April 27, 2013

Navajo play about domestic violence

Spencer tragedy inspires student play

By Shondiin SilversmithThe play is called "Fadeaway," but it is intended to shed light on domestic violence as it showcases for the last time at the University of New Mexico Experimental Theatre on April 20.

Masters of Fine Arts student Zee Eskeets, 27, of Albuquerque, N.M. premiered her play at the University of New Mexico over a week ago as part of her dissertation for the dramatic writing program with the university. The Diné student's play is part of the 2013 Words Afire, a festival of new plays.

"I wanted to write something about domestic violence, suicide and alcoholism because those are the things that really effect the rez," said Eskeets. "I wanted to bring light to it."

Eskeets said the story itself is loosely based on a true story. She drew from her own personal experience with domestic violence, but she also wanted to honor her late cousin Brooke Spencer, a Gallup High School basketball star who was a victim of domestic violence.
Comment:  For more on Native theater, see Williamsburg Teaches Black, Native History and Enduring Racism in Café Daughter.

Below:  "Actress Lynnette Haozous (right) plays out an emotional scene as the female lead Kai Yazzie with actor Jerome Olona (left) who plays Jason Black in the play Fadeaway."

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