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Montana Repertory Theatre And Partners Seek Proposals From Indigenous Artists

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Montana Repertory Theatre And Partners Seek Proposals From Indigenous Artists

The Montana Repertory Theatre in Missoula, MT and the Warren Miller Performing Arts Center (WMPAC) in Big Sky, MT are currently seeking proposals for new theatrical work from Native American, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian and First Nations theater artists. The selected work will premiere in the Montana Repertory Theatre's 2021/2022 season, followed by a statewide tour.

"The Warren Miller Performing Arts Center in Big Sky is honored to be a part of this exciting new commissioning project to celebrate Indigenous voices in Montana. The extensive partnerships and foundations underlying this process from conception to production are inspiring, to say the least," says John Zirkle, WMPAC Founding Director.

While there are no restrictions to content, WMPAC and MRT are looking for commissioned work that speaks directly to Montana and its people. They are especially interested in reviewing proposals for works that attempt to address the epidemic of missing and murdered Indigenous women, states MRT artistic director Michael Legg.

"The Rep's mission is to produce work that celebrates, engages and challenges the people of Missoula and the state of Montana," says Legg. "It's become even more important for us to focus on initiatives that attempt to address systemic inequalities across the state, and to work with other Montana theaters and community partners on those initiatives. This commission is the culmination of nearly a year's work with our commissioning and community partners to secure the necessary funding and support to make the commission happen."

The chosen artist will receive a grant of $10,000, development support in the form of an artist's retreat at WMPAC in Big Sky, workshops through the Bitterroot Lab at MRT, and research support from partners at the University of Montana (UM) School of Law, the Margery Hunter Brown Indian Law Clinic, Native Voices at the Autry (Los Angeles, CA) and the Payne Native American Center at UM. The commissioned work could be a play, piece of dance theater, interdisciplinary performance event or any work meant to be performed live for an audience.

Noted dramaturg Sarah Lunnie, who is assisting in the process, says, "Montana Repertory Theatre and the Warren Miller Performing Arts Center's commitment to offer the artist flexible development support (in the form of research support, an artist's retreat, and a workshop) is significant - but their up-front commitment to produce the commissioned work is particularly noteworthy. Many new-work commissions do not include a guarantee of production."

Randolph Reinholz, co-founder of Native Voices at the Autry and one of the commission's community partners, says that Indigenous representation matters. "This work has potential to make an impact in many parts of the state, with people who may not know the issues faced by their Native American neighbors," Reinholz offered.

Proposals are being accepted until August 31st via the online creative platform Submittable, and should include a sample of previous work, a 1-2-page proposal outlining the new work to be completed, resume and personal statement. Links to websites and other media are also welcome. Artists can contact Michael Legg at 406.243.5288 or email for more information.

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