, Arigon Starr always comes to mind. Her laughter is infectious, her stories are better than any ab workout, and she created a character that was lacking during my childhood: Super Indian. I have always loved superheroes. They exemplify the qualities we should strive for and they fight for the greater good. I have longed for a Native superhero, to see someone like me doing extraordinary things while facing adversity. Arigon Starr has done that with comedy and grace, shining the light on cultural appropriation, identity, and repatriation, among other issues within Native America. Like many of you, I have not set foot in a theater in over a year. While I miss the stage, I also miss you, the audience. The hush as the lights go down. The communal laughs or gasps during the show. For that moment, we are on a journey together, witnessing a story that will never be told the same way again (try as we might!). Although the theater may be closed, the stories are still being told. Virtual engagement will never replace the magic of live theatre, but it allows access we have never had before. Geography is no longer an issue. Many Native communities across the country can see plays written by and performed by Natives, some for the first time! In fact, we have more audience members virtually than actual seats in our theater. We still have community. During much of this pandemic and shelter-in-place, I have had the opportunity to work remotely from my family home in Oklahoma. This year brought into clear focus what I value and what is a priority. Moments like this make one contemplative. I thought of my Cherokee ancestors surviving the Trail of Tears, being forcibly removed to a strange land, loved ones dying, and the constant negotiating of the unknown. I asked my father, an “old speaker” of the Cherokee language, what he thought attributed to our resilience. He smiled and said, “Our humor.” If I were to ask most people what first comes to mind when I say “Native American,” few would say anything about our sense of humor. But we are a humorous bunch. Attend a gathering and you will hear the laughter of children, elders, and all those in between. Humor has sustained us through the worst of times, and it continues to help us through these challenging times. If we ever needed a superhero, it is now. And so we are delighted to present The New Adventures of Super Indian via three action-filled and hilarious audio adventures. I hope the humor and the community of Leaning Oak Reservation provide you comfort and some laughter during these times. Let Super Indian remind all of us that we are stronger than we think, braver than we know, and more powerful when we work together.
Artistic Director of Native Voices at the Autry
HUBERT LOGAN/SUPER INDIAN/GEECH……….. Kholan Studi
GENERAL BEAR/MEGA BEAR/TRUCK DRIVER/WALLACE WARD/LUKUS/ SILVERSMITH/NATIONAL MEDIA REPORTER #2……….. Ernest Briggs
DIOGI/HANK THUNDER/MITCH SPENCER/CLIVE/SQUIRREL BEAR/TRIBAL MEMBER #2/INTERNATIONAL MEDIA REPORTER #1/SPENDY OAKS REPORTER #2/ CROWD MEMBER #1……….. Jason Grasl
TILLIE THUNDER/PHOEBE FRANCIS/“KA'WAIKA WOMAN”/LAGUNA WOMAN/ KELLY KWAN'TUM/TAYLOR CHARGING BEAR/SCIENCE DIRECTOR #1/TRIBAL MEMBER #1/STAN #3/SPENDY OAKS REPORTER #1/INTERNATIONAL MEDIA REPORTER #2……….. Candice Byrd
Tom Allard (Cherokee) is a longtime member of the Native Voices
Artists Ensemble, having voiced the
archvillain Wampum Baggs in the original 2007 recordings. He is a retired actor, and for the past 20 years taught stagecraft and video filmmaking before becoming the resident storyteller for Pasadena Polytechnic School. September marks the beginning of his 50th year of singing for his supper, in one form or another. Deeply grateful for this adventure. What a band of players!
Ernest Briggs (White Earth Nation) is a proud Native American actor who has worked in Minneapolis, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Florida for more than 10 years. Briggs received his MFA from the University of Florida. He has performed at such venues as the Guthrie Theater, Park Square Theatre, Mixed Blood Theatre, South Coast Repertory, and Tilted Windmills Theatricals. Briggs has had supporting roles in independent feature films and series such as Atarax , A Method , Area of Conflict , and Sold Out . He is the artistic director of Turtle Theater Collective.
Candice Byrd (Cherokee Nation/Quapaw
Nation/Osage Nation) (MFA) makes her Native Voices debut as Phoebe Francis/ Ka'waika Woman and others. Theatre highlights include Lily in A Tlingit Christmas Carol , Perseverance Theatre; Sarah Ridge Polson in Sovereignty , Heller Theatre Company; Terri Henry in Sliver of a Full Moon throughout Indian Country; Bright Eyes/Prairie Rose/Betsy in Return to Niobrara , Kennedy Center’s New Visions New Voices; 2017 TYA/ASSITEJ’s Next Generation Artist-in-Residence. Wado/ Gungay/Da-tlee to Creator and grateful to work with the multitalented Arigon Starr on this great script, cast, and production staff.
Sheri Foster Blake (Cherokee Nation), originally from Texas, has long been active in Los Angeles’s entertainment community. She provided narration for the Emmy-nominated PBS special Great Performances/ Dance in America , featuring the American Indian Dance Theater. As an actress, she appeared in the world premiere of Bill Yellow Robe’s
The Independence of Eddie Rose and numerous Los Angeles theatrical productions, including Death of a Miner . Blake toured with the Native American Theater Group’s presentation of Mystic Voices . Films include Oliver Stone’s U Turn , Naturally Native , Second-Hand Hearts , and Shouting Secrets . First Americans in the Arts honored Blake with a Best Supporting Actress Award for her role in U Turn . Television appearances include House , TNT’s Crazy Horse , and PBS’s Coyote Waits . Blake served on the board directors of the American Indian Registry, founded by Will Sampson, and was a founding trustee of First Americans in the Arts. Most recently, she appeared in Duplass Brothers Productions’ Allies , directed by Barret O’Brien, and Wild Indian directed by Lyle Mitchell Corbine Jr. She is honored to be working with Native Voices at the Autry.
Jason Grasl (Blackfeet) is an actor, playwright, director, and ensemble
member at Native Voices at the Autry.
Theatre credits include Fairly Traceable , Native Voices; Laughter on the 23rd Floor , Garry Marshall Theatre; Cherokee , Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company; The Blame of Love , Sliver of a Full Moon (touring); Urban Rez , (assistant director); and Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding . Film/ TV credits include Brooklyn Nine-Nine, 9-1-1 , White Collar , Hot in Cleveland , Cassidy Red , and The Seminarian . Playwright credits include Lying With Badgers , Emergency Management , and The Blame of Love . Currently, he is writing a commissioned play called The Normal Force for San Diego Rep.
Jake Hart (Cherokee/ Chicano) works across the country: onstage, onscreen, and in sound studios. He started off in the Bay Area in California, and then Seattle, before resettling in Manahatta. He voices everything from cartoons and video games to national commercials. Currently, he is recording Spirit Rangers (Netflix). He is a SAG-AFTRA Native Americans Committee member, the Indigenous development director of Nevada’s Cordillera International Film Festival, and a Red Eagle Soaring board member. Prayers up to his family for dealing with him.
Gregg McVicar (Tlingit) (MA) has logged thousands of hours hosting live music and talk shows, and has created hundreds of programs (both music
Enrico Nassi (Enrolled
Member of the Otoe-Missouria Tribe, Cherokee)
and documentary) for national audiences. He owns and operates RadioCamp LLC, a media production studio in Walnut Creek, California. His work has garnered five awards plus a Peabody, and he was nominated for the prestigious United States Artists Fellowship. He now serves as host of the daily national music show UnderCurrents, heard on 203 public radio stations via Native Voice One.
appeared most recently as John Ridge in Sovereignty (Theatre for a New Audience). Regional credits include Asher, Lying With Badgers (Native Voices at the Autry); Ensemble, Diana (La Jolla Playhouse); Billy, The Real Thing (Studio Theatre); Ned, Exorcism , (Arena Stage); 1938: Inventing the Enemy (Theater J); and Man, Machinalia (JACK.BROOKLYN). He earned his MFA at UCSD.
Jen Olivares (Acjachemen/
Juaneño Band of Mission Indians) is a multidisciplinary artist, writer, creative director, and choreographer. She attended university on her Acjachemen homelands at CSU Fullerton, which led to four productions at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, where she played OSF’s first two-spirit character in the world’s first LGBT+ production of Oklahoma ! Olivares is currently consulting on and movement directing several up-and-coming Native works, including Molly Spotted Elk: A Penobscot in Paris with Penobscot Theatre in Maine.
Katie Anvil Rich (Cherokee and Chickasaw descent) has performed throughout the U.S. and internationally at the Guthrie Theater, American Repertory Theater, La Jolla Playhouse, and Theatre Royal Bath. Pre-COVID, she could be seen regularly onstage with Second City Hollywood’s A Tribe Called Sketch, as well as on The Ruby: LA and UCB stages. She holds her MFA in Acting from Harvard University and the Moscow Art Theatre (MXAT). She is thrilled to be coming at you through your headphones on a walk outside your house, or in your car stereo for this production of Super Indian !
Madeline Sayet (Mohegan) is a citizen of the Mohegan Tribe, executive director of the Yale
Indigenous Performing Arts Program (YIPAP), and co-artistic director at Red Eagle Soaring. For her work as a theatre maker she has been honored as a Forbes 30Under30, TED Fellow, and recipient of the White House Champion of Change Award from President Obama. Her solo show Where We Belong will be at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company this spring. www.madelinesayet.com
Arigon Starr (Kickapoo Tribe of Oklahoma) SEE BELOW
Kholan Studi (Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma) was born and raised in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Ever since he
was a child, he has loved entertaining folks and making them laugh and feel. In 2012, Studi moved to Los Angeles to attend the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, where he completed his studies in 2015. Since then, he has worked in many productions with Native Voices at the Autry including They Don’t Talk Back by Frank Henry Kaash Katasse and Bingo Hall by Dillon Chitto. Studi was also honored to play Elias Boudinot in a production of Sovereignty by Mary Katherine Nagle at Marin Theatre Company in 2019. During the pandemic, he took part in Perseverance Theatre’s production of Spirit of the Valley by Frank Henry Kaash Katasse. He is honored to be a part of
Arigon Starr’s Super Indian and would like to send his love and support to all those suffering from the COVID-19 pandemic. The only way out of this is together.
Robert Vestal (Cherokee descent) has performed with Native Voices at the Autry since 2002. He has worked in film and television and stage thousands of times. His voiceover work includes several shows on Netflix, including the English dub of the currently streaming French show Family Business ; the video game Resident Evil: Biohazard winner of the Game Award for Best VR Game in 2017, in which he also performed motion capture; and the original production of Super Indian in 2007.
Jehnean Washington (Yuchi, Seminole, Shoshone) is a multitalented and multicultural artist. A graduate of the
Michael Wise (Cherokee) has worked with Native Voices at the Autry on many of their productions, both as an actor and as voice talent. He works as SAG talent on the internet, and in television, film, and voiceover. His voice work includes narration, animation, and voice matching on film.
American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City, she has worked for more than 30 years not only as a singer/song writer and musician but also in the entertainment industry in film, television, radio, and voiceovers. She is a recognized and archived singer, songwriter, musician, actor, and storyteller with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C., and an ensemble member of Native Voices at the Autry. She is also the owner of the Los Angeles–based film company Lighthorsewoman Productions and co-wrote of the award-winning screenplay for the movie Rave .
ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHT/ DIRECTOR
Arigon Starr (Kickapoo Tribe of Oklahoma) is an award- winning musician, actor, and playwright, and a renowned comic book writer and artist. Her work with Native Voices at the Autry includes her comedy musical The Red Road and the radio comedy Super Indian . A former Tulsa Artist Fellow, she created the romantic comedy Round Dance for the Oklahoma Indigenous Theatre Company in 2018 during her fellowship. A member of SAG-AFTRA and Actors’ Equity, she is based in Los Angeles, California.
ABOUT THE DIRECTOR
Olivia Espinosa (Azteca) is a bilingual actor, playwright, and director. A member of the Native Voices Artists Ensemble, she has contributed all these skills to the organization since 2015. In 2017 Espinosa received Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s most prestigious award, the Phil Killian Directing Fellowship, when she was assistant director to Artist Director Bill Rauch on Randy Reinholz’s Off the Rails . Most recently, she assistant directed alongside Tony Taccone on John Leguizamo’s Kiss My Aztec at La Jolla Playhouse.
ABOUT THE ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
DeLanna Studi (Cherokee) has more than 25 years of experience as a performer, storyteller, educator, facilitator, advocate, and activist. Her theatre credits include the first national Broadway tour of the Tony Award– and Pulitzer Prize–winning play August: Osage County ; Off-Broadway’s Gloria: A Life , Daryl Roth Theatre; Informed Consent , the Duke on 42nd Street Theater; and regional theatres (Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Portland Center Stage, Cornerstone, and Indiana
Repertory Theatre). Studi originated roles in more than eighteen world premieres, including fourteen Native productions. A pivotal moment in her career was writing and performing And So We Walked: An Artist’s Journey Along the Trail of Tears , based on retracing her family’s footsteps along the Trail of Tears with her father. And So We Walked has been produced throughout the country and was the first American play chosen for the Journées Théâtrales de Carthage in Tunisia, Africa. In film and television, Studi can be seen in the Peabody Award–winning Edge of America ; Hallmark’s Dreamkeeper ; Goliath ; Shameless ; and General Hospital . She is a recipient of the Butcher Scholar Award, a MAP Fund Grant, and a Cherokee Preservation Grant. Since 2007 she has served as chair of the SAG-AFTRA National Native Americans Committee.
ABOUT THE MANAGING PRODUCER
Elisa Blandford has been producing for Native Voices at the Autry since 2014, from world premieres and touring productions to Short Play Festivals, Playwrights Retreats and Festivals of New Plays. She co-founded Vanguard Repertory Company and the Windmill
Arts Center, a black box theater and dance studio dedicated to fostering performance and visual arts in Atlanta, GA.
ABOUT THE PRODUCTION STAGE MANAGER
Luisa Rodriguez works in various production fields and is currently based out of Los Angeles. Most recently, she has held the titles of assistant production manager for Universal Studios Hollywood’s Halloween Horror Nights and COVID-testing scheduler for an ABC Signature Studios series. Recent stage management
credits include Pure Native (Native Voices at the Autry); EVE and Grinchmas (Universal Studios Marquee Events); Into the Woods (Area Stage Company); La Tragedie de Carmen (Opera Naples); and Little Shop of Horrors (FIU Theatre).
ABOUT THE SOUND DESIGNER
ABOUT THE EXECUTIVE PRODUCER FOR WACKY PRODUCTIONS UNLIMITED Janet Miner is an accomplished and versatile music executive and editor with extensive management, music publishing, major record label, digital, and producing experience. As founder of Wacky Productions Unlimited, she handles all legal, financial, and administrative activities and is the editor of Arigon Starr’s graphic novel series Super Indian . She executive produced Starr’s four award-winning albums and co-produced Starr’s acclaimed one- woman show, The Red Road , which toured internationally. Miner holds a B.A. in English Literature from Pomona College.
Thomas Maggs is the son of legendary audio producer Dirk Maggs and works as an actor and sound designer. His recent postproduction work includes Sheltered for Audible, and Marais and the Soul of the Termite for BBC Radio 4. After working on The New Adventures of Super Indian , he will be assisting with postproduction on the second series of Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman for Audible, coming soon.
ABOUT NATIVE VOICES AT THE AUTRY Native Voices at the Autry places Native narratives at the center of the American story in order to facilitate a more inclusive dialogue on what it means to be American. Founded in 1994 by Randy Reinholz (Choctaw) and Jean Bruce Scott, Native Voices is dedicated to the development and production of new works for the stage written by American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, and First Nations playwrights. The organization remains committed to emerging and established Native playwrights and theatre artists, to telling Native stories by and about Native people, and to providing the public access to these plays and playwrights—all with the goals of fostering greater understanding and respect of showcasing artistic voices that might otherwise not be heard. ABOUT THE AUTRY MUSEUM OF THE AMERICAN WEST The Autry is a museum dedicated to exploring and sharing the stories, experiences, and perceptions of the diverse peoples of the American West, connecting the past to the present to inspire our shared future. The museum presents a wide range of exhibitions and public programs—including lectures, film, theatre, festivals, family events, and music—and performs scholarship, research, and educational outreach. The Autry’s collection of more than 500,000 pieces of art and artifacts includes the Southwest Museum of the American Indian Collection, one of the largest and most significant collections of Native American materials in the United States.
NATIVE VOICES AT THE AUTRY CO-FOUNDERS Randy Reinholz (Choctaw) Producing Artistic Director Emeritus Jean Bruce Scott Producing Executive Director Emeritus
AUTRY LEADERSHIP AND PRODUCTION STAFF W. Richard West, Jr. (Cheyenne) President and Chief Executive Officer Chris Dzialo Director of Communications and Marketing Andrea Headley Marketing Production Manager Robyn Hetrick Director of Programs and Public Events Joe D. Horse Capture (A’aniiih) Vice President of Native Collections & the Ahmanson Curator of Native American History and Culture Rebecca Kahn School Programs Manager Keisha Raines Communications & Digital Marketing Manager Jessica Reynolds Graphic Designer Diana Terrazas (Paiute) Native Community Engagement Manager Sarah Wilson Director of Education SPECIAL THANKS Arigon Starr would like to thank her incredible family, Ken, Ruth, and Gay Wahpecome for always providing support, laughter, and love; Lillian Thomas for her Creek language expertise; Shayai Lucero for her input on Laguna/Ka'Waika Woman and all things Laguna Pueblo; and Clementine Bordeaux, Jeanetta Calhoun Mish, and all my Creek, Kickapoo, Absentee Shawnee, Sac & Fox, and Cherokee cousins for their inspiration and humor. 2007 Company of Super Indian : Tom Allard, Gil Birmingham, Jennifer Bobiwash, Rose- Yvonne Colletta, Ty Defoe, William Dufris, Carolyn Dunn, Patricia Gomes, John Gregg, Christopher Johnson, Brian Joseph, Carlene Lacosta, Michael Matthys, Anthony Palermo, Kalani Queypo, Janna R. Lopez Räven, Randy Reinholz, Joseph Sanfelippo, Jeremy Satchell, Jean Bruce Scott, Kevin Sifuentes, Shirley K. Sneve, DeLanna Studi, Donna Tuggle, Michel Tyabji, Robert Vestal, Vincent Whipple, Michael Wise
UPCOMING 2021 NATIVE VOICES EVENTS 27th Festival of New Plays June 2021
Native Voices knew pivoting to the virtual realm would be challenging, but we didn't know it would make Native Voices an international stage. We worked remotely with playwrights, actors, and directors across the country and streamed across the world, including Native communities we didn't have access to before. Join us as we embrace that challenge with excitement and courage as we once again return to the virtual theatre space for our 2021 Playwrights Retreat and 27th Festival of New Plays! Jaisey Bates (Huron heritage'd), Tara Moses (Seminole Nation of Oklahoma), and June Thiele (Athabaskan/Yup’ik) will workshop their plays over the course of a week, with final readings on Tuesdays, June 15, 22, and 29.
2021 First Look September 2021
Vickie Ramirez (Tuscarora), the 2020 Smith Prize winner, will continue developing her play, Yu-Che-Wah-Keh . Myra Henhawk, a former activist, is sick and tired of fighting, rubber bullets, and pepper spray. She's ready for a much-anticipated vacation from her corporate career when her activist sister goes missing. Despite knowing Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women's statistics, Myra refuses to believe her sister could just disappear, and she pursues her own investigation. When Bad Mind tricks Myra into confronting the wrong people, she must face the truth of her sister's disappearance.
Home 11th Annual Short Play Festival November 2021
For so many around the world this past year, Home—literally and metaphorically—has become the centerpiece of many of our lives. Native Voices asked playwrights, what is home? A place? People? A memory? Plays chosen to participate in the 11th Annual Short Play Festival will be entered to win the Von Marie Atchley Excellence in Playwriting award—a $1,000 cash prize!! More to Come! Stay tuned this Fall for another workshop of a play in development by Suzan Shown Harjo (Cheyenne and Hodulgee Muscogee) and Mary Kathryn Nagle (Cherokee).
Support Your support is vital to the success of Native Voices at the Autry, allowing us to continue to create, develop, and produce Native American theatre for a national audience. To become an individual or corporate underwriter, please contact email@example.com or 323.495.4351. Native Voices at the Autry is devoted to developing and producing new works for the stage by Native playwrights and is made possible in part by grants from the following:
SPONSORS OF NATIVE VOICES AT THE AUTRY:
LAURA AND DEAN BERESFORD • JUDITH CHIRLIN • JOYCE AND DAVID EVANS • CAROLE GOLDBERG AND DUANE CHAMPAGNE • DAVID HITZ • LEE HORWIN • HELENE JACOBS • JUDY JACOBS • LYNN JEFFRIES • EMILY MANN • PETER GLENVILLE FOUNDATION • JOHN QUICK AND MARTHA WIEDMAN • SEELEY W. MUDD FOUNDATION • JEAN BRUCE SCOTT AND RANDY REINHOLZ • DARYL ROTH • KATE AND JIM WOLF-PIZOR
Autry Museum of the American West 4700 Western Heritage Way Los Angeles, CA 90027