This May 3-5th, 2018, the Yale Indigenous Performing Arts Program (YIPAP) will host its 3rd annual Young Native Storyteller Festival. The Festival features the work of this year’s national contest winners, including playwright Everett George (Fallon Paiute Shoshone Tribe), musician Vonica LaPlante (MHA Nation); dancer Charlize Arcoren (Sicangu Lakota); as well as spoken word artists Teanna Hart (Sicangu Lakota) and Zoey White (Oglala Lakota).
“We have incredible writers and performers in our communities–dedicated artists who don’t always have a venue to express themselves or be recognized for their craft at a place like Yale,” states YIPAP Associate Director, Reed Bobroff. “We are so excited to host these amazing young artists so they can share their talents with our community. The Storytellers Festival is an opportunity to showcase the powerful voices of our youth and what the rising generation has to say.”
Saturday night (May 5th) will be the culmination of their collective work, with a public performance beginning at 7:00pm at Yale’s Off Broadway Theater, located at 41 Broadway in New Haven. The Young Native Storyteller’s Showcase will feature a staged reading of Everett Young’s award winning play, First Annual F.A.S. Support Group Meet Up, directed by Jocelyn Clarke, and featuring nationally acclaimed professional Native actors, including: Justin Gauthier, Olivia Komahcheet, and Wolf Sellers. The Showcase will also feature live performances by Vonica LaPlante, Charlize Arcoren, Teanna Hart, and Zoey White. No reservations are necessary to attend, and seating is open as available.
This year’s winners were selected by a national panel of Native musicians, playwrights, actors, and spoken word artists. “Every year our panelists tell us that the quality of work from our youth is incredibly impressive,” states Mary Kathryn Nagle, YIPAP’s Executive Director. “We know our youth are talented, and we are honored that we have the opportunity to showcase their talent to the community at Yale University, as well as folks in the Northeast.”
Reed Adair Bobroff, Cole Richards, and Kinsale Hueston perform in the reading of last year’s award-winning play, Bingo Hall by Dillon Chitto (Mississippi Choctaw, Laguna Pueblo, Isleta Pueblo).
This year’s Festival will be supplemented by additional workshops and public readings of two established Native writers, playwright Reed Adair Bobroff (Navajo Nation)—whose play won the 1st Annual YIPAP Young Native Storytellers Contest two years ago—and screenwriter Ryan Redcorn (Osage Nation).
“Reed Adair Bobroff’s play A Fraction of Love is as hilarious as it is tragic,” states Nagle. “So many of us struggle with issues related to sovereignty, blood quantum, and identity—and all too often, these issues impact our personal lives and relationships. Reed’s play unpacks these issues—both on a political and personal level—in a way that is frank, honest, entertaining, and authentic. It’s a thrill to bring it back to YIPAP for further development.”
A staged reading of A Fraction of Love will be presented on May 3 at 7:00pm at Yale’s Off Broadway Theater, located here. The play reading will be directed by Jocelyn Clarke, and will feature nationally acclaimed professional Native actors, including: Justin Gauthier, Olivia Komahcheet, Joshua Zoeller, Nathalie Tomasik, Jake Hart, Sarah D’Angelo, and Wolf Sellers. No reservations are necessary to attend, and seating is open as available.
Ryan Redcorn (Osage Nation)
On Friday night (May 4), a reading of Ryan Redcorn’s new screenplay I Hate You Jimmie Bacon Iron will be presented at 7:00pm at Yale’s Off Broadway Theater, located here. The reading will be directed by Jocelyn Clark, and will feature nationally acclaimed professional Native actors, including: Justin Gauthier, Olivia Komahcheet, Joshua Zoeller, Nathalie Tomasik, Jake Hart, Sarah D’Angelo, Migizi Pensoneau, and Wolf Sellers. No reservations are necessary to attend, and seating is open as available.
“Ryan Redcorn is one of our most dynamic Native artists,” states Executive Director Nagle. “From his role in the 1491s to his incredible graphic art design and photography, it’s hard to imagine an art form Ryan hasn’t succeeded at. His writing is just as clever, provocative, and breathtaking as his entire body of work, and my hope is that his experience with YIPAP will inspire him to invest more of his brilliant creative energy in writing for the stage and film.”
YIPAP works to promote and cultivate indigenous storytelling and performance to further authentic representation at Yale and in Indian Country. YIPAP’s core values are Performance, Research, Academics, and Outreach in an effort to make evident the importance of indigenous storytelling and help develop a space for Native performers in all capacities.
Special thanks to the hard work of Greg Buzzard (Cherokee Nation, Yale Law School Class of 2018) whose work on this year’s YIPAP Young Native Storyteller Festival has made this all possible!