Part I & II
Playwright & Dramaturg
Yvette Nolan (Algonquin) is a playwright, director, and dramaturg. Plays include BLADE, Annie Mae’s Movement, The Birds (a modern adaptation of Aristophanes’ comedy), The Unplugging, Gabriel Dumont’s Wild West Show (co-writer), the libretto Shanawdithit. Directing credits include Bearing (w. Michael Greyeyes, Signal Theatre at Luminato), The Piano Teacher by Dorothy Dittrich (Arts Club), In Care by Kenneth T Williams (Gordon Tootoosis Nikaniwan Theatre), Thicker Than Water by Heather Morrison (Sum Theatre), Nôhkom by Michael Greyeyes, Bearing(Signal), Salt Baby by Falen Johnson (Globe), Map of the Land, Map of the Stars (w. Michelle Olson), Café Daughter by Kenneth T Williams, Justice by Leonard Linklater (Gwaandak), Death of a Chief, A Very Polite Genocide by Melanie J. Murray, Marie Clements’ Tombs of the Vanishing Indian and The Unnatural and Accidental Women (Native Earth), The Ecstasy of Rita Joe(Western Canada Theatre/National Arts Centre), The Only Good Indian… , The Triple Truth (Turtle Gals). As a dramaturg, she works across Turtle Island on projects including Queen Seraphina and the Land of Vertebraat and Ultrasound by Adam Pottle, Many Fires by Charlie Peters, Ecstasy (film) by Cara Mumford, Little Badger and the Fire Spirit by Maria Campbell, Confluence by Raven Spirit Dance, A History of Breathing by Daniel Macdonald, The Glooskape Chronicles by Donna Loring. From 2003-2011, she served as Artistic Director of Native Earth Performing Arts. Her book Medicine Shows about Indigenous theatre in Canada was published by Playwrights Canada Press in 2015, and Performing Indigeneity, which she co-edited with Ric Knowles, in 2016. She is an Artistic Associate of Signal Theatre.
Waylon Lenk is Karuk from the villages of Ka’tim’îin and Taxasúfkara, as well as an Oregon-based dramaturg/producer. He is currently a dramaturg on the Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s production of Off the Rails, and a doctoral student at the University of Oregon’s Theatre Department, where his current research involves reading indigenous North American maps as performance texts. He also teaches Introduction to Acting, and recently directed a shadow puppet adaptation of a Klamath legend in the University’s Many Nation’s Longhouse. Last season he was the Shakespeare Dramaturgy Resident at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and worked on The Winter’s Tale and Richard II. He has previously presented work at Oregon State University, Portland Public Schools, the Piggyback Fringe Festival in Wakefield, Quebec, and at the Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation’s U.S. Grant Hotel. His work approaches Native theatre from his position(s) as a dramaturg and a pikváhaan, or Karuk storyteller. As a dramaturg he actively promotes the work of Native playwrights and is involved research to extend the boundaries of what is considered “Native theater.” As a pikváhaan he uses tools from the field of theatre to (re)activate his people’s body of literature. His work has been funded by Oregon State University, Advocates for Indigenous California Languages, and the Yurok Tribe. He is currently developing a piece that uses traditional Karuk pikvah and primary historical documents to grapple with the ongoing legacy of the California Genocide aka Gold Rush with funding from The Evergreen State College’s Longhouse Education and Culture Center. He holds an M.F.A. in Dramaturgy from Stony Brook University, and a B.A. from Lewis & Clark College.