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Ohio Northern University to feature Native American theatre during ninth International Play Festival

Mar 24, 2011

Ohio Northern University’s Freed Center for the Performing Arts presents the ninth International Play Festival from Wednesday, April 6, to Saturday, April 9, at 8 p.m., along with 2 p.m. shows on Saturday, April 9, and Sunday, April 10. A preshow discussion will be held on Wednesday, April 6, at 7:15 p.m., and a post-show discussion will take place on Friday, April 8.
       
With a focus on Native American theatre, this year’s play festival will feature the work of three Native American guest artists from the Iroquois Confederacy, or Haudenosaunee people, a confederacy of Native American nations located near upstate New York and Canada.

The festival also will feature two new one-act plays. “Rabbit Dance,” by Native American author Eric Gansworth, tells the story of two white teenagers who encounter two Native Americans selling beadwork in Niagara Falls Park, something that Tuscarora women have done for centuries. Gansworth is an enrolled member of the Onondaga Nation and has published nine books. He is a professor of English and Lowery Writer-in-Residence at Canisius College in Buffalo, N.Y.
 
“Standoff at Highway #37,” by playwright Vickie Ramierez, details a land dispute near the New York/Canadian border, which has been an ongoing conflict for native peoples for more than 200 years. In the play, the government attempts to build a highway across reservation land, and the Native Americans stage a protest. When the National Guard is called in, a Native American guardsman is forced to fight against his own people.
 
Instead of the regular festival plays, Saturday night’s performance will feature a performance by Gloria Miguel of her one-woman play, “Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue,” which was directed and co-written by Steve Elm. In 1975, Miguel co-founded the Spiderwoman Theater, a feminist, Native American theatre in New York City. Now more than 80 years old, Miguel is a respected elder of the Native American community.
 
Along with student actors, the play festival will feature performances by professional actors Monique Mojica, Kateri Walker and Jake Hart. Student actors will include Drew Knigga, a senior communication arts major from Lawrenceburg, Ind., Alex McGregor, a junior communication arts major from Nashua, Iowa, Sean Varga, a sophomore communication arts major from Olmsted Falls, Ohio, Danelle Rivera, a senior communication arts major from Harlingen, Texas, and Hayley Reynolds, a freshman communication arts major from Sylvania, Ohio.
 
On sale now, tickets are $15 for adults, $12 for non-students and seniors, and $9 for children. The Freed Center box office is open Monday through Friday from noon to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Phone orders are accepted with American Express, MasterCard, VISA or Discover by calling 419-772-1900. Tickets also are available online at www.onu.edu/freed