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2017/2018 Resident Theatre Company: Native Voices at the Autry

La Jolla Playhouse is pleased to announce Native Voices at the Autry is returning for its second year as resident theatre company through the 2017/2018 season. Spearheaded by Playhouse Artistic Director Christopher Ashley, the Resident Theatre Program aims to encourage the artistic development of rising performing arts organizations, while advancing and contributing to the San Diego and Southern California theatre scene as a whole. The Resident Theatre Program is an annual appointment at La Jolla Playhouse. Previous resident theatre companies have included Mo'olelo Performing Arts Company, MOXIE Theater, San Diego Asian American Repertory Theater, Eveoke Dance Theatre, Teatro Máscara Mágica and Circle Circle dot dot.

Native Voices at the Autry is the only Equity theatre company devoted exclusively to developing and producing new works for the stage by Native American, Alaska Native, and First Nations playwrights. Founded in 1994 by Producing Artistic Director Randy Reinholz (Choctaw) and Producing Executive Director Jean Bruce Scott, Native Voices became the resident theatre company at the Autry in 1999. The company provides a supportive, collaborative setting for Native theatre artists from across North America. In 2014 the company established the Native Voices Artists Ensemble to more fully take advantage of the extraordinary talents of its Native actors, writers, musicians, and directors. The Ensemble is devoted to developing new work in a collaborative process as well as supporting Native Voices’ ongoing focus on the work of individual playwrights. Native Voices at the Autry is a member of Actors’ Equity Association, LA Stage Alliance, and the Dramatists Guild, and is a Constituent Theatre of Theatre Communications Group (TCG), the national organization for the American theatre. Visit for more information.

Upcoming Shows

Native Voices Seventh Annual Short Play Festival:
Seven Generations

Monday, November 13, 2017 at 7:30 pm
La Jolla Playhouse
Free Admission
Space is Limited. Early Arrival Is Suggested.

Native playwrights take inspiration from the Seventh Generation principle – a core value of the Haudenosaunee people compelling individuals to consider how their actions affect the next seven generations – to create short plays that explore what the future holds for indigenous families and communities. The winning play will receive the Von Marie Atchley Excellence in Playwriting Award and a cash prize. For details, visit

Buy Tickets

If you are a member of the Native American, Alaska Native or First Nations community and would like more information about Native Voices or coming to La Jolla Playhouse, please contact Randy Reinholz at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Supported by a grant from The James Irvine Foundation

If you have questions about the Resident Theatre Program, please email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Previous Shows

Native Voices at the Autry 23rd Annual Festival of New Plays

Featuring Free Public Readings by Three Native American Playwrights. Reservations are recommended.

In the Theodore and Adele Shank Theatre at La Jolla Playhouse

Bingo Hall

By Dillon Chitto (Mississippi Choctaw, Laguna, and Isleta Pueblo)
Saturday, May 20 at 1:00 pm

A comedic, coming-of-age story in which three youths explore what it means to leave home on their Pueblo reservation.

Growing up in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Dillon Chitto learned the importance of art, culture, religion, and traditions from his parents, grandparents, brother, and members of the community. In his playwriting he attempts to connect these ideas using storytelling techniques he’s learned through his life. He is currently a graduate student in Chicago, Illinois.


By Vickie Ramirez (Tuscarora)
Saturday, May 20 at 4:00 pm

A "prodigal son" returns to his reservation with a new plan to found a bottled water company and is met with opposition from his family and friends, including an old flame with a grudge.

Vickie Ramirez is the co-founder of Chukalokoli Native Theater Ensemble and member of Public Theater’s 2009 Emerging Writer’s Group. Ramirez’s work has also been seen at Labyrinth Theater Company, New Native Theatre, Amerinda, The Flea, Missoula Writer’s Colony and the Roundabout Theatre. Recent productions include: Glenburn 12 WP Summer Shorts at 59E59 Theaters and Standoff at Hwy #37 at Thunderbird Theatre. Published: Monologues for Actors of Color: Women 2016 (Routledge) and Men 2016 (Routledge).

Lying with Badgers

By Jason Grasl (Blackfeet)
Sunday, May 21 at 1:00 pm

Two brothers brawl over their father's legacy as a medicine man in the remote sacred land of the Blackfeet people, as treacherous weather, women, and an ominous oil deal loom.

Lying with Badgers is Jason Grasl’s third full-length play. It was first workshopped by Native Voices in 2016. His first play, The Blame of Love, received a full-production in 2008, and his second play, Emergency Management, was developed with Native Voices at the Autry as part of their 2012 First Look Series. As an actor, Grasl has performed with Native Voices since 2007. He recently performed in the world premiere of Fairly Traceable. He has performed at the Woolly Mammoth Theatre, The Public Theatre, and La Jolla Playhouse. Stage credits include Cherokee, The Blame of Love, Trophies, Sliver of a Full Moon and Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding.

Native Voices Short Play Festival

Native Voices at the Autry's
Sixth Annual Short Play Festival:
Take Back the Land

November 14, 2016 at 7:30 pm

Rao and Padma Makineni Play Development Center (PDC)

Native American playwrights from across the United States explore environmental issues such as climate change and pollution, legal debates surrounding borders and resources, and personal and spiritual connections to land. Are we doing enough to preserve the homelands of the First Peoples? To preserve our planet? One of these plays will receive the Von Marie Atchley Excellence in Playwriting Award, a $1,000 cash prize!

more info
They Don't Talk Back

La Jolla Playhouse presents,
in association with Alaska’s Perseverance Theatre,
Native Voices at the Autry’s production of

They Don't Talk Back

May 26 – June 5, 2016

Theodore and Adele Shank Theatre

By Frank Henry Kaash Katasse
Directed by Randy Reinholz

In this new play, a troubled teen from a broken home receives the culture shock of a lifetime when he is sent to live and work with his grandparents in a Tlingit fishing village in Alaska. This funny, heartfelt exploration of the meaning of family and life emerges in a contemporary coming-of-age story.

more info

Native Voices at the Autry
18th Festival of New Plays

In the Theodore and Adele Shank Theatre

June 7, 2016
Fairly Traceable

By Mary Kathryn Nagle (Cherokee)
Directed by Jean Bruce Scott
Dramaturg Kelly Miller

June 8, 2016
And So We Walked

By DeLanna Studi (Cherokee)
Directed by Corey Madden
Dramaturg Shirley Fishman

June 9, 2016
Bears and Black Sheep

By Jason Grasl (Blackfeet)
Directed by Olivia Espinoza (Azteca)
Dramaturg Rachel Wiegardt-Egel