March 01, 2013

Distant Thunder read in NYC

Distant Thunder rumbles into New York theatre scene

By Christina RoseFor the many that were disconnected from their culture, whether through boarding schools, adoption or a multitude of other reasons, a play is in development by professional Broadway actors with a full Native cast and input from the Blackfoot Tribe in Montana. The first reading of the show was done at “Native Voices at the Autry” in Los Angeles, a workshop where Indigenous people throughout the country participate in the development of Native theatre projects.

According to an announcement released by the producers, “'Distant Thunder' tells the present-day story of attorney Darrell Walters, a young half-Blackfoot/half-white outsider raised in Chicago, as he returns to his tribe seeking reconciliation with his father and unwittingly sets off a firestorm of crisis.”

The play doesn’t fall far from the truth of co-authors and mother-son team Lynne and Shaun Taylor-Corbett. “My son’s father is Blackfoot, and when Shaun was about 14, he was not very connected to him. Shaun became a darker person. He felt different and he looked different than the other kids at school,” his mother said, knowing that she had to do something.

Lynne took Shaun from his New York City home and drove to Montana, where she met with Thomas “Redman” Little Plume, one of the fluent speakers of the Blackfoot tribe who started a movement to reclaim the Piegan language. “We made a journey one summer to Jackson Hole. I was convinced to leave Shaun with the tribe, and during the next 10 days, he was put up in a tepee lodge and learned about his heritage. It was an extraordinary experience and it changed both of our lives,” she said.
Comment:  For more on the subject, see Native Voices Presents Distant Thunder.

Below:  Shaun Taylor-Corbett.

1 comment:

Rob said...

For more on the subject, see:

'Distant Thunder': Native Musical Aspires to Take Broadway by Storm

Now that Distant Thunder, the Native American musical, has premiered in New York City’s posh Greenwich Village, the next big step is to book the show at a theatre off Broadway, said the play’s co-author Shaun Taylor-Corbett.

But that’ll take both money and a venue.

Last month, Amas Musical Theatre, a culturally diverse playhouse in the West Village, hosted three performances of Distant Thunder over a two-day period. It was the first Native American musical the theatre has offered in its 40-year history, said Joe Trentacosta, Amas’s public relations representative.

“We’re trying to have a huge New York presence in two years, but we need to have funding,” Taylor-Corbett said. “Funding is essential.”