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Original One-Act Comedy and Discussion
Set for May 8 at Tribal College in Green Bay


The staged reading of an original student play debuts at the College of Menominee Nation’s Green Bay campus on Wednesday, May 8. The script is the work of CMN student playwrights Chantelle Kuchta, Marisa Munoz, Jeremiah TwoCrow and Curtis Wilhelmi.


A one-act comedy, “The Half-Red Wedding” is billed as a show about commitment, broken promises, and wild rice casserole as experienced in the local setting of Oneida’s Parish Hall. The presentation begins at 3:30 p.m. at CMN’s Green Bay/Oneida campus and is followed by a discussion of the work. Parking and public entry is located at the north cul de sac on Allied Street, north of the Oneida Street and Waube Lane juncture.


CMN’s American Indian theater studies program and the annual spring semester playwriting class are led by Professor Ryan Winn.


Winn says he starts the course by asking students to focus on a story that needs to be told, experienced, learned from, and remembered by local audiences. He then asks them to reflect on Lloyd Kiva New’s “Credo for American Indian Theatre,” which calls theater a perpetual “mirror of the age for each generation,” and proposes that “Indian people today desperately need such a mirror.”


Subsequent coursework includes lectures on the mechanics of playwriting and discussion of plays by prominent Native and non-Native writers.


“We use the discussions as a launching pad for ideas concerning the setting and theme of the script we will write,” Winn says, “and then each student drafts a first person narrative about the specifics of his/her fictitious individual character.”


Narratives describing each character’s upbringing, education, employment, home life, ambitions, quirks, and hidden secrets are shared in the group and commented on before the characters are placed in a setting and given relationship to the others within the play’s world. With this script framework in hand, students write scenes which are edited together to advance the plot. For presentations like “The Half-Red Wedding,” class members take roles and read the new script aloud, editing and revising as they go.


Winn says the reading and discussion are free and open to the public; refreshments follow the reading. Visitors to the campus are asked to enter from the Allied Street cul de sac parking lot.


The College of Menominee Nation is an accredited baccalaureate institution with enrollment open to all at campuses in Keshena and the Green Bay location.