February 10, 2009

Harjo's wild theatrical ride

Native Voices at the Autry Presents Wings of Night Sky, Wings of Morning Light Mar. 12-29Native Voices at the Autry proudly presents the world premiere of Wings of Night Sky, Wings of Morning Light by musician, poet, songwriter, and playwright Joy Harjo (Mvskoke). The play is a deeply compelling journey of struggle, displacement, self-discovery, and healing. Invoking spoken word, storytelling, music, and song, Harjo takes us on a wild theatrical ride where she tells it like it is with spirit and a mean jazz sax. An allegorical work of tremendous power, Wings demonstrates how theater and art can bring life full circle.

This unique and genre-bending one-woman play features Harjo's original music and a score that has been pushed and molded by Grammy award-winning record producer Larry Mitchell, who recently produced Harjo's Winding Through the Milky Way album. Many of the songs are woven throughout the play. "Among Larry's many gifts," says Randy Reinholz, Artistic Director of Native Voices and Wings director, "is that he reaches into the story with the music and transports the action in amazing and unusual ways. I think the wide range of sounds he and Joy create together lifts Wings to the point of flight.

"Wings is at the heart of theater--it is a heightened ceremony, a broad intersection of art forms, an intimate act that celebrates the beauty and investigates the inherent paradoxes of the human condition. Joy is fearless, bringing all of her many talents to bear in this tour-de-force performance," continues Reinholz.

Wings was workshopped and performed as a staged reading at the Public Theater's 2007 Native Theater Festival in New York. Since then, it has received additional workshops in San Diego, Los Angeles, New Mexico, and Hawaii, and a staged reading with Native Voices at the Autry in Los Angeles.
Comment:  For more on the subject, see Native Plays and Other Stage Shows.

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