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Wisconsin Native New Play Festival Launches
This Week with Production of Two Original Works​

 

Wisconsin Native New Play Festival

After nearly two years in the making, the Wisconsin Native New Play Festival is a reality with productions staged Wednesday, July 29, at Keshena’s Woodland Bowl and Thursday, July 30, at Oneida’s Cultural Heritage grounds.

 

Both events are free. Food will be available at the sites for purchase.

 

College of Menominee Nation Professor Ryan Winn announces the play bill each night as the following:

 

It’s Your Turn To Listen, Governor Focker was written by CMN’s Spring 2015 Playwriting course. The original one-act play is set in an alternate universe where the governor of Wisconsin refuses to discuss the decisions he has made. Four Native Americans activists individually took stands on issues ranging from state mining projects, to racist mascots, to teachers’ unions, to the Kenosha Casino Project. Now, an elder has asked them to work together. With the four activists united, the play speculates what could happen if Governor Focker learned how to listen.

 

A Summer Round Dance is an original adaption by Dawn Walschinski of the Charles Dickens’ story, A Christmas Carol. In the two-act play, Ebenezer Skrewjadore is visited by the spirits of Summers Past, Present and Future to reconnect him with his family and community. The play, set in the 1980s, centers on the Oneida powwow and includes performances from a hand drum singer, the Oneida hymn singers, and various powwow dancers.

 

The Agenda each evening is the following:

5-6 p.m. - Arrive for food and vendors

6-7 p.m. - It’s Your Turn To Listen, Governor Focker

7:30-8:20 p.m. - A Summer Round Dance, Act One

8:35-9:30 p.m. - A Summer Round Dance, Act Two

 

Winn's cast and crew is a mix of students, College of Menominee Nation graduates, and community members. They include individuals from the Menominee, Oneida, Ho-Chunk, Pottawatomie, Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwa, and Mohican communities Winn says, "We have around 50 people working on the productions and are proud that people from so many Native Nations of Wisconsin are collaborating to create theater as a gift for all of you. Of course, there are also a few non-Natives like me."

 

The Wisconsin Native New Play Festival is supported in part by a grant from the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin, the National Endowment for the Arts, Art Works, College of Menominee Nation, and the Oneida Nation Arts Program.