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Wisconsin Native American Playwright Festival Announces Their Summer Theatre Schedule


Playwright Festival

July 10, 2017 - College of Menominee Nation and the Oneida Community Education Center have spent nearly a decade producing Native American theater productions in Northeastern Wisconsin. From July 25-28 they will embark on their most ambitious collaboration to date - a show that tours to four tribal communities.


Under the direction of CMN faculty member, Ryan Winn, the Wisconsin Native Playwright Festival works with beginner and established playwrights to produce new Native American plays in both stage readings and full productions. The process begins through playwriting workshops, then a script editing process, casting and rehearsals, and finally a full production that travels to Native American communities throughout Wisconsin.


The purpose of the festival is to encourage Native American writers, performers, and technical staff to share their stories with their communities. The process is a natural continuation of the oral traditions that have always been a part of Native American culture. This year the production will stage two comedic plays that take place in a hotel suite.


Matthew Cornelius, Jamie Funmaker, Destiny Ortiz-Nicholas, and JayCee Tourtillott wrote the first play, “Protectors and Protesters,” during CMN’s spring 2017 playwriting course. It tells the story of a family that is conflicted over whether to protect Wisconsin’s endangered Effigy Mounds or to stop the Back 49 open-pit sulfide mine in Michigan. With challenges on both fronts, they can’t agree on how to succeed. Yet they’re destined to fail completely if they stay divided.


Workshop participant and veteran playwright, Dawn Walschinski, wrote the second play, “Bedroom Scene.” This play tells the story of how Lori, a woman in her mid-30s, and Dennis, a young man in his early 20s, accidently stumbled into the wrong hotel suite after meeting during a night on the town. This scene begins when as they awake in a panic the following morning and then struggle to escape from their mistake unnoticed.


The four shows are all free to the public and vendors will be on hand to sell food and refreshments at all venues. The dates of the shows are:

  • Oneida: July 25, 2017 - 7 p.m.
    Cultural Heritage Amphitheatre
    3703 Hillcrest Drive,
    Green Bay, Wisconsin

  • Menominee: July 26, 2017 - 7 p.m.
    College of Menominee Nation
    N172 Hwy 47/55
    Keshena, Wisconsin

  • Stockbridge: July 27, 2017 - 7 p.m.
    Mohican Family Center
    N8605 Oak Street
    Bowler, Wisconsin

  • Ho-Chunk: July 28, 2017 - 7.p.m.
    Siga Funmaker Community Center
    W17634 Radke Road
    Wittenberg, Wisconsin