This foundational study offers an accessible introduction to Native American and First Nations theatre by drawing on critical Indigenous and dramaturgical frameworks. It is the first major survey book to introduce Native artists, plays, and theatres within their cultural, aesthetic, spiritual, and socio-political contexts. Native American and First Nations theatre weaves the spiritual and aesthetic traditions of Native cultures into diverse, dynamic, contemporary plays that enact Indigenous human rights through the plays' visionary styles of dramaturgy and performance. The book begins by introducing readers to historical and cultural contexts helpful for reading Native American and First Nations drama, followed by an overview of Indigenous plays and theatre artists from across the century. Finally, it points forward to the ways in which Native American and First Nations theatre artists are continuing to create works that advocate for human rights through transformative Native performance practices.Addressing the complexities of this dynamic field, this volume offers critical grounding in the historical development of Indigenous theatre in North America, while analysing key Native plays and performance traditions from the mainland United States and Canada. In surveying Native theatre from the late 19th century until today, the authors explore the cultural, aesthetic, and spiritual concerns, as well as the political and revitalization efforts of Indigenous peoples. This book frames the major themes of the genre and identifies how such themes are present in the dramaturgy, rehearsal practices, and performance histories of key Native scripts.
About the Author
Jaye T. Darby is Lecturer in the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles, USA. Courtney Elkin Mohler is Assistant Professor of Theatre in the Jordan College of the Arts at Butler University in Indianapolis, USA. Christy Stanlake is Professor of English at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, USA.