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Stage adaptation of Leonard Peltier novel premieres


BOULDER, Colo. - Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, Theatre13 and Warrior Artists Productions recently announced the world premiere of the staged adaptation of ''Prison Writings: My Life Is My Sun Dance,'' written by imprisoned human rights activist Leonard Peltier with Harvey Arden.

Convicted of murder in 1976, Peltier has been incarcerated for 31 years. Many believe that he was unjustly convicted and unfairly imprisoned.

In 1999 he published ''Prison Writings,'' a collection of essays, poetry and reflections on more than 30 years of activism from behind prison walls.

Peltier's play is a deeply moving account of one man's struggle to survive prison life while working for healing, forgiveness and fair treatment within an inherently flawed justice system.

Numerous peace activists, Nobel Prize laureates, celebrities, scholars, legal experts and organizations continue to call for Peltier's immediate release. Among them are His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the Rev. Desmond Tutu, the late Mother Teresa, Nelson Mandela, Robert Redford, the Rev. Jesse Jackson and Coretta Scott King. This list is but a fraction of those who continue to advocate for Peltier's release.

''His case is perhaps the prime example of the American government's continuing failure to resolve its longstanding mistreatment of Native America,'' said Theatre13's co-managing director, Judson Webb. Webb and Paul Soderman, of Warrior Artists, the producers of ''My Life Is My Sun Dance,'' said they are compelled to give voice to the story of this man's struggle to serve his people.

''Our hope is that the U.S. government will take responsibility for its mistakes and be the government we expect it to be; a government that seeks justice rather than vengeance,'' Webb said.

The show will open at 7 p.m. on March 15, at BMoCA, 1750 13th St. Performances will run March 15 - 18, 22 - 25, 29 - 31 and April 1. There will be no preview.

Doug Foote, who plays Peltier, dances for the sheer joy of the dance. His Lakota tribal name is Wiyaka Waste, translated as ''Beautiful Feather.'' Raised on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation, Foote is a fluent speaker of the Lakota language, a champion Fancy dancer and Native singer. He served in the U.S. Army Reserve and completed two tours in Iraq during 2003 and 2004. Foote now attends Red Rocks Community College, working towards a degree in counseling.

''My Life Is My Sun Dance'' was directed by Cathie Quigley-Soderman. She graduated from the American Musical and Dramatic Academy and in 1990 completed her Master of Fine Arts in directing at Columbia University Graduate School of the Arts. She then went on to direct classical and new plays in theaters throughout New York City, followed by several years working in the Los Angeles film industry, assisting Warner Brothers director Richard Donner.

Quigley-Soderman also has written four original screenplays.

Quigley-Soderman, along with her husband, Paul, are co-founders of Warrior Artists Productions, a comprehensive production company and record label dedicated to discovering, developing and producing audio recordings and documentary style films of gifted musicians who are recovering from alcoholism. All profits from the performances will go to the Leonard Peltier Defense Committee.

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