Glancy, author of the hit play Salvage, has worked closely with Native Voices on The Bird House for more than two years, exemplifying the company's commitment to the ongoing development of a play over a long period of time. Directed by Robert Caisley, The Bird House was written for and stars Native Voices Co-Founder/Producing Artistic Director Randy Reinholz (Choctaw*), in his Native Voices acting debut. Reinholz, an accomplished producer, director and actor, has directed over fifty plays in the United States, Australia, Mexico and Canada.
The dramaturg is Native Voices Co-Founder/Producing Executive Director Jean Bruce Scott, who has spent nineteen years developing new plays, including more than 100 by Native American Playwrights. Native Voices at the Autry has been hailed by critics as "a virtual who's who of American Indian theatre artists," "a hotbed for contemporary Native Theatre," "deeply compelling" and "a powerful and eloquent voice." Founded in 1994, it was established as a resident company at the Autry National Center in 1999.
"We are proud to present the world premiere of Diane Glancy's The Bird House as part of our ongoing commitment to give expression to the histories, experiences and perspectives of Native peoples," says David Burton, senior director of the Autry Institute at the Autry National Center. "Diane's poetically heart-wrenching play, as well as all the creative work that grows out of Native Voices at the Autry, contributes enormously to our mission of fully exploring the stories of the diverse peoples of the American West."
Glancy's play tells the story of Reverend Logan (Reinholz), an evangelical preacher fighting to save his family, his church and his community during an economic crisis, when the promise of natural gas production from fracking seems to provide a lifeline to his small west Texas town. The cast also features Tyler Cook as Justin Lawrence, Carla-Rae (Seneca*, Mohawk*, French Canadian*) as Majel, Robert Owens-Greygrass (Lakota*) as Rope and Ellen Dostal as Clovis.
For more on the subject, see:
Building a Bird House at Native Voices
By Randy Reinholz
For me, theater is a broad intersection of art forms. It is an intimate act through which we celebrate the beauty and investigate the inherent paradoxes of the human condition. An actor’s work might be described as perfecting the craft to fully create, inhabit and communicate the world of the play so that the people in the audience feel as if they have experienced the action on stage.
This kind of transcendence is at the heart of the role Diane Glancy has created for me in The Bird House. Reverend Hawk is a man on the brink of collapse after the loss of his wife, surrounded by illness and in danger of losing his church and his faith.
Diane encouraged me to write about my father. It just hasn’t been the right time. So she imagined a world that combined my stories of rural life in a loving family led by a migrant faith healer with the issues confronting many small towns today, such as economic desperation and a growing question—can agribusiness and hydraulic fracking really be the salvation of small-town America?
The repercussions that ensue are powerful, often funny, and ultimately life-affirming. There are high notes and crescendos, there are moments of tenderness and love, and there is a heartbreaking silence as calls to God go unanswered.
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