The ‘Hamlet’ of Native theater
New Native Theatre
New Native Theatre will present a run of the historic play 'The Rez Sisters' in August.
“This is a classic play, on par with Hamlet and Fences,” noted Rhiana Yazzie (Navajo), founder and artistic director of New Native Theatre. “This is the play that started a Native theatre renaissance that is just starting here in the U.S.”
'The Rez Sisters' portrays reservation life as told through seven First Nation women - all sisters or sisters-in-law - on the fictional Wasaychigan Hill Indian Reserve in Ontario. They become set on the idea of going to a large bingo tournament in Toronto, with dreams of winning big and helping address the poverty, violence, illness - even unpaved roads - in their community.
Canadian First Nation playwright Tomson Highway (Cree) won acclaim and several awards for the play, which enjoyed commercial success upon its debut in 1986. There have been several revivals worldwide since that time.
“Having New Native present this show builds on its long reputation for focusing women-centered art,” added Shannon Davis, a Bay Area performer and director who is directing New Native Theatre’s run. “This play reflects that Native communities are matrilineal.”
About New Native Theatre
New Native Theatre was founded in 2009 and is the only Native-run and Native-focused theatre company in the Twin Cities. No other company in the Twin Cities has ever consistently provided training and opportunities for Native artists in the frequency, cultural sensitivity, and success that New Native Theatre has done in only ten years.