Theater Legend Muriel Miguel Premieres FEAR OF OATMEAL
American Indian Artists Inc. (AMERINDA) will present the World Premiere of FEAR OF OATMEAL conceived, written and directed by Muriel Miguel, co-founder of the legendary Spiderwoman Theater. Previews begin on June 8 at Theatre for the New City. Opening night is slated for June 15.
FEAR OF OATMEAL is set in post-Depression era Brooklyn, a time when there was a thriving Native American community in the Cobble Hill and Boerum Hill neighborhoods. The area was home to ironworkers from Kahnawake (Mohawk Nation) who came to build the Manhattan's skyscrapers, as well as fine artists and performers seeking opportunities after the collapse of the once-popular Wild West Shows and rodeos. People from the community moved freely from home to
home, visiting, sharing food and telling stories from their particular Nations. That life is now gone after a second wave of gentrification swept in and further displaced a community who were already displaced people in their own land.
As FEAR OF OATMEAL begins, there is an old woman in an old house and she is singing a song. From this point onward, reality and unreality are interwoven. As we meet characters and they share their stories, we don't know if they are real or not, if they are in the old woman's mind, or if they are from the past, present or future -- or all three. FEAR OF OATMEAL explores the belief in prophecy and the way that the displacement of working class communities changes neighborhoods.
FEAR OF OATMEAL stars Donna Couteau (Inktomi at The Public Theatre), Joe Cross (Earth, Sun & Moon at Lincoln Center), Gloria Miguel (co-founder of Spiderwoman Theater), Soni Moreno (Hair on Broadway), and Sheldon Raymore (anecdota's Saved Again And By Him at New Ohio Theatre).
Muriel Miguel (Kuna/Rappahannock) is legendary in the New York Contemporary Native American Arts Movement. Born and raised in Brooklyn, the Miguel sisters' father was from the Kuna/San Blas people of Panama and their mother was Rappahannock from Virginia. They had lived near the Mohawks in the community in Brooklyn. From their youngest years, Miguel and her sisters performed traditional dances at powwows. Muriel studied with Erick Hawkins and Alwin Nikolais to become a modern dancer. She then was a member of the Open Theater under the direction of Joseph Chaikin. With her sisters, she founded the Spiderwoman Theater Ensemble in 1976, the oldest feminist theater in North America. She was one of the driving forces of the group and is the artistic director of the company. Muriel is a 2016 Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship recipient, has received an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from Miami University, is a member of the National Theatre Conference, and attended the Rauschenberg Residency in 2016. She continues to direct, perform, and teach in-residence at Amerinda.
Established in 1987, American Indian Artists Inc. (AMERINDA) is a community-based multi-arts organization that works to empower Native Americans and foster intercultural understanding of Native culture. Located in New York, AMERINDA is the only Native American multi-arts organization of its kind in the U.S., and has been widely recognized for its artistic and cultural integrity. AMERINDA Theater produces staged readings and full productions of new plays by Native American Playwrights. In addition to continuing this vital work, AMERINDA launched the first-ever Native Shakespeare Ensemble in 2015 with Macbeth. The ensemble focuses on full productions that re-imagine the original classical text. www.amerinda.org
FEAR OF OATMEAL runs June 8 - 24, Thursday - Saturday at 7:30pm and Sunday at 2pm. Theater for the New City is located at 155 First Avenue at 10th Street - accessible from the L train at 14th Street. Tickets are $20 / $15 for seniors and students at www.amerinda.org.