March 13, 2008

WagonBurner Theater Troop

Some info on a theater group with an unfortunate name:

WagonBurner Theater TroopWagonBurner Theater Troop is a group of Native American theater artists, mostly Choctaw, Cherokee, Creek and other peoples of the Southeastern region, who were drawn together in 1993 by a play, "Indian Radio Days," written by LeAnne Howe and Roxy Gordon, both of whom are Choctaw. "Indian Radio Days" is a satire, using broad and caustic humor to shatter icons and reveal power structures within the history of cross cultural encounters between Native peoples and the waves of European migration across this continent.

WagonBurner Theater Troop is an ensemble committed to the processes of collective artistic creativity in the effort to make plays about Native peoples’ histories. It is not an income base for any of its members. As such, WagonBurner models an organizational structure that is entirely independent of either not-for-profit or for-profit arts corporations. It is its members’ answer to how and why they make theater–collectively, with a deep passion, and with a substantial faith in humor as a medium for truth.
Comment:  If I were in this group, I wouldn't have given it the stereotypical name "WagonBurner." For every person who gets the presumed irony, I bet at least one person doesn't. I bet that person says to himself, "Yes, Indians were wagon burners, so the name fits."

I presume the group chose the word "Troop" intentionally, since the correct word for a band of performers is "troupe," not "troop."

For more on the subject of Native theater, see Native Plays and Other Stage Shows.

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