National Museum of the American Indian and Capital Fringe Present Spring Theater Festival
The Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian and Capital Fringe co-host Wattage: Illuminating Tradition and Survival, a performance event produced by Capital Fringe featuring works of theater that explore issues of culture, tradition, environment and identity.
The performances will include two Native plays by Robert Owens-Greygrass; a completely human-powered show by Philadelphia-based troubadour Thaddeus Phillips of Lucidity Suitcase Intercontinental; and a world-premiere, devised theater piece from the ensemble Rootstock Field led by Capital Fringe’s producing artistic director, Scot McKenzie.
“One of the most powerful ways to understand history and identity is through art,” said Kevin Gover (Pawnee), director of the museum. “This theater series allows our visitors to explore contemporary Native culture through the work of indigenous artists like Robert Owens-Greygrass. It is through performances like these that audiences can discover new perspectives, challenge misperceptions and get to know communities beyond their own.”
“Our partnership with the museum brings a freshness and clarity to the type of work we aim to produce in Wattage,” said McKenzie. “The museum provides a singular venue for creating and performing theater that has the ability to shed meaningful light on who we really are. WATTAGE is burning significantly brighter in 2011.”
About the Performances
Run Through the Unquiet Mind
Directed by Scot McKenzie
Created by the Company —Christopher Gallu, Scot McKenzie, Dylan Myers,
Scott Burgess, and Dan Istrate
Featuring Dylan Meyers and Scot McKenzie
Company: The Rootstock Field
During a trek to defend themselves and their land against unseen intruders, two brothers discover that they have wandered into an enigmatic wilderness where the laws of nature have been replaced by chaos. Lost and vulnerable, the brothers struggle to determine what has happened to them and how they can save themselves. This original, devised play, created through a collaboration of the Rootstock Field’s writers, directors and actors, throws a light on eternal questions regarding loyalty, history and violence.
Performance schedule: All shows preformed at the museum’s Rasmuson Theater. Friday, April 1–Monday, April 18, at 8 p.m.; Friday, April 22, at 9:30 p.m.; Saturday, April 23, at 8 p.m.; Sunday, April 24, at 2:30 p.m.; Wednesday, April 27, at 8 p.m.; Thursday, April 28, at 9:30 p.m.; Friday, April 29, at 7 p.m.; Saturday, April 30, at 2:30 p.m.; Sunday, May 1, at 7:30 p.m.; Wednesday, May 4, at 8 p.m.; Thursday, May 5, at 7 p.m.; Friday, May 6, at 9:30 p.m.; Saturday, May 7, at 2:30 p.m.; Sunday, May 8, at 8 p.m.
Directed, Designed and performed by Thaddeus Phillips
Co-created with Tatiana Mallarino
Company: Lucidity Suitcase Intercontinental
Music by Evening Magazine
This visually stunning and inventively designed work—the first theater piece completely powered by sustainable energy—captures the final hours of Capsule #33, a futuristic living pod on the brink of destruction. Exploring ideas from Nikola Tesla, micro-architecture and classic stories like Hamlet and Alice in Wonderland, the play was hailed by the New York Times as a “thoughtful meditation on the fleeting, often unrecognized brilliance of visionaries.” The production’s unique theatrical backdrop includes the sounds of smashing iPhones and audience-powered lights.
Performance schedule: All shows preformed at The Shop at Fort Fringe. Tuesday, April 26, at 8 p.m.; Wednesday, April 27, at 8 p.m.; Thursday, April 28, at 8 p.m.; Friday, April 29, at 8 p.m.; Saturday, April 30, at 2:30 p.m.; Saturday, April 30, at 8 p.m.; Sunday, May 1, at 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Walking on Turtle Island
Written & Performed by: Robert Owens-Greygrass
Directed by John Cole Written
The name Turtle Island comes from the story of a great flood. A turtle went into the depths and emerged with mud on her back to help the humans. It is said that the Great Mystery blew on it and it spread to become North America. Walking on Turtle Island weaves history, memory and emotion to describe the indigenous experience of being forcibly removed from one’s lands. Greygrass inhabits the “skin” of 21 characters from his reservation, morphing from Jesse White Toes, a sun dancer of mixed blood, into an 80-year-old Ojibway. He incorporates Native American philosophy, flute, singing in his Native tongue, storytelling and history.
Performance schedule: All shows preformed at the museum’s Rasmuson Theater. Saturday, April 23, at 2:30 p.m.; Wednesday, April 27, at 2:30 p.m.; Sunday, May 1, at 2:30 p.m.; Wednesday, May 4, at 2:30 p.m.; Saturday, May 7, at 8 p.m.
Ghostlands of an Urban NDN
Written and performed by: Robert Owens-Greygrass
Directed by John Cole Written
In this acclaimed one-man show, artist Robert Owens-Greygrass portrays 16 characters from indigenous communities across the globe, providing a gripping, humorous and poignant glimpse into the world of a multi-ethnic-non-specific-lower-middle-class-urban-NDN-white-guy born in America.
Performance schedule: All shows preformed at the museum’s Rasmuson Theater. Thursday, April 21, at 8 p.m.; Friday, April 22, at 7 p.m.; Sunday, April 24, at 7:30 p.m.; Thursday, April 28, at 7 p.m.; Friday, April 29, at 9:30 p.m.; Saturday, April 30, at 8 p.m.; Thursday, May 5, at 9:30 p.m.; Friday, May 6, at 7 p.m.; Sunday, May 8, at 2:30 p.m.
Artist bios and full descriptions of the shows are available online at CapitalFringe.org.
Tickets will be available starting March 8 at CapitalFringe.org
Tickets are $25/performance—all general admission
Tickets are $20/performance—with Fringe Button or NMAI membership
Four-show pass is $80
Tickets are available for purchase at CapitalFringe.org or by phone at (866) 811-4111.
The box office for Wattage will be open one hour before each scheduled curtain time.
The Shop at Fort Fringe, 607 New York Avenue N.W., Washington, D.C., and Rasmuson Theater at the National Museum of the American Indian, Fourth Street and Independence Avenue S.W. (Please use the Independence Avenue entrance)
April 15 – May 8. Show times vary. Check individual show descriptions.
About Capital Fringe
Capital Fringe is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization founded in the summer of 2005 with the purpose of infusing energy into performing arts in the Washington, D.C., region through its annual Fringe Festival and year-round Fringe Training Factory. Its mission is to connect exploratory artists with adventurous audiences by obtaining and creating outlets and spaces for creative, cutting-edge and contemporary expression in the District. Capital Fringe encourages artists to express and develop their talents and artistic visions without barriers. Capital Fringe is supportedby: Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation, Corina Higginson Trust, DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, The Max and Victoria Dreyfus Foundation, Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation, MARPAT Foundation, PNC Bank, Pepco Energy, Douglas Develo p.m.ent, TheaterMania, Washington City Paper, WAMU, The Washington Post Company and the Fringe Family of Donors.
About the National Museum of the American Indian
Established in 1989 through an Act of Congress, the National Museum of the American Indian is an institution of living cultures dedicated to advancing knowledge of the life, languages, literature, history and arts of contemporary Native people of North and South America. NMAI includes its building on the National Mall; the George Gustav Heye Center, a permanent museum in lower Manhattan; and the Cultural Resources Center, a research and collections facility in Suitland, Md. For more details, visit www.AmericanIndian.si.edu.
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