Performing Worlds into Being: Native American Women’s Theater

Nov 3rd, 2011 | By | Category: 23-2: Climate Commitment, Media Reviews

PERFORMING WORLDS INTO BEINGEdited by Ann Elizabeth Armstrong, Kelli Lyon Johnson, and William A. Wortman
Miami University Press (2009)

Review by Ryan Winn

Performing Worlds into Being is more than an introduction to Native American women’s theater. Rather, it is an immersion within that world. The editors of this text created a “living archive” of the genre by intertwining five original plays, academic articles, production histories, and interviews that collectively magnify the pulse of this ephemeral art form.

Theater professors will find the text invaluable for introducing students to the collaborative process that embodies all theatre. The text also exemplifies how in Native productions actors give voice to a playwright who speaks for the community. The text’s accompanying DVD allows its viewers to watch clips productions and gives audiences a multimedia look into the trailblazing career of Spiderwoman Theater.

Librarians and theater lovers will rejoice over this text, and those teaching Humanities and Native Literature courses should consider it as an encompassing overview of an important genre.

Ryan Winn is the Humanities Department chair at the College of Menominee Nation in Keshena and Green Bay, WI.

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