February 05, 2008

Lakota teens dance troubles away

Larissa FastHorse's 'Teaching Disco'FastHorse's first play, "Average Family," about an urban Native American family and a rural white family on a TV reality show set in the 1840s, was commissioned and produced in the fall of 2007 by the Tony Award-winning Children's Theatre Company of Minneapolis, the country's leading theater for youth.

Her second family play, "Teaching Disco Square Dancing to Our Elders: A Class Presentation," which FastHorse is also choreographing, opens Friday at the Autry National Center. Already scheduled for this summer is a workshop of a second play for the Autry's Native Voices series, a program that develops and supports work by Native American playwrights and theater artists. Her first full-length musical is in the works, too, commissioned by the Los Angeles History Project.
The details on Teaching Disco:"Teaching Disco" revolves around three 14-year-old Lakota teens: Martin Leads to Water (Robert Vestal) copes with an abusive family; shy Amanda Smith (Tonantzin Carmelo)--who is white and Lakota with white adoptive parents--struggles with her cultural identity and the prospect of meeting her Lakota birth mother; and Kenny Two Hawks (Noah Watts), the product of a broken home, is in danger of going down the wrong path.

"My goal is to make the crises, the silliness and sadness the characters go through happen as organically as they do in kids' lives," says FastHorse, a Lakota of the Sicangu Nation and a spokeswoman on Native American issues. "You can be doing some crazy, goofy disco thing one minute and then the next minute, things get really real.
Comment:  I plan to see this play and interview the stars this Sunday.

1 comment:

alanajoli said...

That sounds awesome! I hope you have an excellent time at the show.