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CMN’s Theatre Production Discusses Tribal Enrollment


The College of Menominee Nation (CMN) invites the public to an original one-act play staged in the Norbert Hill Center Auditorium in Oneida, by students in the College’s Summer Theatre Production course.


The play, “Blood Quantum: Fifty Shades of Red,” is a comedy that discusses the origins and complications of using Indian blood quantum for tribal enrollment. It was written by CMN students Carol Brunette, Karen Cimicud, Yetsitsehewe Danforth, DJ Denny, Mason Powless, and Melissa Wilber in a playwriting course at CMN in the Spring semester 2014. This production also marks the seventh time CMN has collaborated with the Oneida Arts Program’s Dollars for Arts Program, which provides funds to support excellence, innovations, and the development of the arts in Oneida for individual artists and community groups.


The play, “Blood Quantum: Fifty Shades of Red,” is set at an Oneida General Tribal Council meeting where the tribe is debating enrollment issues. Some members want to lower the blood quantum requirement, others want to raise it, and some see no reason to alter a system that benefits their family. Of course some people just want to change the subject, more simply want their hundred dollar payment for attending the meeting, and everyone in the room wants their turn at the microphone.


The play is first and foremost a comedy, but it does bring up some concerns expressed by tribal members throughout Indian Country. The play is a mixture of fiction, American history, Oneida history, and stories from individuals and tribal publications, but any similarities between the fictional characters and the humorous circumstances in the play and any actual people or events are coincidental and unintentional. CMN is an institution that encourages the exchange of ideas, and CMN’s theater program looks forward to sharing hilarious takes on serious issues every summer. This year is no exception.


CMN students and community members involved in the play include the following: Tyrone Barber, Krysanda Bissonette, Louis Cottrell, Shayla Danforth, Yetsitsehewe Danforth, Kiara Dorner, Marlow Dorner, Lloyd Freison, Timothy Hock, Crete Kasee, Geoffrey Madsen, Nathaniel Madsen, Elizabeth Rice, and John Vasquez.


The play, edited and directed by CMN faculty member Ryan Winn, has two showings, one on Wednesday, July 30, and the second on Thursday, July 31. Both shows begin at 7:30 p.m. Admission is free. The production runs just under an hour in length. A reception following both shows enables the audience to meet and greet the production’s cast and crew. The play is perfect for all ages.