Woolly Mammoth to host free evening of work by Native artists

Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company will host A Mammoth Showcase: An Interdisciplinary Gathering of Native Artists on January 29 from 6:00 to 10:00 p.m., to support the company’s ongoing commitment to Indigenous communities. This free event is part of the wider ambitions for the national tour of Madeline Sayet’s Where We Belong, with the goal that each producing partner creates and sustains long-term relationships with local Indigenous artists and communities.

“We are thrilled to present the work of incredible Indigenous artists at Woolly Mammoth,” says Kristen Jackson, associate artistic director/director of connectivity. “Through our connectivity work, we strive to deepen and create longstanding community relationships through art. We are grateful and honored to continue building our connection with local Native groups, as well as artists from around the country, by producing this event — and for our Woolly family to have a free opportunity to experience the work of these artists.”

Miss Chief Rocka. Photo courtesy of Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company.

The evening celebrating the work of artists and creators will include:

  • DC-based intertribal Native American Northern drum group, Uptown Singerz, who will be performing Native American powwow drumming that includes both traditional and intertribal songs. They will be accompanied by Miss Chief Rocka, performing a traditional Native Shawl Dance and Hoop Dance.
  • A conversation with Rose Powhatan, a local Pamunkey mixed-media artist whose work spans written pieces and visual art.
  • A reading of Ady by Rhiana Yazzie, who will be joined by Regina Victor to present her two-person play that explores the collision of Navajo life and sexuality in this play about real-life muse, Ady Fidelin, a Caribbean dancer and only Black woman living in amongst the artists of the surrealist movement in France. This reading will be directed by Angelisa Gillyard.
  • A livestream conversation with Anthony Hudson, the Portland-based artist and writer sometimes better known as Portland’s premiere drag clown Carla Rossi. Two of Hudson’s digital performances will be displayed in the lobby, including Lamp Back, commissioned by and installed permanently at Pacific Northwest College of Art, and Martyr, or: Your Own Prairie Bonnet Jesus. Both video installations, see Rossi explore themes around injustice and marginalization of Native communities. A third video, When It Was Hers, showcases a personal poem by Hudson.

A Mammoth Showcase: An Interdisciplinary Gathering of Native Artists will perform on January 29, 2023, from 6:00 to 10:00 p.m. in the Rehearsal Hall at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, 641 D Street NW, Washington, DC. Tickets are free and can be reserved online at woollymammoth.net, by phone at (202) 393-3939, or via email at tickets@woollymammoth.net.

PROGRAM

6:00 p.m. – Doors Open
6:30 p.m. – Uptown Singerz performance with Miss Chief Rocka
6:45 p.m. – Artist Conversation with Rose Powhattan
7:15 p.m. – Anthony Hudson / Carla Rossi digital performance and livestream conversation
7:45 p.m. – Break
8:00 p.m. – Reading of Ady by Rhiana Yazzie
9:45 p.m. – Uptown Singerz with Miss Chief Rocka

All artists, performances, and the order of events are subject to change.

Madeline Sayet in ‘Where We Belong.’ Photo by Jon Burklund (Zanni Productions).

The Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company production of Where We Belong, Madeline Sayet’s solo show, directed by Mei Ann Teo and in association with Folger Shakespeare Library, returns to DC in 2024 (dates and information TBA). The deeply personal piece explores Sayet’s journey to England, echoing that of her Native ancestors, and asks audiences to consider what it means to belong in an increasingly globalized world. The national tour of Where We Belong, continues to crisscross across the nation. Visit Broadway & Beyond Theatricals for tour information.

BIOS

Uptown Singerz advances the music of Native American powwow drumming steeped in traditional song through its intertribal repertoire while engaging new songs and voices from the powwow drum genre. The Uptown Singerz are a DC-based intertribal Native American Northern drum group that performs powwow, ceremonial, honor, and in some cases political songs. The group is comprised of male and female singers as well as several dancers, each of whom represents different tribal nations from all over Indian country. Each member of our drum group resides in DC or the surrounding area and brings their bold powwow style of singing and dance to share the Native American spirit and culture.

Miss Chief Rocka, Angela Miracle Gladue aka Lunacee, is a nehiyaw (Cree)/Greek from the Treaty 6 Territory of amiskwaciy-wâskahikan (Edmonton, Alberta) and is a proud member of Frog Lake First Nation. At age 6 she began cultural dancing through a Metis and Powwow dance program at her school – Prince Charles Elementary and performed regularly throughout Western Canada with the Red River Wheelers and her School’s Powwow Performing Group. Her background in Hip- Hop dance – as a B-girl, began in 2003 through the influence, mentorship, and collaboration of an Indigenous Hip-Hop performance group known as The Red Power Squad. She is also a member of The Fly Girlz Dance Crew who have trained with some of the originators, innovators, and pioneers of Hip-Hop Culture. Angela has been invited to perform, speak, teach and judge in countless countries throughout the world and has been touring as one of the lead dancers for The Halluci-Nation (Formally A Tribe Called Red) since 2016. She has also opened up for major recording artists such as TLC, Sean Paul, Lil’Kim, Maestro, Grandmaster Flash and Busta Rhymes to name a few.

Rose Powhatan (Pamunkey/Tauxenent) is a Native American artist, historian, and cultural activist. She is descended from leaders of the historic Powhatan Paramountcy, in “Attan Akamik” (Our Fertile Country) which extends from Virginia to Washington, DC. Her DMV ancestors were the first Indigenous Eastern Woodlands people to encounter Spanish and English Europeans in the 1500s and 1600s. She is a Fulbright and Cafritz award fellow whose artwork has been exhibited locally, nationally and internationally in venues that include galleries, museums, and US embassies. Powhatan and her husband Michael Auld (Taino) are cofounders of the Powhatan Museum, an intertribal source of information and outreach services. The museum’s website address is powhatanmuseum.com. She is also a member of the Kennedy Center’s Community Advisory Board and a former inaugural member of its Culture Caucus of leaders in the arts.

Rhiana Yazzie is a 2021 Lanford Wilson and 2020 Steinberg award-winning playwright, director, filmmaker, and the Artistic Director of New Native Theatre, which she started in 2009 as a response to the lack of connection between Twin Cities theaters and the Native community. She is a 2018 Bush Foundation Leadership Fellow and was recognized with a 2017 Sally Ordway Award for Vision and has been a Playwrights’ Center fellow multiple times and Core Member. Her debut film A WINTER LOVE is in festivals this year. Rhiana is Navajo Nation citizen (Ta’neeszahnii bashishchiin dóó Táchii’nii dashinalí), and is a writer on season two of AMC’s top rated series, Dark Winds, which takes place on the Navajo reservation

Anthony Hudson (Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, Siletz) is an artist and writer sometimes better known as Portland’s premiere drag clown CARLA ROSSI. Together they host and program Queer Horror—the only LGBTQ horror film and performance series in the country—at the historic Hollywood Theatre. Anthony’s performances have been featured at the New York Theatre Workshop, La Mama, PICA’s TBA Festival, Portland and Seattle Art Museums, Portland Center Stage, and have toured internationally. Find out more at TheCarlaRossi.com.

ABOUT WOOLLY

The Tony Award®-winning Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company creates badass theatre that highlights the stunning, challenging, and tremendous complexity of our world. For over 40 years, Woolly has maintained a high standard of artistic rigor while simultaneously daring to take risks, innovate, and push beyond perceived boundaries. One of the few remaining theatres in the country to maintain a company of artists, Woolly serves an essential research and development role within the American theatre. Plays premiered here have gone on to productions at hundreds of theatres all over the world and have had lasting impacts on the field. Currently co-led by Artistic Director Maria Manuela Goyanes and Interim Managing Director Ted DeLong, Woolly is located in Washington, DC, equidistant from the Capitol and the White House. This unique location influences Woolly’s investment in actively working towards an equitable, participatory, and creative democracy.

Woolly Mammoth stands upon occupied, unceded territory: the ancestral homeland of the Nacotchtank whose descendants belong to the Piscataway peoples. Furthermore, the foundation of this city, and most of the original buildings in Washington, DC, were funded by the sale of enslaved people of African descent and built by their hands.