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Theatre for a New Audience Presents Mary Kathryn Nagle's SOVEREIGNTY

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The performances stream live Friday, October 30, at 7pm EST; and Sunday, November 1, at 2pm EST* (*clocks turn back one hour).

Theatre for a New Audience Presents Mary Kathryn Nagle's SOVEREIGNTY

Theatre for a New Audience will present a virtual exploration of Cherokee lawyer and playwright Mary Kathryn Nagle's Sovereignty, directed by Laurie Woolery through TFANA's Merle Debuskey Studio Program (Nidia Medina, Director).

Sovereignty was commissioned and world-premiered in 2018 by Arena Stage and was subsequently produced in 2019 at Marin Theatre Company. TFANA's exploration supports the author's continued development of the work-its language, characters, and storytelling-and includes one week of private rehearsals and two free, live-streamed virtual readings of the entire play that mark the first time it will be seen in New York.

In Sovereignty, set in present-day Oklahoma, a young Cherokee lawyer struggles to restore her Nation's jurisdiction in a pivotal case before the U.S. Supreme Court. In doing so, she must wrestle with the actions of her ancestors. An epic story that examines the fateful treaty that sundered the Cherokee Nation in the 1830s and the painful repercussions descendants still live with today, Sovereignty deftly weaves the body politic with personal identity and truth-bearing.

Speaking with Laura Collins-Hughes for a New York Times profile on occasion of the work's world premiere, directed by Arena Stage Artistic Director Molly Smith as part of the Women's Voices Power Play Cycle Nagle, said, "It's my family onstage. It's the story that was told to me from the time I was this big. I've carried it in me my whole life."

Sovereignty is now as topical as ever. Since the play's premiere in 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court made a pivotal ruling in July 2020, in the McGirt v. Oklahoma case, that Eastern Oklahoma land in question in did indeed fall within an Indian reservation-specifically, the Muscogee Creek Nation.

The upcoming Sovereignty performances feature a cast include DeLanna Studi as Sara Polson; Gary Farmer as Major Ridge/Roger Ridge Polson; Derek Garza as Elias/Waite; Danforth Comins as Andrew Jackson/Ben; Shyla Lefner as Sally (Sarah Bird Northrup)/Flora Ridge; Enrico Nassi as John Ridge; Max Woertendyke as Samuel Worcester/Mitch; Daniel Pearce as John Ross/Jim Ross; and Christopher Ryan Grant as White Chorus Man.

The performances stream live Friday, October 30, at 7pm EST; and Sunday, November 1, at 2pm EST* (*clocks turn back one hour). Admission is free with RSVP at this link.

This presentation of Sovereignty inaugurates Artists & Community, new TFANA series exploring vital connections between the theatre and our world. Artists & Community projects embrace a spirit of inquiry and discovery and will take varying forms, from livestreams to podcasts. All artists and panelists are compensated for their participation. As with all TFANA programming, Artists & Community will include plays or sections of plays by Shakespeare and a range of diverse authors, complemented by post-performance discussions.



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