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Native Voices, an Equity Theater company devoted to developing and producing new stage productions by Native American, Alaska Native and First Nations playwrights, presents “Lying with Badgers.”
The comedy, written by Jason Grasl (Blackfeet), premieres on Feb. 28 and runs until March 15 at the Autry Museum of the American West.
In the new play, a magically charged world is ignited by wise cracking spirit animals brought to life by puppets as estranged brothers of the Blackfeet Nation. The characters are pitted against one another in a fierce debate over the personal and economic issues Native people face today on their sovereign land.
The debate covers issues such as how exploiting mineral rights could provide economic relief for the tribe, but it could also destroy sacred land. “Lying with Badgers” challenges tradition, tests allegiances and forces long-buried secrets into the light for its characters.
“Perhaps the most surprising thing about ‘Lying with Badgers’ is how the production is both moving and humorous,” said Randy Reinholz (Choctaw), director and producing artistic director. “The animals, all enacted by puppets, are voices of the spirit world, guiding the lead character to the vital discoveries he needs to navigate the land of Badger-Two Medicine. The animals lead the Blackfeet characters to love, understanding, balance and acceptance.”
This year’s production follows the appointment of DeLanna Studi (Cherokee) as the new co-artistic director of Native Voices.
The Autry Museum is located at 4700 Western Heritage Way. For tickets and information, visit theautry.org/nativevoices.
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