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Crossing Mnisose: A Play by Mary Kathryn Nagle

  • Record 104 Southwest A Street Bentonville, AR, 72712 United States (map)

Crossing Mnisose tells the story of one of America's first feminists, Sacajawea. Her face sits on the dollar coin, but few know her story, or the violence she endured as she guided the U.S. Corps of Discovery up the Mnisose (or what Europeans named the "Missouri River"). In 2017, the contemporary successor to the Corps of Discovery, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, granted an easement to allow a pipeline to cross the very same river. Although 212 years separate these controversial crossings, both reveal the continued survival of Tribal Nations in the face of colonial conquest. Crossing Mnisose draws a line from a completely original view of Lewis and Clark's historic encampment at Fort Mandan to the present day, as descendants of the Dakota and Lakota Nations continue their fight to ensure that the Mnisose, and the lands that contain the burials of their ancestors, are preserved for future generations.



Mary Kathryn Nagle has successfully pursued two careers, both as a lawyer and a nationally recognized playwright. She was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, and an honorary member of the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska. She studied theater at Georgetown University and law at Tulane Law School. Since 2015 she has been a partner at Pipestem Law in Tulsa, a firm specializing in tribal sovereignty of Native nations and peoples. Ms. Nagle has published articles in five law journals, and her plays have appeared in major regional theatres across the country, most recently the Arena Stage in Washington, DC (Sovereignty). Manahatta, which was named a top-three Finalist for the 2014 William Saroyan Prize, runs this May in NYC at the Public Theatre, where she is an alum of the Emerging Writers Group. Crossing Mnisose will receive its world premiere at the prestigious Portland Center Stage in 2019.



Madeline Sayet is a director of new plays, classics and opera who believes the stories we pass down inform our collective possible futures. She was named to Forbes’ 2018 30 Under 30 List in Hollywood & Entertainment, is a TED Fellow, a MIT Media Lab Director’s Fellow, and a National Directing Fellow. A member of the Mohegan nation, she was the Resident Director at Amerinda (American Indian Artists) Inc. in New York from 2013-2016 where she developed new plays by Native playwrights and launched the Native American Shakespeare Ensemble. Her recent work includes: Qui Nguyen’s She Kills Monsters (Connecticut Repertory Theater), As You Like It (Delaware Shakespeare), The Winter’s Tale (Amerinda/ HERE Arts), Poppea (Krannert Center, Illinois), The Magic Flute(Glimmerglass), Macbeth (NYC Parks), Sliver of a Full Moon(various), Daughters of Leda (IRT/Culture Project), Powwow Highway (HERE), Miss Lead (59e59), and The Tempest(various). This summer she will be directing the world premiere of Whale Song by Cathy Rexford at the Perseverance Theatre in Alaska.

Earlier Event: June 15
Presenter: Xiuhtezcatl Martinez
Later Event: June 15
Keynote Speaker: Walter Echo-Hawk