By Christina Rose
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.
Below: Shaun Taylor-Corbett.