American Indian Theater in Performance: A Reader, Stories of Our Way: An Anthology of American Indian Plays

Nov 15th, 2004 | By | Category: 16-2: Tribal College Research, Media Reviews

COVERS OF REVIEWED BOOKSAmerican Indian Theater in Performance: A Reader
UCLA American Indian Studies Center (2000). 414 pages
ISBN: 0-935626-52-2 for paper, $20

Stories of Our Way: An Anthology of American Indian Plays
UCLA American Indian Studies Center (1999). 503 pages
ISBN: 0-935626-50-6 for paper, $20
ISBN: 0-935626-49-2 for hardcover, $60
Both books edited by Henry Geiogamah and Jaye T. Darby

Review by Marilyn Russell, Ph.D.

These two books represent excellent sources for Native theater as a field of study and an art form. They are both recommended as sources for classroom use. The American Indian Theater in Performance is a comprehensive collection that presents views of leading playwrights, directors, scholars, and educators who are committed to the artistic and academic development of contemporary Native theater performance.

The book is divided into four sections: Perspectives and Locations, Recent Directions and Performance Considerations, Interviews and Reflections, and Resources.

The resources section includes an extensive annotated bibliography of critical resources including multiple plays by Native authors, published plays by Native playwrights, video resources, and internet resources.

Stories of Our Way is an outstanding anthology of 12 plays that have appeared within the past 25 years. Composed in many dramatic styles and forms, the plays deal with powerful dramatic concepts. They draw upon a vast range of tribal experiences and themes including identity, tribal loyalty, alcoholism, creativity, and humor.

These playwrights invite the reader to reflect upon the painful past; share in the values of family, community, and tribe; and recognize Indian humor and spirituality.

Dr. Marilyn Russell (Minnesota Chippewa) is the director of library programs at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, NM.

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