2nd Annual Misty Upham Award for Young Native Actors - Call for Submissions!

2nd Annual Misty Upham Award for Young Native Actors - Call for Submissions!
January 6, 2022

The Yale Indigenous Performing Arts Program is excited to announce the call for submissions for the second annual Misty Upham Award for Young Native Actors. This award, created last year in memory of the acclaimed Blackfeet actress Misty Upham, honors Native actors 25 and under. 

The winner will receive $500, be honored as part of an award ceremony, and the opportunity to be cast as an actor in performances in the annual YIPAP New Play festival. Due to Covid restrictions, this year’s festival will again be held online.

Native actors aged 25 and under are invited to record themselves performing a monologue to be considered for submission. Video submissions are due Feb 15th, 2021 and will be evaluated by a team of professional theater artists. Last year’s panel included: Mary Kathryn Nagle (Playwright), Delanna Studi (Artistic Director, Native Voices at the Autry), Asa Benally (Designer), Kenny Ramos (Actor), Tara Moses (Playwright/Director), Claire Burke (CSA, Tara Rubin Casting)

For the purposes of the competition, we have compiled a special folder of monologues for Native actors under 25 by Native playwrights such as Marisa Carr, Carolyn Dunn, Tara Moses, Mary Kathryn Nagle, Vera Starbard and Vickie Ramirez, with their permission. New monologues have also been added since last year’s submissions.

Anyone previously named a finalist or honorable mention is eligible and encouraged to re-apply for the main award this year, using a different monologue. Last year’s winner was Isabella Star Lablanc, and the award ceremony featured appearances and remarks from Tantoo Cardinal, Meryl Streep, Kimberly Guerrero, Delanna Studi, Sera Lys McArthur and more.

Please email the following information to madeline.sayet@yale.edu for access to the folder of Monologue options to submit.

  1. Full Name
  2. Tribal Affiliation
  3. Date of Birth
  4. Email
  5. Phone Number

We will be offering an additional free acting workshop in early February to help actors prepare their contest submissions. Details for the workshop will be announced soon.


A reminder for those interested in submitting to this year’s 7th Annual Young Native Playwright’s Contest, the deadline for submissions is January 31st. You can read more about the submission process here: https://yipap.yale.edu/news/call-submissions-7th-annual-yale-young-native-playwrights-contest