Spiderwoman Theatre Residency

May 12, 2015
2:00 pmto4:00 pm
May 15, 2015
7:00 pmto9:00 pm
May 16, 2015
7:00 pmto9:00 pm

5/12    2 pm  Many Nation’s Longhouse: Scholar’s Talk
5/15  7 pm    Spiderwoman Theatre Retrospective – Lecture presentation, Hope Theatre, Miller Theatre Complex, UO
5/16   7 pm  Story-weaving Sharing event — open to public

May 10-16, 2015

Muriel Miguel, co-founder and director of Spiderwoman Theatre Company, the oldest Native women’s theatre ensemble in North America, will be in residence at the University of Oregon May 9-17, 2015.  Muriel Miguel represents an embodied 70-year history of Native American theatre and performance.  Her achievements have been recognized by numerous awards including an Honorary Doctorate from Miami University, where Spiderwoman Theater’s archives launched the Native Women’s Theatre Archive. Her performance career has been widely acknowledged by Native studies, theatre studies, and queer/gender studies scholars.

During her week at UO, Muriel will present a retrospective lecture about Spiderwoman Theatre on May 15 in the Hope Theatre/Miller Theatre Complex, and a community/university Story-weaving Workshop on Saturday May 16, followed by an evening work-in-progress presentation. Both events are free and open to the University community and the public.  During the week Ms. Miguel will visit and teach classes; meet with Native Studies and other interested students, staff and faculty; and meet with representatives of the Grand Ronde tribe; and attend the Mother’s Day Pow Wow sponsored by the Native Student Union.

Queer indigenous scholar Jean O’Hara will also be in residence with Ms. Miguel, and will teach a Theatre of the Oppressed workshop and present a talk drawn from her book Two Spirit Acts: Queer Indigenous Performance. The Spiderwoman Residency is funded by a CSWS faculty grant,  CSWS’s Indigenous Women of the Northwest Research Interest Group, the Department of Theatre Arts, co-sponsoring units, and is the first step of the Women and Rivers Project, a collaborative creative project that explores the relationships—both historic and contemporary—of women in the Pacific Northwest to the many rivers of our region, and initiated by associate professor Theresa May.  All events are free.  Additional support will provide financial support for tribal community members to participate in the week’s events and the Story-weaving Workshop.  UO students may earn course credit for participation.

Residency Week Schedule of Events

  • 5/10 Sun. UO Mother’s Day Pow-Wow, Mac Court
  • 5/11 Mon. Class visitation & visit Springfield Native Student Center
  • 5/12 Tues. 2-4 pm Scholar’s Talk & Dialogue: Many Nations Longhouse. Dr. Jean O’Hara and Muriel Miguel — “Two-Spirit Stories: Reclaiming Native Understandings of Sexuality & Gender”
  • 5/13 Wed.  Visit Grand Ronde to meet with tribal education personnel
  • 5/14 Thurs. 2-4 pm: Story-weaving Workshop for Native Theatre class (Villard 202)
  • 6:30 pm: Salmon Dinner – Many Nations Longhouse
  • 5/15 Fri. 10am-12  Workshop: Intro to Theatre of the Oppressed with Dr. Jean O’Hara (Villard Hall 202)
  • 5/15  7 pm    Spiderwoman Theatre Retrospective – Lecture presentation, Hope Theatre, Miller Theatre Complex, UO
  • 5/16 Sat. 10am-5:30pm   Story-weaving Workshop, Hope Theatre, Miller Theatre Complex, UO
  • 5/16   7 pm  Story-weaving Sharing event — open to public

For more information, or if you would like Muriel to visit your class, email Theresa May tmay33(at)uoregon.edu.

The Spiderwoman Theatre Residency is part of the Women and Rivers Project, supported by a Faculty Project Grant from the Center for the Study of Women and Society, and the Department of Theatre Arts. Cosponsorship: Native Studies Program; Cultural Forum; Center for the Study of Women in Society’s Indigenous Women of the Pacific Northwest Research Interest Group; Office of Equity and Inclusion, and CoDaC.

Bio of Muriel Miguel
Muriel Miguel

Muriel Miguel

Muriel Miguel (Kuna/Rappahannock), founding Member/Artistic Director Spiderwoman Theatre, is a director, choreographer, playwright, actor and educator. She has directed almost all of Spiderwoman’s shows since their debut in 1976. She grew up performing with her family and at the age of twelve was the cofounder, with Louis Mofsie, of the Thunderbird American Indian Dancers.  Muriel studied modern dance with Alwin Nickolais, Erick Hawkins and Jean Erdman. She was an original member of Joseph Chaikin’s Open Theater where she performed in the groundbreaking works: Terminal, The Serpent, Mère Ubu and Viet Rock. She was the director of The Scrubbing Project with Turtle Gals Performance Ensemble in Toronto, More than Feathers and Beads with Murielle Borst Tarrant, Evening in Paris with Raven Spirit Dance Company in Vancouver, and served as actor and dramaturge at Native Earth Performing Arts in Toronto. Muriel created the role of Philomena Moosetail in Tomson Highway’s The Rez Sisters, a generative work in the development of a First Nations repertory in Canada. She also originated roles in plays by First Nation’s playwrights Marie Clements (The Unnatural and Accidental Women), Drew Hayden Taylor (Buz’Gem Blues, Bones: An Aboriginal Dance Opera). Her one woman shows include Hot’ N’ Soft, Trail of the Otter, and most recently Red Mother, produced by Spiderwoman Theater at La MaMa E.T.C. in May 2010. She is a pioneer in the development of a culture–based methodology for the training of Indigenous theatre students and is an instructor of Indigenous Performance at the Centre for Indigenous Theatre (CIT) in Toronto. She is Program Director for CIT’s summer intensives at Trent University in Ontario and at the University of Lethbridge in Alberta. She was a Program Director for the Aboriginal Dance Program and an instructor of Indigenous performance at The Banff Centre for the Arts for seven years, where she choreographed Throw Away Kids and She Knew She Was She. She has developed four shows for The Minnesota Native American AIDS Task Force working with inner city native youth on HIV/AIDS issues.  In 1997, she was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and presented Spiderwoman Theater archives as the inaugural collection of Native Women Playwrights Archives. Other awards include: the Native and Hawaiian Women of Hope poster by Bread and Roses International Union’s Bread and Roses Center. In 2003, she was the recipient of the first Lipinsky Residency (feminist in residence) for San Diego State University Women’s Studies Department for the initial development of Red Mother. She has also served as assistant professor of Drama at Bard College. Publications include “Persistance fo Memory” in Performing Worlds into Being: Native American Women’s Miami University Press; “Winnetou’s Snake Oil Show from Wigwam City” in Keepers of the Morning Star: An Anthology of Native Women’s Theater; “Reverb-ber-ber-rations” in Staging Coyote’s Dream: An Anthology of First Nations Drama in English; “the Trail of Otter” in Staging Coyote’s Dream: An Anthology of First Nations Drama in English Vol. 2; and “Hot ‘N Soft” in Two-Spirit Acts: Indigenous Queer Performances http://www.spiderwomantheater.org/index.htm

Bio of Jean O’Hara
Spiderwoman Theater troupe

Spiderwoman Theater troupe

Jean O’Hara is professor of theatre and performance at Marlboro College, Vermont, and formerly instructor of theatre, gender, race and sexuality studies at Humboldt State University. Her research interests include Indigenous theatre and representation, and queer performance. She is the editor of Two-Spirit Acts: Indigenous Queer Performances, Playwrights Canada Press, 2013, and author of “The Journey Home” in Salmon Is Everything: Community-based Theatre in the Klamath Watershed, Oregon State U P, 2014. She served as co-director of the 2006 production of Salmon Is Everything, and as director of the play’s 2007 tour up the Klamath River. She has also been a collaborator with Native Earth Performing Arts, Centre for Indigenous Theatre, the Alianait Festival, San Francisco Mime Troupe, and the Dell’ Arte International School of Physical Theatre. Jean has been directing and teaching theatre for past seventeen years, with an expertise in Augusto Boal’s theatre for social justice.